Five students of the 2 ° Course aither participated in the "Deployment" course organized by the National Flight Academy at NAS Pensacola (Florida).
This activity stems from a will of dr. Lupo Rattazzi, former student of the then Morosini Naval College - "Sagittarius" Course (1968-1971). The “William F. Moore and CC Giorgio Bulgini” scholarship is dedicated to the father-in-law, a US Navy pilot who participated in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and to the commander of the then Naval College course.
The "Deployments" course, divided into 6 days, involved young people in exercises, missions (including the flight simulator), STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs as Ambition eXperimental Pilots (AXPs) carried out within a faithful reconstruction of an American aircraft carrier. The numerous activities experienced in an extremely competitive and stimulating environment have been a unique and unrepeatable training experience.
Below is the story of one of the protagonists:
Saturday 27 July 2019, at the end of the summer education campaign, and at the ground training module at the San Marco marine brigade, we prepare for departure, with destination Pensacola (United States).
None of us has flown to the American territory before, therefore, on arrival we are amazed by the magnitude of everything we see: from cars to roads, to the air and naval base that will host us for this week. "We embark" on the aircraft carrier Ambition, of which from the first moment we appreciate the attention to detail and the realism with which it was reproduced.
Upon our arrival we are given a logbook and a t-shirt that distinguishes our CAG (Carrier Air Group) and Squadron. The days that await us are punctuated by the rhythms that are followed in college, divided into accommodation according to the groups. We immediately have the opportunity to interact with our American peers. Usually the course hosts children between the ages of 9 and 18 years from all over the world, but this week we are the only foreigners and we therefore enjoy talking a little in Italian with the most curious.
Distributed on the various decks of the ship we find the spaces dedicated to the simulation and immersion, the dormitories, the canteen, rooms for team building, simulators, the various JIC (Joint Intelligence Center) or JOC (Joint Operation Center) and a radar room and communications.
Every day we carry out simulations of events or plausible catastrophes, moving with our foremen from the JIC, where an instructor updates us on the data collected mission after mission, to the JOC, where we plan specifically the route, consumption and time taken and the room radar from where the team that is in flight coordinates (on board the simulators).
The teams compete in an airshow, recover civilians from a crashed plane, go in search of a missing helicopter, make measurements about a hurricane that hits the coast along which Ambition is navigating, escort the Air Force One that accompanies the president of the United States; each time trying to re-enter the base with our X-12B Triad aircraft. The landing or hovering operations are not initially simple in the simulator, we need a little practice, but after a few days we too reach the levels of some American kids who, incredibly, already have a pilot's license.
Time passes really fast, we never have a moment of pause. The only times we "disembark" from Ambition are to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum and its Hangar Bay, a truly modern museum, well cared for and with many vintage aircraft. One of the most interesting parts of this is the one dedicated to the US Navy, with a reconstruction of the interior of a WWII ship and a film / documentary called "Aircraft Carrier" on the collaboration of Military Marines from around the world in protection and defense of the oceans.
The award ceremony, held on the last day, was really exciting: we received awards and a diploma, but above all flattering compliments from General Thiessen, who made the flight and the demonstration with the Harriers squadron on Garibaldi ship and by dr. Rattazzi.
We appreciated every single aspect of this experience: the teaching method, a little different from ours, which immediately involves from a practical point of view, the level of the technologies used, the ability to make learning fun and the possibility of increasing the mastery of the English language. Honored to have started this wonderful initiative, we return to Italy with an experience and unforgettable memories of the Ambition crew and immense gratitude for those who made this possible.
Ex scientia, alae - Motto of Ambition