by Tech. Sgt. Dana Rosso
477th Fighter Group Public Affairs
5/19/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Maj.
Chad Newkirk, a Reserve F-22 pilot assigned to the 477th Fighter Group,
is the eleventh pilot in Air Force history and fourth pilot in the
477th FG to reach 1,000 flight hours in the F-22 during a sortie here in
"I am thrilled and humbled to have made it to 1,000 hours in the Raptor"
said Newkirk. "There is a ton that goes into any pilot reaching this
milestone in a relatively young airframe, and I couldn't have done it
without all the awesome support from the maintainers and the rest of our
ops support folks over the years."
Prior to joining the Air Force Reserve Newkirk spent eight years on
active duty flying F-15's and F-22's at Elmendorf AFB Alaska as well as
Langley AFB in Virginia . He separated from active duty in 2008 and
returned to Alaska to fly with the Air Force Reserve as a member of the
302nd Fighter Squadron.
Newkirk is now the fourth pilot assigned to the 477th Fighter Group to
reach the 1,000 hour milestone. Col. David Piffarerio, 477th Fighter
Group commander, was the first in the Group and the entire USAF and Maj.
Jonathan Gration, 302nd FS F-22 pilot, was the second in the Group and
the fourth in the USAF.
"I am excited to further increase the overall level of Raptor experience
in the Hellions" said Newkirk "and to continue training and employing
with our Active Duty partners."
The 477th FG is integrated in every F-22 mission set with their partners in the active duty 3rd Wing.