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Barnesville native, Air Force pilot speaks at Belmont College

Captain Joe Stenger spoke to middle school students about overcoming barriers and planning for the future at a “STEM event” at the college.

Friday, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and Barnesville native was the featured speaker at Belmont College.

Captain Joe Stenger spoke to middle school students about overcoming barriers and planning for the future at a STEM event at the college.

Stenger left Barnesville in 2001 to pursue a dream of becoming a fighter pilot.

Now, he flies America’s most advanced stealth fighter jet.

He’s also been selected to be the first fighter pilot to fly the F-35 aircraft at Luke Air Force base in Arizona.

He described what is it like to fly one of the most technologically advanced fighter jets ever built.

"It's like driving 200, maybe 300 miles per hour down the highway and everyone else is stopped,” Captain Stenger said. “You have to think very far ahead of the aircraft. When you're going that fast 100 miles occurs just like that and so your mind has to be so far in front of where you are because if you’re thinking in the present you’re already behind."

Stenger told students that anything is possible and perceived limitations can be overcome.

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