VIRGINIA BEACH – Nearly 200 Naval Special Warfare (NSW) operators transition off of active duty every year, including a growing number of retirees who entered service after the attacks of 9/11.
A scholarship fund established by American Aero FTW, a fixed-base operator at Meacham International Airport in Fort Worth, continues to provide new opportunities for these warriors as they move from active-duty military service to life in the civilian sector, the Navy Seal Foundation said in a news release.
As a long-time Navy SEAL Foundation supporter, American Aero recently surpassed the $133,000 mark for donations made in support of the foundation’s scholarship program for the Naval Special Warfare community since its support began in 2013.
This year’s gift of $17,497 will be used to help U.S. Navy SEALs and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen who are seeking pilot certification, the foundation release said.
Through its support of the Foundation, American Aero FTW has facilitated the flight training or licensure of NSW personnel, including veteran and active-duty SEALs.
The scholarship has made a tremendous impact in the lives of these warriors, covering related expenses for Commercial Pilot Aviation Instrumental Rating, Rotorcraft-Helicopter Private Pilot, and FAA Rotary Wing Pilot Add-on certifications along with other needed training and flight simulation costs.
In 2020, the foundation provided $1.8 million in scholarship funds to qualified applicants, including four SEALs who received scholarships generated by American Aero FTW and its clients who helped fund the donation.
“Since American Aero FTW’s founding in 2012, they have remained committed in their support of our nation’s military members, including our SEALs, by not only hiring veterans but by making significant contributions to organizations like NSF in support of meaningful programs,” said Robin King, CEO of the Navy SEAL Foundation. “For many of our SEALs, the operational tempo of back-to-back combat deployments paired with extensive training has meant they could not invest the time to pursue a degree, licensure, or certification. Because of the support of American Aero FTW, SEALs seeking assistance for flight training or pilot’s licensure can rest easy knowing NSF is here to help.”
The Navy SEAL Foundation is committed to providing transitioning warriors with the tools they need to have a successful move into the civilian sector. Many SEALs who entered service after the attacks of 9/11 have endured two decades of intense training and combat with little time to pursue professional development or educational opportunities.
“It is a privilege to create new opportunities for those who so honorably and courageously serve our country, particularly those who enlisted after the events of 9/11 and have put their lives on the line for nearly two decades,” said Robert M. Bass, founder of American Aero. “With this scholarship fund, the American Aero team expresses its gratitude to those heroes as they consider what they would like to do next and welcomes them to join us in our love of private aviation.”