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)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.