Crew Chief Profiles

 MSgt. Bob "Smiling Bob Robert" Sefton (Ret.)

My profile

Name MSgt. Bob Sefton (Ret.)
Country
Unit 163rd Fighter Squadron "Blacksnakes"
Crewing F-16s from 1988 until 1995
Contact raven1402 Send me a private message
Website The link to the 122 FW home of the 163 FS Blacksnakes
I bagan in about 1968 working on the F-84F Thunderstreak, the Thud's Mother they called her. Our unit then received the F-100D and F models. The HUN which flew more sorties in Vietnam that did all the the P and F-51's. Next we got the F4 PhantomII the workhorse of the earlier USAF. Think of Robin Olds. Then we moved up to the current hot jet the F-16C block 25 MLU. Since then our unit has attained worldwide status in providing targeting for OIF operations. My chief interest is the Air Combat sim of the millenium Falcon 4 Open Falcon 4.7. This piece of sofware has been sweated over about as much as the real aircraft. Plus it is not just a slight sim but it is a war sim putting you into the role of a pilot and commander in the air war. I loved being a crewchief and getting to know the aircraft and people associated with it. I would go back there in a heartbeat except I am a little over the hill. So I stay home and ponder the glory of air superority and victory.

Current or Favourite assignment

We are the conquerors above. We count everything lost if we do not win. For if we loose, the entire future of our country could fail with dismal results. But we never loose. Victory is built into us. That is the way we began and so shall we continue.

Deployments

Since 1966, Pre-ODS we took many expeditions in CONUS for training. After ODS we got our F-16C's and then we traveled to Iraq, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia, Singapore, and spent a lot of time supporting ONE local Air Superiorty. The F-16 is fine aircraft to handle in the maintenance ascpect as well as I am sure in air too. It demands much from each of us but it gives everyone who deals with her the fondest memories. Even in the Air Combat sim I was telling you about. She is sweet flying baby whith the bite of a viper.

My Jets & Assignments

84300 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 163rd Fighter Squadron "Blacksnakes" [Unit History]
Period 1966 - 2003
Current: TS-1635  TNIAU 16 sqn F-16C Block 25 [act]
It was back in the F-4 era. Our unit had an Air Force Advisor assigned to the fighter squadron. He was fine man and he blended in with our aircrewmen and our crewchiefs very well. At the time of this story he was about to retire. He was aware of our policy to congradulate or retiring pilots. He also knew that some of crewchiefs were qualified to taxi the F-4. So, he came over to me one day and asked me if I could taxi his aircraft back from De-arm on his last flight. I told him, YES! So the day came and I had almost forgotten our plan. He came up to me on his last day and said, "Today!" H was on final approach and I got into the vehicle with the weapons guys to go down to the far end of Runway 05. When they got out I walked over to the Colonel's lead Phantom. He nodded his head and shut down his left engine and got out. I thought to my self for an instant, me- a wrench miester leading a flight of true figherpilots back from the far end of the runway. I got into the airfraft. I had taxiied many times before but never with officers. The Colonel gave me his helmet to help him gain the upper hand in his ruse. I checked the cockpit over and realized I would be the voice of the flight to get us back to the ramp. My WSO told me what to say. thanks to him it went normal-normal. As we entered our ramp the welcoming party was in full strength. There were even a fire truck or two. But evenso I taxied up to the parking area without delay. When I pulled onto the yellow line to the parking spot the crowd was in full stride to meet me. I stopped for the tire check and then stopped for good. Chocks-In, engine - shutdown, switches - off. I opened the canopy to egress and as I stood up the crowd collectively said, "What!" Everyone was looking around - it was pandamonium at good old Fort Wayne International Airport. I think I got a few drops of champaign on me but it was very well worth it. I can't belive that was almost twenty years ago. It was so grand. I would tell everyone who is still actively involved in the fighter aircraft business. Love your time there even if there are days you can't. Because what you do is so vitally necessary and you are the recipients of the present. Soon enough and you will be on the sidelines but until then learn that there is nothing like a job well done by yourselves.
F-4 Phantom II
Unit
Period -
Everybody loved the Phantom. The pilots - it got them home; the crewchiefs - great job secuirty; everyone felt with the Phantom - great jos available. Our whole base doubled the day our first F-4 landed. Great places and great people becasue of this great aircraft. Years after we had moved on from the Phantom, I was assigned to work in the vehicle maintenance shop for the last 7 years of my carreer. It was because of the President's desire to cut back the Air Guard. Anyhow, one afternoon, out of the clear blue sky, our chief told us we needed to take some equipment up to Porter County Airport for an F-4 that needed to launch out. I remember, I almost told myselft I didn't want to go. But before long we were headed out for about an 80 mile trip. We were told we were just going to drop off this ground equipment to the people up there. We were vehicle mechanics. When we arrived there was no one in sight. But I saw one of the most beautiful sights in my life. Here sat a perfectly preserved F-4D with a vietnam camoflauged paintjob that was spectacular. this was an amazing aircraft. But the thing that really floored me was the pilots names on the canopy. Capt. Steve Richey. On the side of the aircraft were painted 5 sillouetts of Mig-21's. I couldn't believe we were standing by this aircraft and no one even cared. Finally a man approached us and all he could tell was that the aircraft was going to lauch in the morning. Oh, and by the way you guys are going to take care of that aren't you? It went very well. The next morning, we had no tools. But we improvised a little to get the aircraft preflighted. And then we met the aircrew who were two of the finest gentlement you could ever meet. They seemed tounderstand perfectly that we were not the most qualified guys but that he was proud to have us. I asked him, "What is this you are doing with this aircraft?" He told me his name and that he was working for this company who had obtained an F-4D and had it painted up like his F-4. They hired him to fly it around the country to represent them. What a great honor to talk to him. We launched him out without a hich. He did a modified airshow for everyone becasue the weather didn't cooperate too well.

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