Lt. Col. Brian Egger, an instructor pilot with the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem AB, Germany, became only the 34th USAF pilot to amass 4,000 flight hours in the F-16, according to members of the unit. “This is very rare,” said Lt. Col Aaron Piepkorn, 480th FS director of operations. “There are thousands of F-16s and tens of thousands of F-16 pilots, but only a small number to reach that hour mark. This is a very significant achievement.” Egger achieved the milestone during a Dec. 14 sortie. He received the traditional celebratory dousing from his family and fellow airmen upon exiting his aircraft that day. “I’m very fortunate. A lot of people from mechanics to air-traffic controllers have to do a lot of work to make this happen,” said a soaked Egger. Capt. Daniel Schreiber, an 480th FS pilot, called Egger “an awesome instructor.” (Spangdahlem report by SrA. Natasha Stannard)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.