Celebrity Backseaters

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Gamera

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Unread post12 Feb 2011, 02:36

Tata takes to the skies again

BANGALORE, February 11, 2011

The Tata Group chairperson looked composed as he was briefed by the company officials before take-off.
Mr. Tata, who holds a commercial pilot's licence, had flown a Lockheed Martin F-16 during the sixth Aero India show in 2007.
“It was a great experience. Compared to the last flight, there was not much of a change but [it] felt better [this time],” Mr. Tata said.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/article1328043.ece
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Unread post12 Feb 2011, 06:09

I can see him walkin' into a board meeting proudly sporting his name patch: Ratan "Bodacious" Tata. :wink:

From the article:

The Super Hornet belongs to the United States Air Force, and comes from VFA 106 Squadron stationed at Oceania in Virginia.
Oh really?! :lol:

The spokesperson said Mr. Tata could not fly in the 2009 air show as he had a busy schedule, but agreed to fly this time.
"Owwwww!!! Stop twisting my arm! I'll fly! I'll fly already!! Jeeez!!" :P
Why does "monosyllabic" have 5 syllables?
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Unread post12 Feb 2011, 15:43

The same Tata that bought Jaguar/Land Rover automobile company?
FB-111A Pease AFB 82-87
A-10A Suwon AB ROK 87-88
FB-111A/F-111G Pease AFB 88-90
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Unread post12 Feb 2011, 22:18

Edward James Almos, Homestead, 306th
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Unread post12 Feb 2011, 23:43

The Times of India wrote:Flying F-16 easier than disobeying dad: Shahid
Sruthy Susan Ullas, TNN, Feb 13, 2011, 02.48am IST

BANGALORE: Eating a banana and laughing loudly leaning on the verandah railings, Shahid Kapoor looked at ease in the dark green jumpsuit even minutes before he was to enter the F-16. After all, he has been doing it for the past one year for his latest movie Mausam, with Sonam Kapoor.

The Bollywood hero was at the aero show on Saturday and took a ride on a Lockheed Martin F-16 super viper. After a flight that lasted almost an hour, complete with complicated manoeuvres, he came out all smiles and athumbs-up sign, to be greeted by his fans and dad, Pankaj Kapoor.

Shahid arrived in a black and green outfit at around 2.15pm to the Lockheed Martin stall. Having changed into the jumpsuit with a helmet in hand, he addressed the media as aircraft flew in the background.

"Dad is directing a movie (Mausam) in which I am playing the role of an air force officer. I am trying to gain as much experience as I can for it. The producer and dad were keen that I get first-hand experience," he said.

"It was unbelievable. The experience could not be defined, it needs to be felt. We were on a mission. We went upto 10,000 feet and then the pilot let me hold the stick. We did dog fights and took a 360 degree turn. We went upto 6G, where we feel six times our body weight," he said.

"This is a privilege, a prestigious opportunity that civilians will not get. I think I am the first Indian actor to fly an F-16," he said.

When asked whether he was scared before getting into the aircraft, he said, "I think there's a little bit of anxiety somewhere. But, I am very excited. The fear is hidden because of the excitement. Disobeying dad is even more difficult," he joked. He was seen hugging his dad and friends before going for the flight.

Shahid was undergoing training, meant both for the movie and this flight, for almost one year. "It was mainly meant for maintaining my physique. Now, I just had some time in the simulator in order to get a feel of the atmosphere inside the cockpit. Flying is a bad habit. It's very addictive!" he said.

Shahid recalled how he wanted to become a pilot when he was a child. "When I grew up, I knew it was not for me and tried other areas. I have utmost respect for the Air Force pilots. They are the real heroes of the country," he added. "People should get to know about their lives and be inspired by the initiative (movie). The movie is a love story. The Air Force becomes a big and brave part of it. I am not competing with any of the movies made earlier on the same themes," said Pankaj Kapoor.

source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city ... 484735.cms


Deccan Herald wrote:Shahid flight adds drama to air show
Rasheed Kappan Bangalore:

Bollywood heartthrob Shahid Kapoor and his director actor dad Pankaj Kapoor wanted a starry promotion for their impending film ''Mausam.'' Lockheed Martin looked around for a celebrity to hard-sell its Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft contender, F-16 IN Super Viper. Aero-India 2011 wanted a hero, and the media couldn't wait to wrap it all in a package.

Image

But the much-hyped Shahid Kapoor flight on the F-16 had to tide over high drama, triggered by a Lockheed Martin plain-clothed security person’s haughty remark on the media. Awaiting the star’s arrival on the tarmac, the big media contingent couldn’t digest the condescending statement and threatened an event boycott. The action was about to begin.

