Local

March 29, 2013

Werewolf hits 3,000 hours in F-16

Lt. Col. Kevin Aunapu, 69th Fighter Squadron director of operations, gets a congratulatory punch from his son, after completing his 3,000th flying hour March 21 at Luke Air Force Base.

Reaching 3,000 F-16 flying hours is a milestone few pilots reach in their entire career. On the first day of spring, the list of pilots who have reached that milestone added one more name.

Lt. Col. Kevin Aunapu, 69th Fighter Squadron director of operations, flew his 3,000th hour in the Fighting Falcon on March 21 after a quarter-century of flight.

“Having a fighter pilot for a father extremely limited my career aspirations,” Aunapu said, a native of Homestead AFB, Fla.

“There was never any question on what I wanted to do. When I was in high school, I saw the first F-16s land in Europe, and, just like the first time I met my wife, I’ve been smitten ever since.”

After graduating from high school at Hahn Air Base, Germany, Aunapu attended the Air Force Academy and obtained a fighter pilot slot. He attended undergraduate pilot training at Vance AFB, Okla., and eventually transitioned to the F-16.

One of Aunapu’s most memorable moments involves seeing the work he had put in as an instructor pilot pay off in combat.

“I will never forget deploying to Afghanistan as a reservist within an active-duty fighter squadron in support of Operation Enduring Freedom,” Aunapu said. “Though I had previously deployed to Iraq a number of times, deploying to Afghanistan was the most rewarding professionally. Many of the pilots in the 4th Fighter Squadron had, at one time or another, been students of mine.”

Aunapu also said he wouldn’t be here without those Airmen who keep him flying safe every day.

“Quite simply, I would like to thank our dedicated aircraft maintainers,” Aunapu said. “I’ve been very fortunate. Flying jets that are older than many of the maintainers working on them is testament to the hard work and dedication they put into their profession. Every time I climb up the ladder, I do it with the extreme confidence of knowing countless hours of care have been put into the jet for my one hour of flight — truly amazing.”

Aunapu is one of 253 pilots in the world who have hit 3,000 hours in the F-16.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Decking the halls …

Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer Andrea Mathis, 56th Force Support Squadron Fighter Country Inn accounting clerk, decorates a Christmas tree Dec. 4 in the lobby at the Fighter Country Inn at Luke Air Force Base. Base lodging is available to active-duty service members, retirees and dependents on a space-available basis. For more information, call 623-856-3941.
 
 

News Briefs December 12, 2014

Kachina Gate closure The Kachina Gate will be closed to inbound traffic through Dec. 19 for gas valve repair. Outbound traffic will not be affected. For more information, call 623-856-7051. Tax season volunteers The 2015 tax center is looking for one volunteer to serve as site coordinator and volunteers to serve during the 2015 tax...
 
 
Airman 
PEDRO MOTA

Thunderbolts lend helping hand to veterans in need

AirmanPEDRO MOTA Airmen from the 56th Comptroller Squadron help serve a holiday meal to the homeless Dec. 5 at the Central Arizona Shelter Services. The money was donated by the Veterans Administration in an effort to feed home...
 

 
tax-return-image

Become a VITA Volunteer

Courtesy photo Volunteers Are Needed for the Upcoming Tax Season. No prior tax experience required and FREE training is provided. Luke Air Force Base is looking for volunteers to support the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance prog...
 
 
141204-F-HT977-018

Cookies on the move

Lisa Sloane, left, wife of Col. Jeremy Sloane, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, instructs volunteers on how to package cookies during the cookie drive Dec. 4. The cookie drive is held in early December to bring a little homine...
 
 

Justice Report

The following is a list of Article 15s issued at Luke Air Force Base for October and November. 56th Maintenance Group • A staff sergeant received an Article 15 for wrongful use of a controlled substance. The member received a reduction to the rank of senior airman, forfeiture of $1,213 pay per month for two...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin