In the span of a month, two F-16 pilots with the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing reached 4,000 flight hours in the fighter type while deployed to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Col. David Meyer recently hit the 4,000-hour mark during a sortie providing overwatch for friendly troops in contact with enemy insurgents, according to a July 9 Kandahar release. “I have been blessed to stay in the cockpit my entire career,” said Meyer of his achievement. He currently serves as the 169th Operations Group commander at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, the wing’s home, and is deputy operations group commander for the 451st Expeditionary Operations Group while deployed to Kandahar. Meyer followed Lt. Col. Scott Bridgers into the 4,000-hour club. Bridgers hit the milestone on June 2 during a mission from Kandahar. The wing’s expeditionary contingent has been there since April and will remain there through August, according to the release. (Kandahar report by TSgt. Stephen Hudson) (See also Kandahar report by TSgt. Caycee Cook.)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.