Air Force

July 25, 2014

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Tags:
Staff Sgt. TIMOTHY BOYER
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would be selected to join the Air Demonstration Team.

Millions of people witness the precision aerobatic performances of the Thunderbirds annually, but few ever get to be part of the team.

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, was selected to the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron and will be transferred to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where she will become a Thunderbird.

“I was in shock after I was notified I was selected for the position,” Seltmann said. “A couple months ago I was taking photos of the Thunderbirds at our air show, and now I will be part of that team. It was such a rush of emotions. I remember sitting in my car crying because I was overwhelmed with happiness.”

In August, Seltmann will join the more than 120 enlisted Thunderbirds from a broad spectrum of Air Force specialty codes.

“Staff Sergeant Seltmann was selected because her records showed that she had a great breadth of experience as a photojournalist,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Martinez, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron chief enlisted manager. “She will be doing the same job as she currently does at Luke, but with the added possibility of flying in the backseat of the F-16 Fighting Falcon to capture images.”

Seltmann was initially hesitant to apply for the position with the Thunderbirds.

“I really didn’t think it was possible for me because I have three children at home and my husband is also enlisted,” she said. “I contacted one of the team’s photojournalists to ask about the frequency of TDYs and such, and I found it wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

After conversations with her leadership and husband, Seltmann decided to apply.

“My husband always supports me and pushes me to be the best I can be,” she said. “I might not listen to him as often as I should, but he is one of the main reasons I’ve been successful.”

While the selection process is highly competitive, every Airman has the opportunity to apply to join the Thunderbirds.

“We have the awesome responsibility of representing more than 700,000 total force Airmen who make up the Air Force,” Martinez said. “The Thunderbirds are just ordinary Airmen executing an extraordinary mission.”

For those who may dream of being a Thunderbird but feel it is out of their reach, there is hope.

“I couldn’t help but think about how amazing it would be to be a Thunderbird,” Seltmann said. “I honestly didn’t have a clue if I stood a chance. I am glad I took the chance and applied.”
While those flying the jets are often the most visible members of the Thunderbirds, it takes a team to keep the demonstrations on track.

“I am a prime example as a photojournalist,” Seltmann said. “The Thunderbirds’ mission takes pilots, maintainers, schedulers and more. Just like the Air Force, every job is important to the mission. If you want to be part of the team, regardless of your career, apply. I got my dream job, and you could too.”

For more information on the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds visit www.afthunderbirds.com.




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


 
 

 
Airman 
PEDRO MOTA

Construction enterprise ongoing

AirmanPEDRO MOTA Some of the base upgrades and new facilities have a direct connection to the arrival of the F-35 Lightening ll joint strike fighter and Luke’s transition to training F-35 pilots. X marks the spot of one of tw...
 
 

There’s no ‘I’ in team

Have you ever heard anyone utter the statement, “there is no ‘I’ in team,” only to be followed by the usual comeback, “There is no ‘we’ either?” In either instance, the person making the statement is correct from a literal standpoint. That being said, consider this: there is not an “I” in teamwork but you...
 
 

New EPR process may change outcomes

The static close-out date for enlisted performance reports is March 31. Although this shouldn’t be a shock to anybody paying attention, it does require further review. The Air Force is undergoing a dramatic change in the way it handles its personnel. The days are gone when “Firewall 5s” are the status quo. We are headed...
 

 
3_150224-F-NQ441-034C

Know social media dangers

Today, millions of people use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share memories and keep in touch with family and friends. Unfortunately, using these media also gathers the attention of unwanted eyes...
 
 

News Briefs March 6, 2015

MPOY banquet The Luke community is invited to attend the 2014 Maintenance Professional of the Year banquet at 5 p.m. March 21 in Hangar 914. It is held to recognize the outstanding performances, achievements and professionalism of aircraft maintainers at Luke Air Force Base and Holloman AFB, New Mexico. For more information, call Tech. Sgt....
 
 
Courtesy photo

Ducks conquer Ragnar Del Sol

Courtesy photo Members of the 309th Fighter Squadron Wild Ducks cross the finish line Feb. 28 in Mesa. The more than 200-mile-long Ragnar race is held every year starting in Wickenburg and runs through the night until the race ...
 




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