IF THEY HAD TOLD ME GIRLS CAN’T BE FIGHTER PILOTS, I WOULDN’T BE HERE TODAY.
During the first 58 years of the Air Force Thunderbirds, there had never been a female demonstration pilot. So when Lt Col Malachowski decided to throw her helmet into the ring, history was not exactly on her side. But after 10 years, thousands of hours in the cockpit and an intense application process, she got the call to don the emblem of America’s Ambassadors in Blue, paving the way for future female pilots.
1000 FLIGHT HOURS
26 COMBAT MISSIONS
5, 676 MANEUVERS
132 AIR SHOWS
IF IT LEFT THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH, IT WAS PROBABLY GOING TO FILL MY IMAGINATION.
Like every other kid, Col Alvin Drew dreamed of becoming an astronaut. So after graduating from the Air Force Academy and assignments as a helicopter pilot and then a test pilot, he was selected by NASA to be a Mission Specialist. In 2007, his childhood dream came true when he flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavor and then returned to space in 2011 on the final mission of Space Shuttle Discovery.
COL DREW HAS PILOTED OVER 40 DIFFERENT AIRCRAFT
WHEN YOU ARE INJURED, PEOPLE TELL YOU WHAT YOU CAN’T DO. I DON’T BELIEVE IN THAT.
From the beginning, MSgt Paul Horton seemed destined for a greater purpose. After he was selected to become an EOD technician, he was immediately called upon following 9/11. During his deployment, MSgt Horton led 739 combat missions, disabled more than 470 bombs and overcame unimaginable injuries on his way to earning three Bronze Stars for valor and being named one of 20 national heroes by the President.
KORENGAL, AFGHANISTAN, 2008
DESPITE BEING WOUNDED BY A ROCKET GRENADE, HE CARRIES TWO INJURED TEAM MEMBERS TO SAFETY.
CAMP LEATHERNECK, AFGHANISTAN, 2009
MSGT HORTON SPENDS FOUR DAYS SAVING A 93-TRUCK SUPPLY CONVOY TRAPPED IN A MINEFIELD.
HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN, 2010
A BOMB GOES OFF BETWEEN MSGT HORTON AND HIS COMMANDER. UNABLE TO SEE OR HEAR AND LOSING BLOOD, HE IS ABLE TO CALL OFF APPROACHING TROOPS BEFORE MORE IEDS EXPLODE.
KIRKUK, IRAQ, 2006
SENSING A TRAP, MSGT HORTON SAVES AN EIGHT-MAN PATROL FROM ENTERING A WAREHOUSE WIRED WITH EXPLOSIVES.
I WENT FROM NOT KNOWING WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO THE NEXT DAY TO HAVING A CAREER.
As a young girl, Capt Petra Holloway worked as a migrant farmworker and shared a two-bedroom trailer with her parents and 17 brothers and sisters. But she wanted a different future for herself. So after high school, Capt Holloway joined the Air Force and was so inspired by the care provided to fellow service members she decided to become a nurse. Today she is fulfilling her two passions: helping others and serving in the Air Force.
WE WERE NOT THERE TO SET A RECORD. WE WERE THERE TO GATHER INFORMATION.
More than 50 years before Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team performed their historic jump from the edge of space, Col Joseph Kittinger set the bar. As the 1950s were coming to a close, the Air Force was flying jets higher and faster than ever. So Col Kittinger helped to develop a new parachute system. To test the equipment, he performed a series of high-altitude jumps including one from a record 20 miles up.
RECORD FOR THE HIGHEST SKYDIVE
RECORD FOR THE FASTEST UNASSISTED SPEED BY A HUMAN
RECORD FOR THE LONGEST FREE FALL
MOST OF US OPERATED NONSTOP WITHOUT SLEEP FOR THE FIRST 40 HOURS.
Within hours after a 7.0 earthquake devastated much of Haiti, a small Air Force team from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron was on its way to Port-au-Prince. With the air traffic control tower out of commission, they quickly created their own using a card table and handheld radios. After just 25 minutes, the Combat Controllers guided in the first plane delivering aid and over the next 12 days, orchestrated the largest single-runway operation in history.