The heat was really on the actor. Eventually, Shahid appeared, worked his characteristic charisma on the media and all seemed well. The security man apologised and beat a hasty retreat.

Exhilarating ride
Before the sun set on the air show’s penultimate day, Shahid had endured the Super Viper’s twists and turns, loops and Gs. “It was an exhilarating ride. When the aircraft took off, I felt the excitement get me. It was a dream come true, indeed,” he gushed, and thanked the pilot for communicating throughout the dramatic flight.

Dad Pankaj Kapoor by his side, Shahid talked about “Mausam,” where he plays an Indian Air Force (IAF) officer. “The idea was to get a first-hand experience of flying on a fighter aircraft. Dad wanted it from an IAF base. Thanks to Lockheed Martin, I have had the privilege of becoming the first actor to fly the F-16. Such an opportunity doesn’t come by as a civilian,” he told the media. For Kapoor, it was a momentous realisation of a childhood ambition. “Flying is beautiful. Being a pilot is every child’s fantasy. You get the I-own-the-world feeling up there. Gives you that sense of total freedom,” quipped the “Kaminey” star. But was he scared, did he hesitate before taking that F-16 plunge, was it risky? “When dad gives you instructions, how can you say no? Yes, there was some anxiety, but the excitement was much more.” To be safe, he had to clear all the pre-flight medical tests and do the simulator grind. In the end, the only person he missed was his “Mausam” heroine, Sonam Kapoor, who was far away in New Zealand.

source: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/137 ... a-air.html
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Unread post13 Feb 2011, 05:04

Shahid flight adds drama to air show


Does any one have the serial number of the jet?
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Unread post14 Feb 2011, 16:51

The unsung hero

Monday 14 February 2011

It was Cdr Paul Randall, who informed Shahid Kapoor, about the features of F-16.

Source: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/137 ... -hero.html
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Unread post25 May 2011, 08:49

Boston Herald wrote:BenJarvus Green-Ellis gets his kicks flying F-16 fighter jet
Sky’s the limit

By Ian R. Rapoport
Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Locked out of Gillette Stadium like his fellow players, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has used the offseason to spread his wings.

And he has been flying.

Green-Ellis began boxing at a famous gym in Miami. He joined a group of NFL players for workouts in at least two cities. He even started a Twitter account.

For the Patriots [team stats] running back, it hasn’t been boring. And nothing Green-Ellis did prepared him for where he was Monday — soaring through the mountains above Colorado Springs aboard a U.S. Air Force-owned F-16 fighter plane, taking instructions from the pilot flipping at 500 mph.

Green-Ellis flew with the famed Thunderbirds, taking a thrill ride that left him humbled and even more appreciative of the country’s military.

“This was a breathtaking experience,” Green-Ellis said. “Those F-16s are no joke. It’s like, wow. It was a tremendous honor and just to get in there and see what the military goes through, what they use when they’re fighting, that was just neat.”

He spent his college days at Ole Miss being cheered or jeered by 100,000 fans. In the pros, he’s scored touchdowns in front of 60,000. And he’s not sure it compared to riding with his face on fire.

“You go from zero to 500 miles an hour so fast, faster than any other thing you get on in this world,” Green-Ellis said. “And it’s not like a regular plane where it gradually takes off. You go straight up in the air like a rocket ship.”

The Thunderbirds are the Air Force’s demonstration squadron, showing off their skills with precision aerial maneuvers. They are flying for the Air Force Academy’s graduation today, and Green-Ellis joined them two days before after they e-mailed him with the opportunity.

“I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.

The studious player, who rushed for 1,008 yards in 2010, didn’t get to fly without a little education. For four hours, he was briefed by doctors, learned how to use the parachute, tested his oxygen tank, figured out his ejector seat, made sure his microphone worked and found the scanners.

Asked if all those precautions hammered home how scary it all is, Green-Ellis likened it to a commercial flight.

“It was well worth it to know for your safety,” he said.

Jumping in the cockpit, Green-Ellis’ eyes were opened quickly. The plane ascended in a blink, battling gravity to reach the proper altitude. It all left him feeling like he was trying to break a tackle.

“Like about 30,000 pounds of weight being pushed up on you,” he said, “and you’re being glued to the seat because you’re going so fast.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Green-Ellis was handed the wheel. When they gained some clearing, the pilot let him steer. For a few brief moments, he was flying the plane.

“It’s just like a video game or like driving a car,” Green-Ellis said. “I was flying 90 degrees. We were flying sideways.”

