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3 Air Force officers, all alums, earn battle wings; 4th officer-alum trains for combat

(JACKSON, Miss.) – Three U.S. Air Force officers recently became the first Jackson State University alumni to graduate from the 337th Air Control Squadron and earn Air Battle Manager wings. They are Capt. Russell Lewis, 2nd Lt. Jewell Smith and 2nd Lt. Jerod Miller.

The 337th ACS is located at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida. The three officers commissioned through the ROTC program at the Air Force ROTC Detachment 006, which was established at JSU in 2005.

Lewis described the preparation as rigorous.

“The Undergraduate Air Battle Manager Training Program was difficult but the instructors and staff were extremely professional. Also, I was fortunate to have two Jacksonians in my class. This is a huge accomplishment for Detachment 006 and Thee Jackson State University, and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the awesome mentors and instructors at JSU!”

Meanwhile, a fourth officer, Vernon Lee, also commissioned through the same detachment and is now enrolled in Combat Systems Operations (CSO) training. CSOs earn skills in piloting, navigation, the use of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are experts in weapon system employment on their specific airframe. Aircrew responsibilities include mission planning, mission timing, weapons targeting and employment, threat reactions, aircraft communications and hazard avoidance.

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