U-2 Pilot Hits Milestone on Final Combat Mission

Maj. Patrick Hudson, a U-2 pilot serving with the 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron in Southwest Asia, became the 31st U-2 pilot to reach 2,000 flight hours in the aircraft’s 58-year history, according to a release from his host wing. Hudson hit the milestone during a flight on May 17 from his undisclosed operating location; it was the final combat mission of his Air Force career as he will reach 20 years of service in June, according to the release. Hudson amassed the 2,000 flight hours in just seven years of flying U-2s. His 146 combat missions are the fourth highest number for a U-2 pilot, states the release. “Achieving 2,000 flight hours in the U-2 is a personal milestone, but this milestone is also a testament to everyone” who makes the complicated task of executing a U-2 mission “appear seamless,” said Hudson, who hails from Fayette, Miss., and is deployed from Beale AFB, Calif. (380th AEW report by SSgt. Timothy Boyer)