I know it is cliche, but I really can’t believe another year has gone by. Even more unbelievable to me is how much I have actually done this year, and some of the incredible experiences that I have had.
With all of the time I have spent all over the Pacific I have neglected this writing, which I am just now realizing was a sort of therapy that I have also been missing out on. Such is life though and all I can do is work at getting back into it.
So rather than try to cram everything into one post, I am going to work on getting out one a week or so which will hopefully give me some time to really internalize everything I have learned this year, while at the same time not overwhelming myself and then just giving up.
So here is a quick overview of some of the things I will be writing about over the next few months:
Operation Christmas Drop 2015– I have mentioned this before, and a year later I am going to actually get to it. I was on a crew for this operation which was an amazing opportunity to fly all over the islands of the Pacific bringing Christmas joy to people who live about as remotely as you possibly can in this world.
Cope North 2016- This is a massive exercise that takes place in Guam every year involving 8-9 different countries in this instance. Once again I was on a flying crew, which was one of the best crews I have ever flown with. This was the first time I had ever trained with fighter aircraft which was a whole lot of fun. As well as visiting some pretty historic sites.
Balikatan 2016- Another large-scale exercise but in the Philippines. For this exercise I went as a mission planning cell chief working at a location we had never fully manned before. While I didn’t get to do any real exciting flying, it did really open my eyes to the time and effort that is required to pull off these vitally important exercises.
Red Flag Alaska 2016- Surprise, surprise, another exercise, though most people who have interest in military aviation have likely heard of it, or at least the Nellis AFB version. While I was back to flying for this exercise, it is structured differently than the other exercises so I also did a massive amount of mission planning. It was some of the most incredible flying I have ever done, with a fun crew, and some amazing off duty time in the awe-inspiring Alaskan mountains.
Becoming an evaluator Not exactly an exciting flying adventure, but something that has shaped the way I view being a flyer. I have written numerous times about how much I love instructing, and evaluating has only deepened my love of instruction, but on a much deeper level.
Operation Christmas Drop 2016- This year I went as the mission planning cell chief and there are few times I have worked so many hours and felt so completely fulfilled by what I have done. To be very clear, there are a lot of people who did a lot of work to make this operation happen, and it was an honor to be a part of it. It will be hard to beat the value of this experience in my life.
So there it is. I am sure I forgot events that I will write about as well. It seems so short listing them all like this, but I am excited to go back and relive all of these experiences again. I know it will put a lot of smiles on my face, and I hope that you will find some enjoyment from reading about it. Thank you for all of your support in the past, and I look forward to your comments in the future.