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National Education Program, CAF Rise Above, adds the story of the Female Pilots of WWII

February 22, 2019, Dallas- The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) RISE ABOVE: Red Tail Leadership is proud to announce the expansion of its educational outreach program to include the story and experience of the Women Service Air Force Pilots (WASP). For eight years the CAF Rise Above Red Tail Traveling Exhibit has traveled across the country inspiring people from all walks of life with the history and lessons of the Tuskegee Airmen, the U.S. military’s first African American aviators.

What began as one meticulously restored P-51C Mustang has grown into a cross-country educational outreach program that has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands. The success and popularity of this program has prompted the need for expand the story and ability to reach even more people. CAF RISE ABOVE: WASP will greatly expand the scope of RISE ABOVE’s educational outreach by adding an additional traveling exhibit that will increase operational capability to meet the growing demand, all while delivering the inspirational RISE ABOVE message through the unique experience of our nation’s first female military pilots.

The RISE ABOVE program consists of an authentic World War II aircraft, a RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit, or portable inflatable dome theaters. In addition, an extensive catalog of free online resources are available for educators. This program provides an exciting and immersive experience at airshows and community events designed to educate and inspire kids and adults to RISE ABOVE their own obstacles.

“With the addition of a second traveling exhibit we will have the ability to cover a larger geographical area and attend concurrent events. We will be able to more than double our presence and impact,” said Program Director Doug Rozendaal. “We are also really excited because the WASP experience is so unique from the Tuskegee Airmen’s story, which brings a new perspective that will open doors to new audiences. Each of these stories furthers the CAF RISE ABOVE message encouraging youth to rise above their own obstacles and Triumph Over Adversity.”

Both traveling exhibits will be equipped with the original films, CAF RISE ABOVE: Red Tail and CAF RISE ABOVE: WASP. These films combine historic footage, contemporary interviews and captivating aerial footage. The CAF RISE ABOVE: WASP feature film, produced by the Emmy Award winning team at Hemlock films, is currently under production. “We are honored to be working on this project. It marks another groundbreaking achievement of the CAF to honor a marginalized group of American World War II service members whose sacrifice was unknown for decades. It is a fascinating story,” said Kara White, film director at Hemlock Films.

The new educational exhibit and movie will be launched late summer 2019 and available for the 2020 airshow season. Learn more about the CAF RISE ABOVE educational initiative at CAFRiseAbove.org. Those wishing to support this new initiative can donate online through our website. Donations may also be mailed to CAF RISE ABOVE: WASP, 971 Hallstrom Drive, Red Wing, MN 55066.

About CAF RISE ABOVE From 2011 through 2018 the existing CAF RISE ABOVE exhibit has traveled to 39 states making 239 appearances and impacting 156,475 adults and 130,777 children with their inspiring message to “Aim High, Believe in Yourself, Use Your Brain, Never Quit, Be Ready to Go, and Expect to Win.”

About the Commemorative Air Force The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has been collecting, restoring and flying World War II aircraft for more than 60 years. A non-profit educational organization, the CAF is now the world’s largest flying museum with more than 12,000 members and a fleet of 167 airplanes. Nearly all the aircraft are kept in flying condition enabling people to experience first-hand the sight and sound of vintage military aircraft in flight. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition, education and remembrance. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.

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