The 357th Fighter Squadron commander surpassed the milestone of flying 3,000 hours in an A-10 Thunderbolt II, May 5.
Lt. Col. Michael Curley grew up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He joined the U.S. Air Force when he was 18. Curley’s passion for flying was ignited when he was a little boy.
“I went to a state fair when I was 10, and I saw this helicopter giving rides to little kids,” Curley said. “When it was my turn to get off the helicopter, I knew I wanted to be a pilot.”
In Aug. 1997, Curley was assigned to D-M as a member of the 357th FS. 16 years later, he became the commander of the same squadron. He is responsible for 38 Airmen employing 24 A-10C aircraft valued at over $300 million. The squadron conducts A-10C initial and requalification training and offers combat coded A-10C squadrons with mission-ready close air support pilots.
The accomplishment of reaching 3,000 flight hours in A-10 Thunderbolt II is still surreal to Curley.
“It still hasn’t kicked in that I have reached that many hours of flying in the A-10,” said Curley. “But when you love what you do, I guess time just flies!”