Through the mountains they went, over Pikes Peak, over snow-capped mountains, around little towns nestled in the hills. And all along the way, there were lessons to be learned.

“It’s a combat plane,” Green-Ellis said. “And he showed me how they fly through mountains sideways to duck radar scanners.”

It wasn’t just the speed that left him shaking his head in appreciation. He was struck by the amount of people employed to create a fully functioning plane.

“It had me take my hat off to the Air Force for what they do,” said Green-Ellis, who flew East yesterday to keep training. “It really showed me how much teamwork was involved in everything. Because it’s not just a pilot, it’s not just the quarterback who gets a lot of the glory for throwing touchdowns. But there are a lot of guys involved in the upkeep of the $20-$30 million plane. It’s all those guys working together.”

irapoport@bostonherald.com | Visit Ian R. Rapoport’s blog, The Rap Sheet
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9fb8a7_25greenellis3.jpg
TAKING TO THE AIR: BenJarvus Green-Ellis prepares to board his fighter plane, and gets some instructions from members of the Thunderbirds.
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Unread post02 Aug 2011, 20:10

darkvarkguy wrote:The same Tata that bought Jaguar/Land Rover automobile company?
yes. and a couple other things besides.
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Unread post02 Sep 2011, 19:18

113 FW - DCANG wrote:113th Wing hosts Maryland Congressmember
by Tech. Sgt Craig Clapper
113th Wing Public Affairs

7/27/2011 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The 113th Wing, District of Columbia Air National Guard hosted and provided an orientation flight to a U.S. Congress member June 29 here.

U.S. Representative Donna Edwards, from Maryland's 4th Congressional District, received an orientation flight in a 113 WG, F-16D, Fighting Falcon aircraft.

The purpose of Rep. Edwards' visit and flight was to gain a better insight into the daily operations of an Air National Guard unit. Rep. Edwards recalled flying with the 201st Airlift squadron, but was not entirely familiar with the mission of the Air National Guard.

Rep. Edwards represents D.C. Air Guard members who reside in Prince Georges and Montgomery counties. Raised in a military family, Rep Edwards has supported military and veteran's affairs issues and has worked on the sub committees for space and aeronautics. Flying in a fighter aircraft happened to be a life-long desire.

"My father was a career Air Force man and I have been around the military community for a long time" Edwards said, adding "you guys are the professionals, the experts, and it's amazing what you can do. This is a very exciting day!"

Rep. Edwards was not the only one excited about her flight on this day. Staff Sgt. Jessie McCarley, 121 Fighter Squadron survival and egress instructor, instructed Ms. Edwards on what to do should a mishap happen during the flight. After demonstrating how to properly eject from the aircraft and land safely, with minimal injury, Sergeant McCarley felt very confident that Rep. Edwards was ready to fly.

"Ms. Edwards showed great enthusiasm and confidence," Sergeant McCarley said. "Perhaps the stressors of her job prepared her for the training and the flight. She was very excited both before and after the flight."

Rep. Edwards was accompanied by her legislative correspondent, Jay Bluford. He was able to see all the training that pilots, and crew members go through prior to flight and expressed his enthusiasm (and a hint of jealously) for the flight Rep. Edwards was about to undertake.
"I have always wanted to fly but today is her chance," said Mr. Bluford. He jokingly added "so when is my turn?"

Rep. Edwards experienced some typical exhaustion from the flight but she was enthusiastic about the prospect of a future flight aboard another fighter.
"I had a blast," said Rep. Edwards."It was a lot of fun and I would definitely do it [fly] again if given the chance."

source: http://www.113wg.ang.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123265656
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110629-F-XI167-074.jpg
Rep. Donna Edwards stands in front of an F-16C block 30 #85-1509 prior to her flight with the 121st FS on June 29, 2011. This was the congresswoman’s first time aboard a fighter jet, a life-long desire. [USAF photo by TSgt. Craig Clapper]
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Unread post04 Sep 2011, 19:21

http://www.onlineamd.com/aerospace-manu ... 83111.aspx

Local hero to fly with U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

North East Ohio man chosen among area’s community heroes for ride of lifetime in F-16.

August 31, 2011

For the first time in Cleveland National Air Show history, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will fly a local community hero selected from among the dozens of nominations for its Hometown Hero program.

Kevin Edmond, a fire battalion chief from Mentor, was selected for the ride scheduled to take off Thursday, Sept. 1.
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Unread post21 Sep 2011, 17:20

Gina Bullard flying high in an F-16
South Burlington, Vermont - September 14, 2011

You know the saying: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again? Well, that's what we did. This is my second time walking out on the tarmac at the Vermont Air National Guard. A glitch in my first planned F-16 flight kept me on the ground.

