HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Two 49th Wing F-16 Viper pilots participated in an all-Black aircrew fly-in, Feb. 18, here.
Capt. Andre Golson, 8th Fighter Squadron instructor pilot, and Capt. Michael Craig, 311th FS IP, participated in the flight memorializing the historical achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen.
“I am honored to be able to integrate with some of our Air Force’s great aviators and maintainers from Fairchild and McChord AFB,” said Golson. “This fly-in is a testament to the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen and celebrates our heritage during Black History Month.”
A total of 21 Black Airmen from various Wings across the Air Force integrated F-16, C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker operations, simulating the training and execution of the Tuskegee Airmen. The simulated activities include mission planning, aircraft maintenance, cross country flight and tactical training.
“Growing up, I had multiple inspirations for wanting to be a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen being amongst those inspirations,” said Craig. “I am proud and excited to be a part of this fly-in.”
The valor and dedication of the Tuskegee Airmen paved the way for more representation and opportunities in the pilot community.
“I think the Tuskegee Airmans’ legacy inspires future generations by continuing to spread the history and heritage toward Black youth and the adversity they triumphed over,” said Craig. “Their legacy can be applied to whatever adversity anyone is going through to have the resilience to fight and accomplish their goals.”
This event honored the Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first Black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Their legacy inspired and will continue to inspire current, past and future military and civilian aviators across the globe.
“Representation matters. Seeing someone that looks like you, or is from the same area as you can drastically affect what you think is achievable as an impressionable youth,” said Golson. “We can find talent in all neighborhoods, schools and pockets of the world. We owe the Airmen of tomorrow a diverse military willing to consider all walks of life for all jobs, because we all are capable.”