Exhibits include information based on their four pillars of excellence; character development, academic, athletic, and military training. Many of the extra curricular activities the cadets have to choose from were highlighted. My favorite was the falconry. The Academy mascot is a falcon and the school trains and maintains a flock of 13 falcons, which take flight and return to the handlers, during athletic events.
The 306th Flying Training Group has a mission of inspiring future pilots through the experience of soaring. Outside we watched multiple gliders being launched from tow lines and coasting on the thermals just like the hawks and vultures.
The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs was opened in 1958, and today has 4000 students. The cadet chapel on the campus is one of the most visited attractions in Colorado. Begun in 1959 and completed in 1963, the chapel was designed by Walter Netsch, and is constructed of 17 steel, glass, and aluminum spires that soar 150 feet high. It was apparently very controversial when first built, but today is a major attraction for visitors. It is certainly the most striking aspect of the campus.
Standing at the front of the chapel there is an over-look of the classroom section of the Academy, where we could see an occasional student walking between classes. When new cadets are in the first six weeks of basic training, they are only allowed to walk on the white marble strips that divide the pavement. They are not allowed to speak unless spoken to and then only with a select number of phrases. We were hoping to be there when the students marched, in formation, to the dining hall for lunch, but we missed that event.
Visitors are only allowed in a small number of building on campus, and are restricted to a very few roads, but it was an interesting tour, regardless of the restrictions.