Source: http://www.wcax.com/story/15465334/gina ... in-an-f-16


Maj. Matt Edson's <a href="http://www.f-16.net/callsigns.html">call sign</a> is Sqwirl.

Reporter Gina Bullard: "Where did you get the name Sqwirl?"
Maj. Matt Edson: "I can't talk about that. You don't want to know."

Source: http://www.wcax.com/story/15455058/gina ... a-lifetime
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Unread post29 Sep 2011, 19:54

USAF wrote:Four decades of service come to a close for senior Air Force civilian
by Margaret Breihan
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs


9/29/2011 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- It's the wonderful people that he's worked with that have made 43 years in the Air Force such a great experience, said William Davidson.

Davidson, the administrative assistant to the secretary of the Air Force, will retire in a ceremony here Sept. 30.

"They always say you'll know when to leave." He said. "I want to leave when I'm at the top of my game, and I can make the transition as smooth as possible. My wife and I are high school sweethearts, and now I want to give back to her and the rest of the family by cheering at my grandchildren's games."

<b>Looking back</b>
Davidson said his love of the Air Force, and of the sky, began at an early age. His father was a veteran World War II flyer and a commercial pilot. Davidson said he also wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force, but his eyesight was too poor. The backup plan was to keep the Air Force in his future and integrate another of his interests: law enforcement.

"A position with (Air Force Office of Special Investigations) seemed to be the best of both worlds," he said.

Just seven days after graduating from Florida State University's ROTC program, he was offered a position as a polygrapher with AFOSI.

At AFOSI, Davidson worked his way into leadership positions, eventually becoming the chief of the Air Force Polygraph Program. He was also inducted into the AFOSI Hall of Fame.

Prior to retiring as a colonel in 1990, he served as the deputy for security and investigative programs with the Office of the Administrative Assistant. Entering the civilian service immediately after his military retirement, he first served as the deputy administrative assistant until 1994 when he assumed the administrative assistant position.

Among a multitude of responsibilities, the administrative assistant is also the senior career civilian adviser to the secretary of the Air Force.

<b>A mentor</b>
Throughout his career, 22 years in uniform then 21 as a senior executive service civilian, Davidson said he has worked hard to follow the examples of those who helped him find his way to success.

"When I was coming into the service there were a lot of World War II veterans who were still in the service who showed me the ropes, mentoring me," he said. "Mentorship has always been a part of my Air Force experience."

Davidson grew from mentee to mentor.

"He's the person people constantly seek out for advice," said Doug Thomas, the former National Counterintelligence principal deputy director, one of Davidson's mentees.

Tim Beyland, the Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel, said he is still learning from Davidson in preparation for taking over Davidson's duties. Beyland has been selected to be the next administrative assistant to the secretary.

<b>Adaptation</b>
Davidson said he not only helped his mentees and co-workers deal with security-related issues throughout his career, he also witnessed many social, technological and political changes that have caused the Air Force to evolve.

"In the beginning of my career, I saw the breaking down of racial barriers... then came the introduction of women into the service... and more recently the somewhat uneasy transition to pilotless flight," he said. "The Air Force needs to adjust more quickly to social and technological changes than other branches of service do, and we adjust well."

Davidson helped senior leaders in the Air Force and the Defense Department deal with the biggest security adjustments in recent history -- security issues in a post-9/11 world.

"(Davidson) has fundamentally changed the way the Defense Department looks at security," Beyland said. "He has changed it from dealing with an individual security incident to coming up with a concept that prevents the incident from happening."

"You watch how he navigates through so many technical areas and comes up with an ideal solution for whatever scenario you think of," said Robert Corsi, Davidson's deputy. "He has the ability to understand the dynamics of a situation and is able to assimilate all that and navigate a way ahead, no matter how complicated the issue. (Davidson) is such a revolutionary, evolutionary, thinker that instead of adjusting to change, he drives change."

<b>Recognition</b>
Throughout his career, Davidson has achieved an impressive collection of military and civilian service awards, to include two Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Awards, which recognizes him as part of the top one percent of the most valued federal government career civilian leaders.

"(Davidson) actually had three careers in the Air Force: serving in uniform as a cop and investigator, serving as a staff officer, and finally serving as the senior civilian advisor to the secretary of the Air Force," said Michael Donley, the secretary of the Air Force. "With over 20 years working in the Office of the Administrative Assistant, (Davidson) has been the go-to person for anyone who wants to know how to get something done in the Air Force, in the Pentagon and beyond. His knowledge and experience have provided continuity to our Air Force, which is a critical contribution on a day-to-day basis, but absolutely essential in times of crisis and transition."

