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Thunderbirds announce 2009 officer selections

June 3, 2008 (by ACC-PW) - The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, commonly known as the 'Thunderbirds,' publicly announced incoming officer selections June 2 for the 2009 demonstration season.

The USAF Thunderbirds

Maj. Derek Routt, F-15C pilot stationed here, will become the operations officer and serve as the second in command for the squadron as Thunderbird No. 7.

Maj. Sean Gustafson, F-16 pilot stationed at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., will take over as Slot Pilot, Thunderbird No. 4.

Maj. Richard Goodman, an F-15E pilot stationed here, will join the team as the Opposing Solo, Thunderbird No. 6.

Capt. Jacob Hammons, F-15C pilot currently stationed at Laughlin AFB, Texas, as a T-38 instructor pilot, will become the new Left Wing as Thunderbird No. 2.

Capt. Petrina Hansen, personnel officer stationed at Misawa Air Base, Japan, will become the executive officer and Thunderbird No. 10.

Capt. Jamie Rempel, stationed at Luke AFB, Ariz., will join the team as the maintenance officer, Thunderbird No. 11.

"Each person and position is carefully selected based on the individual's record of performance, capabilities in their particular field and a demonstrated commitment to excellence that matches the Airmen we represent every day," said Lt. Col. Greg Thomas, Squadron Commander/Leader and Thunderbird No. 1.

The 2009 selections include a National Guard and Reserve pilot (Majors Routt and Gustafson, respectively) to serve on the Air Force's premier demonstration team.

"Each year we have dozens of highly capable Airmen apply for each position," said Colonel Thomas. "We select the most qualified individuals to join the team based on their overall capabilities and ability to represent all Airmen."

The Public Affairs Officer position will be selected later in the summer, due to deployment operations and an extended interview process.

The Thunderbirds are currently touring in their 55th year as the Air Force's premier jet demonstration team. The 130-person squadron represents the more than 500,000 active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen serving at home and abroad. The Thunderbirds deliver the Air Force story at air shows around the country and the world each weekend from March through November.

Courtesy of Air Combat Command Public Affairs