Category Archives: Fighter Pilot

As Politicians Debate, Air Force Praises Immigration

In an awkwardly timed piece on “Immigrant Airmen,” the US Air Force published profiles on five Airmen from the deployed 407th Air Expeditionary Group who immigrated to the United States.

As a nation founded by immigrants, the U.S. has long drawn its strength through the diversity of its citizens.

The complexity of global challenges the U.S. faces today can only be overcome by capitalizing on all the resources at its disposal, including leveraging its greatest strength – its people.

It’s probably a bit of melodrama for an article on immigrant diversity to say it is the only way the Nation can overcome “global challenges.” Still, the general sentiment is understood.

What is unusual is the US Air Force stepping into politics, as President Trump — who ultimately commands the Air Force — has faced criticism for his immigration policies, primarily Read more

Rescue Pedros, Mary Jennings Hegar, Humility and the Value of Others

Major MJ Hegar is a heroine. She saved not one but three helicopter crews in Afghanistan, as well as multiple US ground troops, and she did so all while being abandoned in combat by her cowardly peers and held back from her true potential by The Man.

At least, that seems to be how her story is being told.

US Air Force Major Mary Jennings Hegar was a US Air Force HH-60 helicopter rescue pilot in Afghanistan in 2009. (The Air Force rescue helos are know as Pedros — and, yes, they use a sombrero wearing mascot that would probably offend someone if they thought about it long enough.)

On July 29, 2009, her mission as the lead Pedro 15 went infamously sour. Hegar received a medal — and a Purple Heart — on that mission, and she now uses the story of that mission on the speaking circuit while she advertises her upcoming book — the movie rights for which have already been optioned (Angelina Jolie is rumored Read more

Air Force Receives 185 Enlisted Applicants for RPA Pilot

Update: The Air Force selected 30 enlisted candidates for RPA training from this board.


The Air Force recently announced it had received 185 applications from enlisted personnel to fly the RQ-4 Global Hawk, the long range, high altitude, fly-by-keyboard unmanned aircraft. This marks the first time the Air Force has selected enlisted personnel to “fly” the UAVs.

“Expanding opportunities in the RPA program is Read more

KC-135 Crew Celebrates Christmas over Iraq

An official Air Force article describes how a US Air Force KC-135 crew celebrated Christmas day:

Holiday songs emitted from a Bluetooth speaker while the four aircrew members and two crew chiefs prepared for preflight inspections. A lieutenant cracked open a plastic container of care-package-cookies and passed them around…

Stereotypically, no commander wants to send his troops into combat on Christmas day.  Besides the typical holiday traditions and emotions, no one wants a casualty that day of all days. However, one of the pilots explained the need for American airpower to be overhead all the time, even on Christmas:  Read more

Air Force History You Wouldn’t See Today

Update: A WWII pilot’s family reports on finding the nose art from their grandfather’s plane… in the risqué section of the museum.


eaanoseartThe Commemorative Air Force has loaned a collection of nose art saved from to-be-scrapped B-17s and B-24s to the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for display for at least the next year.

The collection of 34 pieces of “nose art”…is the largest of its kind…

The double-entendres, bravado and pride reflected in the nose art speak to the intimate bond the crews had with their planes. Young men, some not even in their 20s, put their Read more

Marine F-18s Collide Off California, One Ejects

Two US Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets collided off the coast of San Diego last week. One of the pilots ejected and was recovered; the other was able to land at Naval Station North Island.

This marks the latest in a steady stream of Marine Corps Hornet incidents that have claimed more than a half-dozen aircraft and several lives over the past year. Some media reports have implicated cost-cutting budget issues reducing training hours and Read more

Air Force Publishes Profane Euphemism But Doesn’t Know It

There’s a long fighter pilot tradition of “names” and “namings,” in which fighter pilots have a callsign bestowed upon them that will likely follow them for the remainder of their careers. As noted in the longer discussions on the tradition, callsigns are sometimes the result of a notable action, a physical trait, or a play on the pilot’s name.

For example, the current Chief of Staff of the Air Force is Gen David “Fingers” Goldfein, playing off his name and the James Bond reference.

Luke Air Force Base recently issued a press release about an award recognition that Read more

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