Started out on Phantoms (F4E) at Hahn AFB in the fall of 1981 as a Pneudraulic Specialist and transitioned with the wing to F-16's and worked on them there for 3 years total. It was a privelege to be assigned to Hahn and live in Germany during that cold war era. I was an 18 year old fresh out of High School ready to set the Bear on fire and do my part for NATO. The only thing that sucked at Hahn were the alert exercises we frequently had which required us to wear the gas masks for hours on end. I hated that part of it all. But it was the cold war and the likelyhood of a nuclear attack was real and very close. It was unique being a part of the big transition over to the F-16 at that time. I can remember walking through the snow and into the big hangar in the Blue Zoo and seeing an F-16 for the first time. It looked so sleek like a sports car and didnt quite seem adequate by appearance to fill the shoes of the phantoms. It proved itself over the course of time and I have never looked back since. Good time to be at Hahn.
Current or Favourite assignment
The FIghting tenth was my home squadron for 3 years at Hahn. We called it the Blue Zoo and bragged that we were the best squadron of the three. Our Squadron had the best of the F-16 Jocks and maintainers and we proved it at Gunsmoke and RedFlag.
Delhoya and Eberhardt were among some of our greatest jocks. I remember crew ciefing then LT. COL Eberhardt who was our squadron commander at the time. Eberhardt later went on to become a famous General in command of NORAD. Wild isnt it? He was always so friendly with us Mechs and CHiefs. We had multiple TDY's to Zaragoza and Incirlik to get to know the fine people in this squadron. We were very busy with getting the wing up to par for its role in deterring the Soviet and Warsaw pack threat. Good times.
On one particular assignment to Incirlik Turkey, I was priveleged to be the crew chief that launched Lt Gen Goodall in one of his first F-16 qualification flights. The aircraft was 80-608. He took forever to get through his checklist and taxi out, but it was fun launching him that day. On another TDY to Zaragoza, I was selected by Captain Glick to get a back seat incentive ride. What a thrill that was and one flight I will never forget. I rode in the back of 82-035 which was a B-model that was built in Belgium. It was brand new and just got accepted by us at Hahn. My pilot was Lt Erickson. Our chase or wingman was Lt Jeff Childs in 80-564. I have some great photos of that flight and will be posting them on this website soon. I will never forget the great times and people in the Blue Zoo 10th.
80-616 was my aircraft during a deploymet to Zaragoza spain. I launched both squadron commanders in this aircraft at different times. First Lt Col Eberhardt and then Lt Col Baldwin. Unfortunately, 616 went on to serve in Italy after its tour with the ANG and was then lost in a crash. Actually, this aircraft is the one I was certified on as crew chief for the 10th.
INcirlik Turkey, Launched Lt Gen Goodall on one of his first F-16 checkrides right after his qualification in the aircraft. Longest time in the chalks. I am sure he wanted to be very careful to go exactly by his checklist and make no mistakes. You know how these desk jockies get after too much time spent out of the cockpit. Great guy. Very fun experience.
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