The sky is the limit

It requires discipline, physical fitness and dedication to be in the U.S. Airforce”

partners_us-airforce_lt-col-mikeName: Lt Col Mike
Currently: F-16 Pilot, U.S Air Force.

 

Lt Col Mike is a U.S. Airforce F16 Pilot. A profession that has enabled him to travel and explore parts of the world one can only dream of. The workdays are filled with challenges, along with spending lots of time abroad. But the journey has not been simple. To become a U.S Air Force Pilot requires both discipline and dedication. Taking in consideration though where Mike is today, and where his goals are set, one can simply say that the sky is the limit.

What was the main reason you decided to join the U.S. Air Force?
The main reason I decided to join the Air Force was to travel the world and have an opportunity to fly fighter aircraft.

What does it take to become a member of the U.S. Air Force?
Becoming an Officer and a pilot in the U.S. Air Force requires a lot of dedication over a fairly extended period of time in order to attain high grades both in college and in the pilot training process.  It also requires discipline, physical fitness, and dedication to attain the standards to be in the U.S. Air Force.

Describe your daily routines as a F16-pilot.
Let me first start with a weekly routine to help give some perspective. On a weekly basis I would usually fly 3 times per week, 1 time per week I will sit the Operations Desk in a Supervisory role of the daily flying schedule and the 5th day of the week I will usually teach some type of academics, attend academics, self-study, or an F-16 simulator. On a flying day we will show up to the squadron and prepare for the day’s flight by checking the weather, getting Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), looking at our flight currencies, Intelligence reports, and Tasking’s for the days flights.  We will then brief the flight for approximately 1 hour, then we will go out and do the aircraft pre-flight followed by anywhere from a 1-hour to 5-hour flight depending on the mission. After landing we will review our tapes for approximately 1-2 hours which record everything we do during the flight to analyze what we can do better. The rest of the day is finishing any required paperwork or administration that needs to be completed.

Have you experienced any setbacks during your pilot carrier?
I have experienced a handful of set-backs in my pilot career to include not being selected to be a pilot when I first started my Air Force career. I was also denied a couple of specific flying jobs in my career due to Air Force level decisions. In each of these cases I just continued to work hard, worry about the things I have control over, and in the end I think things have happened for the best.

Do you spend much time abroad?
I spend less time abroad in my current assignment but I have been very fortunate to have lived in South Korea and Italy for approximately 5 years of my life. I have also had the opportunity to deploy 7 different times to the Middle East in support of operations there which was an extremely challenging and rewarding experience

What is the main perks of your profession?
There is no doubt in my mind that being able to fly the F-16 is the #1 perk in my profession. Other added perks are definitely the ability to travel to very cool parts of the world and working with amazing people.

What’s your impression so far on the PRO DRYBAG 45L?
I have been very pleased with the PRO DRYBAG 45L’s performance so far. My first impression was how professional, and precise the bag looked with the little details being mastered. The exterior material, seams, color scheme, and interior construction of the bag really gives me a solid confidence that the bag is very slick looking and durable for all types of extreme activities, not least mine. My important gear is completely protected in the PRO DRYBAG45L.