Air Force visits Golden Valley

Nicole Pitoni, a junior ROTC student at Golden Valley High School, center, takes the controls of a virtual reality flight simulator Thursday afternoon as part of an Air Force recruitment event on campus. February 06, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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Golden Valley High students received a visit Thursday from the United States Air Force, getting a chance to learn about careers and participate in military simulations.

The Air Force Performance Lab, which is an interactive experience, was brought to Golden Valley’s campus to give students an opportunity to do flight simulations and play games to test combat skills and reflexes.

“It’s a recruitment tool for the Air Force and it goes to different high schools to give students the opportunity to experience what the Air Force has to offer,” said Jose Bareng, Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) instructor at Golden Valley.

The Air Force held an event for Hart District ROTC students at Golden Valley High School Thursday afternoon allowing them to learn about different career paths within the military as well as participate in interactive activities. February 06, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

On display was an F-100 engine, which powered an F-16 Falcon, an aircraft designed for the Air Force. Students were able to use a tablet and through augmented reality, take a tour of how the engine worked.

Students walked through a trailer and tested their observational reflexes through puzzle solving and a game to defend military bases to test combat skills. 

The Air Force held an event for Hart District ROTC students at Golden Valley High School Thursday afternoon allowing them to learn about different career paths within the military as well as participate in interactive activities. February 06, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

As students made their way through the games, waiting at the end was the virtual reality flight simulation, where students wore headsets and had controls to re-enact piloting a plane.

Students were also able to learn of the different career paths that can be taken in the Air Force.

“It showed a bunch of careers within the Air Force and there were a lot more than I expected there would be,” said Breanna Bareng, Junior ROTC member at Academy of the Canyons. “There were more than just pilots, there were occupations there I didn’t expect like dentists and nursing.”

Natalie De Leon, a 11th grade ROTC student from Golden Valley High School, participates in a pull-up contest at an Air Force recruiting event on campus Thursday afternoon. February 06, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Before completing the interactive experience, students were able to participate in a pull-up challenge against a virtual person, to test their strength and agility.

Nathin Stone, Junior ROTC member at William S. Hart High School, said he joined the ROTC program because he’s been interested in joining the Navy after high school. When asked if the interactive experience had changed his mind, he responded saying he was able to get insight about other military branches and what is offered, but he plans to stick with the Navy.

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