LtCol Jonathan “Flood” Kassebaum, commander of the 125th Operation Support Squadron at Jacksonville Air National Guard Base, Florida, flew an F-15 Eagle last week – eight months after nearly being electrocuted in his backyard.
Kassebaum was severely injured while working on a project in the backyard of his family home. He remained lifeless for nearly 12 minutes after the electrocution and was placed in a medically induced coma.
In his civilian life, Kassebaum is the Lead Pastor of the Crossing Church, and he told his story at the Read more
Air Force Captain Cole “Twitch” Holloway was a US Air Force F-15 fighter pilot last year, flying out of Okinawa, Japan. At some point he started noticing “something weird” was going on with his body — symptoms like unexplained muscle weakness. That led to a diagnosis of ALS last October. (Left unsaid is whether the symptoms of the undiagnosed disease were the source of his callsign, “Twitch”.)
ALS has a post-diagnosis life expectancy of two to five years. There is no cure.
Since then (the Air Force article on Holloway was written last year but only recently published), Holloway has been medically retired from the Air Force and he’s living his life knowing it won’t last:
The couple plans to travel, experience life and Read more
San Diego recently held its annual “Pride” Parade celebrating variations of sexuality — the same one then-Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning rode in as Grand Marshal in 2016. As then, uniformed military members played a prominent role [emphasis added]:
To show opposition to the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender troops, this year’s military contingent decided to have active-duty trans service members march at the front of the parade.
“I am a transgender sailor myself,” said Elijah Riddle, who currently serves in the U.S. Navy.
Let’s see: Participating in a political protest in uniform, and Read more
The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor recently rolled out a freshly repainted F-16A with the name of retired Air Force Gen Gary “Nordo” North on the cockpit. Gen North — then a LtCol and squadron commander of the 33FS — was flying an F-16 when he shot down a MiG-25 violating the Southern No Fly Zone over Iraq in 1992.
The kill marked the first-ever air-to-air kill by an F-16, and also the first-ever air-to-air kill with an AIM-120 AMRAAM — much to the chagrin of the F-15 Eagles whose sole role was air combat, and who carried the AMRAAM as their exclusive active radar guided missile.
There’s one issue, however. We can forgive Read more
From the Stars and Stripes:
Capt. Jonathan Mahan is the stereotypical fighter pilot: calm, confident, with a steely gaze and a sharp sense of humor. He has a cool nickname and a mustache so perfectly groomed that it would make “Top Gun” character Goose proud.
River has no doubt heard no end to the…praise…of his fellow fighter pilots for his portrayal in the article on the F-15.
Goose was Read more
Update: The Massachusetts National Guard identified the fallen pilot as Lt. Col. Morris “Moose” Fontenot, Jr., a former Kadena squadron commander and 1996 graduate of the US Air Force Academy.
An F-15C Eagle from the Massachusetts Air National Guard 104th Fighter Wing crashed near Deerfield, Virginia, Wednesday morning. Read more
LtCol Eric Samuelson recently made the local Portland, Maine, news when he flew low level over his community on his retirement flight:
Flanked by two other F-15 fighter jets, Samuelson led the formation from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts, to northern Maine for low-altitude training. After buzzing Portland, they headed for the jetport, where more than 100 members of his church were waiting in a parking lot by the runway…
Samuelson has been a pastor at The Rock Church for some time, and the article noted he found no conflict between his roles as Christian faith leader and military Read more
The US Air Force released the investigative report on the May 2013 crash of an F-15C Eagle off the coast of Japan:
The jet stopped responding to flight control inputs…The pilot was not able to recover from a left descending spiral — after trying for 20 seconds — and ejected at 4,500 feet above sea level.
While the board did cite mechanical failure, there were also Read more