Airmen from the Air Force Reserve’s 931st Air Refueling Group, out of McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., flew Academy cadets, including members of the Air Force Academy falconry team, to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Air Force vs. University of Michigan football game.
Quoting from the Air Force Academy’s website:
“Members of the Class of 1959, the first to enter the Academy, chose the falcon as the mascot of the cadet wing Sept. 25, 1955, feeling that it best characterized the combat role of the U.S. Air Force. They did not specify any particular species, thus, any falcon can serve as mascot. Some of the characteristics which led to its selection are:
— Speed: can attain velocities exceeding 200 miles per hour in stoops or dives on their prey.
— Powerful and graceful flight, with strong, deep wing beats; they maneuver with ease, grace and evident enjoyment.
— Courage: fearless and aggressive, falcons fiercely defend their nest and young against intruders. They have been known to unhesitatingly attack and kill prey more than twice their size.
— Keen eyesight: about eight times sharper than man.
— Alertness, regal carriage and noble tradition.
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