The Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, commonly known as the Thunderbirds, have announced incoming officer selections for the 2011 demonstration season.
“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. Case Cunningham, the squadron commander/leader and Thunderbird No. 1, in an Air Force news release.
Pilots selected for the team who currently fly a different airframe will undergo several months of F-16 familiarization training before they begin practicing the aerial demonstrations with the Thunderbird pilots.
Those selected are:
Capt. Ryan Riley, an F-16 pilot stationed at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, who will join the team as the left wing for the squadron as Thunderbird No. 2.
Capt. Nicholas Holmes, an F-16 pilot stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., who will serve as the slot for the squadron as Thunderbird No. 4.
Capt. John Williams, an F-15 pilot stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., who will take over as the opposing solo, Thunderbird No. 6.
Lt. Col. Jason Koltes, an F-16 pilot serving at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, who will join the team as the operations officer, Thunderbird No. 7.
Capt. Joshua Hawkins, stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, who will become the new executive officer, as Thunderbird No. 10.
Maj. Jason Moore, currently stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., who will serve as the maintenance officer, Thunderbird No. 11.
Selection of the next public affairs officer, Thunderbird No. 12, is delayed until late summer due to the deployed status of one of the finalists.
Staff report from the Air Force Times on Tuesday Jun 22, 2010