The Space Force plans to swear in NASA astronaut and Air Force Col. Michael S. Hopkins while he’s aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Crew-1 Mission, a service official confirmed to Air Force Magazine. Hopkins was commissioned into USAF in 1992, according to his NASA bio. He went on to work with “advanced space system technologies” at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., graduate from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School’s flight engineering course, and test C-17s and C-130s as a member of the 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., it notes. His other pre-NASA accomplishments include training at the Defense Language Institute, studying abroad in Italy, supporting the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office as a project engineer and program manager, and serving as a special assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Hopkins, a member of NASA’s 20th astronaut class, completed his Astronaut Candidate Training in 2011, according to his bio. The Crew-1 Mission marks his second stint on the ISS.
Lt. Col. Jared “Vic” Santos, 388th Fighter Wing special projects manager, recently became the first Airman to accrue 1,000 flying hours in the F-35A Lightning II fighter jet. He hit the milestone during a training sortie Oct. 22, the wing said. Wing Commander Col. Steven Behmer said, “A relatively short time ago, the Air Force was standing this program up. Now we’ve got our first 1,000-hour pilot. Pilots like Vic are able to pass that experience on to younger pilots in the F-35 community.”
Tech. Sgt. Theodore Crowley III from Eielson Air Force Base’s 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was named one of the unit’s first-ever dedicated F-35A crew chiefs on Oct. 9. Maintenance “guardian angels” ensure the tails they’re assigned are safe and ready. “It’s an honor to be one of the first F-35A Dedicated Crew Chiefs on Eielson,” he said. “I treat the maintenance of the aircraft with the utmost seriousness, and I do my best to make sure that the aircraft is ready everyday.”
Air National Guard Brig. Gen. James McEachen was named an Aerospace Medical Association Fellow in recognition of his professional achievements in and commitment to aerospace medicine. He pulls double duty as the ANG assistant to the Defense Health Agency’s director of combat support and as the head of DHA’s Reserve Liaison Office, and is leading research into how to optimize human performance in “extreme operational environments” at AFRL.
Kadena Airman 1st Class Leonard Cantrell Jr. saved a mother and daughter from drowning in a waterfall in Okinawa, Japan. After realizing the mother was in distress, he swam to meet the two and pulled them to safety. “We are all neighbors at the end of the day, so it’s important to remember to be a positive ambassador wherever we go and help out if needed,” said Cantrell, who works as an executive communications technician with the 18th Communications Squadron.
Seven Airmen from Malmstrom Air Force Base’s 41st Civil Engineer Squadron fire department helped battle a wildfire near Fort Shaw, Mont. Local firefighters contained the blaze, and Malmstrom troops were among forces that were called in after intense winds aggravated the situation. “Our brush engine was embedded with volunteer units to support suppression efforts, while our tender engine was assigned to resupply the main volunteer fire engine,” said Squadron Crew Chief Staff Sgt. Aaron Theriault.
The 908th Airlift Wing recently memorialized fallen 908th Maintenance Squadron maintainer and Alabama State University graduate SrA. Jarvise Gibson with a C-130 Hercules paint job. A few of the wing’s C-130s bear the logos of nearby universities, but the ASU logo is also a tribute to their late crewmember. Wing Commander Col. Craig W. Drescher said Gibson’s “wingmen have decided to remember him in this special way.” They hope in the future to see this plane fly over a special ASU event.
After the COVID-19 pandemic led Air Mobility Command to halt the distribution of pillows and blankets to passengers on flights out of the Travis Air Force Base, Calif., in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, one of its squadrons decided to put the excess supplies to use in the local community. Airmen from the 60th Aerial Port Squadron donated 1,000 of the pillows and blankets to the Yolo County Animal Services Shelter in October, and plan on giving 4,000 more to other area shelters soon.
When she’s not working as the 7th Logistics Readiness Squadron’s individual protective equipment supervisor at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Staff Sgt. Tanya Siford serves as a member of the U.S. Air Force Women’s Rugby Elite Performance team. She says the sport helped her escape her comfort zone and become more open “to new experiences and people. … Professionally, it helped me become a better leader and follower, as well as how to quickly adapt to new situations,” she said.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Dec. 12 at 10:27 a.m. EST to correct the name of the school which SrA. Jarvise Gibson attended.