June 5, 2008 (by SSgt. Samuel King Jr.) - Just over a month after a commander reached a flying milestone, another commander from the 53d Wing reached the same achievement here, June 4.
Col. Thomas Berghoff, 53d TMG commander, is congratulated by Capt. Aaron Drenth, 28th TES on June 4th, 2008 after reaching 3,000 flight hours in an F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Just over a month after a commander reached a flying milestone, another commander from the 53d Wing reached the same achievement here, June 4.
Col. Thomas Berghoff
, 53d Test Management Group commander, crossed the 3,000 hour mark in the F-16, joining an elite group of less than 150 Air Force pilots to accomplish that task.
"Flying has always been a part of my life," said the colonel. "I took my first lesson at 14, but had to wait until I was 16 to train for my private pilot's license. I've been flying ever since."
The colonel attributed reaching the milestone to the quality flying assignments he has had as well as the ground crews who put him in the air.
"I've had some great maintainers throughout my career that kept the jet flying and ensured my takeoffs equaled my landings," said the colonel, who has more than 100 combat sorties in the F-16.
When the colonel returned from his mission, friends, family and his squadron commanders came out to congratulate him on the accomplishment.
Reflecting on the milestone, Colonel Berghoff said he hasn't tired and still looks forward to strapping into the F-16 each and every time.
"Even after a 25-year-career and over 3,000 hours in the jet, I still love every minute I get to fly that airplane," he said.