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Tuskegee Legacy Flight Academy Students Visit 187th Fighter Wing

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Matthew Garrett
  • 187th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Members of the Legacy Flight Academy (LFA) visited the 187th Fighter Wing on recently. The LFA is a non-profit organization, based out of Moton Field, in Tuskegee and dedicated to helping minority and at-risk youth who have shown an interest and proficiency in flying achieve a career in aviation. The LFA is dedicated to continuing the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen by offering 16-19 year old college-bound students a foundation in aviation. The two-week program focuses on four main pillars - the first pillar is character and legacy, second pillar is flight training, third pillar is college and career education, and the final pillar of Academic, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics training.

Air Force Maj. Kenyatta Ruffin an active duty F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot and LFA director and founder, brought 12 LFA students to the 187th Fighter Wing, located at Montgomery Regional Air National Guard Base, to talk to members of the 100th Fighter Squadron (FS).

"Our motto is know the legacy, live the legacy, grow the legacy," said Ruffin. "It's all about knowing the Tuskegee Airmen and understanding their story. Their story is not an African-American story, it's not a story in the past, it's a story for now and for the future. It's a story of what makes America Great."

During World War II the Tuskegee Airmen were an all African-American fighter group, comprised of four fighter squadrons: 99FS, 100FS, 301FS and 302FS.

"Having the 100th Fighter Squadron still in our Air Force today is an opportunity to recognize that the Tuskegee Airmen legacy lives on," said Ruffin.

The students came from different high schools around the country to visit the 100FS. Maj. Richard Peace, 100FS pilot, talked to the group about what it is like being a fighter pilot and his experience during the 2014 combat deployment to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

"You are a continuation of the Tuskegee Experiment, which was started in World War II," said Peace to the students.

The group of students spent their afternoon at the air national guard base interacting with fighter pilots. LFA members walked out on the flight line to see an F-16 up close. Later they watched from the flight line as a group of F-16s took off from the base. They also had the opportunity to visit the Operations building, the base's centralized hub for aviation at the 187th Fighter Wing, to visit the life support section and see firsthand the flight equipment that fighter pilots use.

Students of the Legacy Flight Academy got their picture taken standing in front of an F-16D Fighting Falcon from the 100FS and a T-1 Jayhawk from the 99th Flying Training Squadron, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

Ruffin said, "The support we are receiving from the 100th Fighter Squadron and 187th Fighter Wing is incredible, and we couldn't have a successful program without their support."