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.


 
 

 
Staff Sgt. 
STACI MILLER

CMS aircraft fuel systems provides push for pilot

Staff Sgt.STACI MILLER Airman 1st Class Gary Esposito, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron aircraft fuel systems apprentice, prepares to inspect a 370-gallon external fuel tank on Luke Air Force Base. Esposito inspected the tan...
 
 
Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE

Latest F-35 has fastest induction to ALIS

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE The 14th F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter to arrive at Luke Air Force Base is shown Dec. 5 on the flightline. Airmen at the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit worked quickly to get the aircraft ready to...
 
 

Gratitude cultivates exceptional leadership

Several months ago I was inspired by the phrase “cultivate an attitude of gratitude.” The topic was presented in a religious context; however, I found these words significant and profound when considered as a tenent of exceptional leadership. Cultivate is an action verb. The word brings to mind images of an experienced gardener patiently tending...
 

 

Leadership vs. management

Have you ever had a boss or someone that made you want to come to work every day, someone you would do anything for without question? Then you were probably working beside a leader, not a manager. The biggest difference between managers and leaders is the way they motivate people who work for or follow...
 
 

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.
 
 

Safety begins with asking ‘What could go wrong?’

I’m sure most of us have been told to “be safe” at some point either by a commander, supervisor or even a co-worker. This holiday season will probably not be any different. Someone will use this simple phrase in the next few weeks, and it will feel like a cliché to you, but what does...
 




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