Arizona ROTC cadets visit Multi-Domain Lab
U.S. Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Richard Clark poses for a photo with 24 Arizona U.S. Air Force ROTC cadets during their week-long officer development at the U.S. Air Force Academy Aug. 20-26, 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Justin Pacheco)
By Sondra Rymer
U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character & Leadership Development
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo.– Arizona State University partnered with U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps to sponsor 24 cadets to participate in a week-long officer development Aug. 20-26 at the U.S. Air Force Academy Multi-Domain Lab.
The event comprised of ROTC cadets and Academy staff and cadets who used the Multi-Domain Lab in war-fighting scenarios. Air Force ROTC Detachments 25, 27 and 28 participated in the event, which highlighted the lab’s capabilities and purpose of integrating cross-commissioning sources into lessons that achieve competence in leadership from complex war-gaming education.
An introduction to multi-domain operations
“Air Force ROTC’s mission is to develop leaders of characters for tomorrow’s Air and Space Forces to fight and win our nation’s wars,” said Lt. Col. Shane Richardson, Air Force ROTC Detachment 25 commander. “Exposing our cadets to multi-domain operations before they commission is critical to preparing them for complex problems they will face as members of the profession of arms.”
Transferring into the cadet’s educational classroom experiences, leadership development and future careers are the team and collaboration work aspect of the complex fighting environment. The ability of Academy and Air Force ROTC cadets to network and develop relationships that they carry with them into active duty is an encouraged and successful outcome of the event.
Maj. Nicholas Rayl, Multi-Domain Lab instructor, spoke about the fact that the lab is a state–of–the–art facility and benefits both ROTC and Academy cadets.
“This brings Academy capabilities to ROTC by bringing Air Force ROTC cadets to the MDL for immersion education that prepares them for active duty,” Rayl said.
Dr. Chris Howard, Arizona State University chief operating officer, highlighted the importance of the university’s partnership with Air Force ROTC.
“As an Air Force Academy graduate, I am proud to report Arizona State is excited to invest in our future Airmen and Guardians and values our tremendous partnership with Air Force ROTC,” Howard said. “This incredible opportunity creates an experience that prepares our young leaders to think critically in dynamic environments.”
Inspiring cadet coordination
Cadet Alexandra Ralph, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott) Detachment 28 cadet Joint Force commander, emphasized the value of the opportunity.
“In addition to being able to meet our Air Force Academy brothers and sisters, this experience provided our Air Force ROTC cadets exposure to a complex wargaming scenario that required careful coordination among cadets,” Ralph said. “Understanding how much work is required to create a successful mission gave me a better understanding and a deeper appreciation for the career we are about to enter.”
Paving the way for more Academy-ROTC cooperation
Lt. Col. Bret Cove, Air University liaison, is eager to explore more opportunities at the Multi-Domain Laboratory for these future officer hopefuls.
“I can’t speak highly enough about the Air Force ROTC and Academy staff that put in the hard work to make this such a successful and rewarding event,” Cove said. “This has certainly paved the road for future Air Force ROTC-Academy integration.”