Past and present members of the Flying Tigers gathered at MacDill AFB, Fla., earlier this month for the latest in the series of reunions held since 1947. This year, five of the surviving original Flying Tigers pilots attended. So did some of the maintainers, intelligence, and medical staff who supported them when they flew P-40 Warhawks in defense of China against Imperial Japan during World War II. “It’s an honor to meet with these generations of warriors,” said Col. Ronald Stuewe, commander of the 23rd Fighter Group at Moody AFB, Ga., an A-10C unit that carries on the Flying Tigers name and shark’s teeth nose art. “I’ve looked up to these guys since I was a little boy, so to actually meet them and hear their stories is truly, truly humbling,” said Capt. Matthew Cichowski, a Moody A-10 pilot. (Tampa report by SrA. Brigitte N. Brantley)
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.