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You have to see this photo: Austin Peay flag flies in fighter jet navigating Britain’s famed Mach Loop

Austin Peay Flying Gov Flag
Photo by Ed Butcher.

(Posted Friday, Sept. 24, 2021)

An Austin Peay State University Governors flag recently zipped through the skies of the United Kingdom in the cockpit of a U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet.

Austin Peay alum Capt. Branden Clifton took the flag up with him on Tuesday, Sept. 21, and Ed Butcher captured the image from a hillside as the plane flew by. The photo captures the Governors flag facing through the cockpit window as the jet navigates the world-famous Mach Loop (aka the Machynlleth Loop), based out of Royal Air Force Lakenheath, in the United Kingdom.

“I thought it was a cool opportunity to showcase the school, especially as football season is kicking off again,” Clifton, who’s seated in the back seat of the plane as a weapon systems officer.

Clifton also wanted to honor his daughter, Alonna Clore-Gregg, an engineering freshman at Austin Peay.

The jet and its team were executing routine low-altitude training in the Mach Loop, which allows for tactical flight training as low as 250 feet from the terrain.

Clifton graduated in 2008 from Austin Peay with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Performance and a minor in education. He taught at Rossview Middle School before joining the Air Force. He also played football for the Govs during his freshman year.

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