Ambassadors to the National Flight Academy ,Pensacola

Archive for July, 2013

Day Three on Ambition

Today is our third day on Ambition. It was a bright, warm, lovely day. The sky was clear and blue.

We are beginning to get used to waking up at 6:30. We headed down to the mess deck with our A.M. Chiefs. This morning we had French toast, cheese grits, scrambled eggs, sausages and bread roles. The food continues to be exceedingly good.

After that we headed to the J.I.C. My squadron was about to play a game of Jeopardy when suddenly the fire alarm went off. We had to walk outside to complete a very professionally done fire drill. After this my squadron returned to the J.I.C. Other squadrons went to Air Traffic Control (ATC) and were completing various activities or were having squadron time in the ready rooms.

After, we headed over to the Naval Aviation Museum on base. We were going to go to Hangar Bay 1, but sadly it is closed on Tuesdays. We went back to the main museum, which all of us from Ireland had been to it before but we did not see all of it, and it was still as impressive as it ever was. Everybody was amazed by the small (and large) things we missed before. A nice employee informed us of what life was like many years ago. It was very interesting. We use the max flight simulators. They are a 4D flight simulator. We got to move around in a Blue Angel’s FA-18 Hornet and show off our skills!

After the museum we proceeded to the J.I.C. Here we planned out a formation flying mission. The IO (Intelligence Officer) gave us some good tips on flying in formation and let us practice. After this we went to the mess deck for lunch.

After a delicious lunch we headed back to the museum for an IMAX movie. It was called ‘The Magic Of Flight’. After this we returned to Ambition and competed various missions and had some Squadron time. We then went to dinner. We are served dinner in order of how clean our staterooms are. Today Stateroom 23 (which has myself and Eoin in it) won. We had help from some flying friends.

After dinner we proceeded to plan and complete missions. We also were in the J.O.C. to help the other squadrons whose planes we were watching on the radar. We all had great fun and are looking forward to tomorrow!!

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Highlights Day 1&2 on board Ambition

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Check out the highlights of our first two days sailing on Ambition


Day 2 on Ambition

Day 2 on Ambition

After waking up at 06:30 we headed down to the mess deck for breakfast which was bacon, pancakes, eggs, grits and home fries.

After we had land survival where we learned how to survive in the wild by making fires using various methods.

Next was the scavenger hunt where we searched Ambition for various rooms and objects.

Whilst in the the JIC ( Joint Intelligence Centre) we practised hovering on the simulators as we would need this skill for our missions.

For lunch we had hamburgers with beans and a cookie for dessert.

After this we went to the JOC (Joint Operations Centre) and gave the AXPs flying the triads headings and directions. Then we flew the triads ourselves.

For dinner we had southern fried chicken with pasta and a brownie for dessert.

At the end of the day we completed a mission helping the coast guard find and film illegal vessels and aircraft.

– Michael Murphy


The Programme Begins

Today we started the actual programme side of our trip. We met the other kids in our squadrons and our chiefs. We made lots of new friends and learned a lot about each other. We learned about the physics of planes and how they work. After about half an hour we learned around 106 things about planes. We went into the JOC which is the Joint operations centre. In here we learned how to talk to pilots from air traffic control centres and how to identify planes on radars. We also went into the hangar where the simulators were. These simulators were really hard to fly but we’ll get used to them. The last thing that we did today was learn how to plan missions. A lot of this is about maths but it’s really interesting. We also did interviews about our time here and how we were accepted to participate in the programme. I was really nervous when I did mine but I enjoyed it as well.
-Iarla Muldoon.

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First experience on board Ambition

Today when we woke up we went to a golf club and had breakfast. We hadn’t really gotten used to the portions. The large in Ireland is the small in America!! It was hard to finish our pancakes but they were lovely. We then headed back to ‘Ambition’.
We got ready to go to the museum of naval aviation. We were amazed at how many planes there were. There was a Blue Angels simulator which was very good. After we went to have lunch in a restaurant at the museum. It was a very good experience.
Then we went back to our rooms to get our money. We had 20 minutes so we went into the games room for the first time. It has two TVs in it, one for the Xbox and one for the Playstation. There’s also an air-hockey table. Then we went to the mall and spent 2 hours there.
Afterwards we got dinner in a seafood restaurant. We played volleyball while we were waiting for the food. It was great fun. We ended the night by returning to ‘Ambition’ and had an air-hockey tournament. Mark won!

-Killian McHugh + Domhnall Ó Braonáin

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Ambassadors in Pensacola

Want to see our adventures so far? Check out this film:

The programme on board Ambition begins today. This is what we have to look forward to:


Welcome committee from NFA

Here we are coming off the Bombardier CRJ900 at Pensacola airport.

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We got an ovation from the crowd before we even got to arrivals.
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We were met by Chip Yarborough, Programme Director at NFA, Dr. Dave Dawson of University of West Florida, Natalie Suarez, Event Coordinator and Lonex, Melody and Mike, who are our new chiefs. We are so excited to be here! Go NFA!


We have arrived safely in Pensacola

We have arrived safely in Pensacola and have gotten our badges and lodgings at the NFA. See us settling in here, with more to follow! Night to everyone in Ireland! We need our sleep!

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Flying to Florida

Flying to Florida !
Today eleven out of the twelve ambassadors met up in Dublin airport. We had to go through two sets of security and customs before we could get onto the plane.When we got onto the plane they told us what to do if there was an emergency. Then shortly after that the plane took off at around 9:30. We are flying in a Boeing 757.We have a stop over in Charlotte for eight hours and then on to Pensacola. We are meeting the twelfth ambassador in Charlotte and he is flying with us to Pensacola. We are all so jet lagged but I’m sure it will be worth it !
By Leona Larkin

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Here we are in Charlotte as we wait on our final plane to Pensacola.

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Thanks to Deirdre McHugh for taking these photos.


On our way

Today we are flying to the National Flight academy in Pensacola, Florida from Dublin airport. It’s so exciting and I can’t wait to arrive in Florida! It’s been an early morning but it’s all been worth it! We are just waiting for our early morning breakfast in the airport. Our flight departs at 9:30am and we arrive in Charlotte at 12:30pm local time.

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By Kate Tarpey