Davidson said he is confident in the abilities of those who will continue on after his retirement.

"Now people are talking a lot about my legacy, and as I see it, legacy is what you leave behind," he said. "As I look up and down these halls, I see people who I've mentored are now leading the Air Force, and who happen to be good friends. The Airmen coming in are really bright and smart."

source: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123273956
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040730-F-0201C-025.jpg
William Davidson, the administrative assistant to the secretary of the Air Force, prepares for an incentive flight aboard an F-16 from the 555th FS at Aviano AFB. Davidson retires Sept. 30 after more than 17 years as the administrative assistant and 43 ye
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Unread post01 Oct 2011, 04:31

Lou Holtz of Notre Dame football coaching fame got a lift at the 46th Test Wing at Eglin AFB 'round about June of 09. Tail #87-0836, I believe, though I could be off on that detail.
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Unread post12 Oct 2011, 20:54

Racer wrote:Hildebrand starts high at Vegas with the Air Force Thunderbirds
October 12, 2011

National Guard Panther Racing driver JR Hildebrand took time out from his preparations for this weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series finale for a visit to Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas, where the United States Air Force Thunderbirds gave the 23-year-old IndyCar rookie the opportunity to fly in one of their F-16 fighter jets. While he knew he was in for an awesome ride, he didn't expect it to turn into an active role in flying the plane itself!

Almost soon as they'd taken off, Captain Nick Holmes – fittingly the Thunderbirds pilot No. 4 – was going to allow the Indy 500 Rookie of the Year to fly the plane himself.

"It seemed like soon as we got up on the air, the pilot says, ‘Hey man, you wanna fly the plane?'" Hildebrand said. “I was thinking, ‘Are you kidding me?'”

While Hildebrand was allowed to maneuver the jet during the ride, the real flying was done by Capt. Holmes, who took JR on a ride that included barrel rolls, a full loop, aileron rolls, flying inverted (upside down), a mock bombing run and pulling a 9G turn – a move that earned Hildebrand a 9G pin, a commemorative pin for the few who have pulled that level of gravity in an aircraft. The flight averaged roughly 500mph while they reached a speed just under Mach 1 flying over the picturesque Sierra Nevada mountains.

“I was freaking out when we pulled nine Gs; you feel like your eyes are popping out of your head,” Hildebrand explained. “This was just an unbelievable experience that far exceeded my expectations. And what was cool about this, too, was being able to fly in the No. 4 jet, we're proud of that number and it's pretty cool to see the other side of that here with Captain Holmes and all these guys with the Thunderbirds who work so hard on all this equipment.”

Capt. Holmes, who is referred to simply as “Number Four” around Nellis Air Force Base, is the "slot" in the Thunderbirds lineup, meaning his airplane flies in the position directly behind Pilot Number One, who is the lead – or point – of the Thunderbirds historic diamond formation.

“He did an awesome job,” Capt. Holmes said of Hildebrand afterward. “It was such a thrill to show the other Number Four how our team works. It's always an honor to be able to showcase the pride, professionalism and teamwork embodied by America's airmen every day.”

It was the thrill of a lifetime for Hildebrand, the self-described “adrenaline junkie,” who told Panther officials at the time of his signing last December that two things he wanted to do this season was fly in an F-16 and jump out of a plane. He marked the first off the list on Tuesday and National Guard officials have already agreed to arrange for him to jump out of a plane after he recovers from ACL knee surgery which is scheduled shortly after the season concludes this Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Thunderbirds noted that when NASCAR driver Carl Edwards flew with them earlier this year, he won the subsequent Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that weekend and gave them the trophy to put on display at Nellis.

“So no pressure, right?” Hildebrand joked with the pilots and crew. “I'd be happy to take Rookie of the Year this weekend, for sure. I'm just not sure I'll get the same adrenaline rush standing up there with the trophy as I got from these guys.”

source: http://www.racer.com/hildebrand-starts- ... le/214208/



Capt. Nicholas Holmes, a slot pilot assigned to the Air Demonstration Squadron - the Thunderbirds, and IndyCar driver J.R. Hildebrand take off in a F-16D at Nellis AFB on October 11th, 2011. [USAF photo by SSgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.]


JR Hildebrand, IndyCar driver, poses by his name before launching out for his Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcon flight on October 11th, 2011 at Nellis AFB. Hildebrand, driver of the number four National Guard car for Panther Racing, came to Las Vegas to compete in the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. [USAF photo by SSgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.]
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