Military Connection: USAF Pilot Logs 3,000 Hours of Air Time

010205-F-1631A-001  An U.S. F-16 flies towards Rimini, Italy to join with the Italian Air Force in a training mission.   U.S. Air Forces from the 510th Fighter Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy and Italian Air Forces from the 83rd Combat Search and Rescue Squadron, Rimini, Italy, participated in a 4-day training mission from Feb. 5 to Feb. 8, 2001.  The mission involved U.S. F-16 aircrews locating and authenticating survivors and coordinate pickup with Italian rescue crews.  F-16's were also tasked with escorting helicopters to protect them from air and ground threats.  This is the first ever tasking of a full-time combat search and rescue mission for F-16's from the 510th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede)

By Debbie Gregory.

An Air Force pilot with the 79th Fighter Squadron has logged an impressive amount of time in the cockpit, the equivalent of over four months of flight time.

Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Millero Jr, Commander of the 79th Fighter Squadron, has become the 260th pilot in history to log 3,000 hours of flight time in an F-16 Fighting Falcon. If you don’t have your calculator handy, 3,000 hours is the equivalent of 125 days (3,000/24).

In his more than 19 years of combined service, Lt. Col. Millero has flown with eleven different USAF and five different Air National Guard squadrons. He has also flown three different models of the F-16, blocks 30, 40, and 50. Millero credits his exposure to the different models for providing him with a variety of skill sets as an F-16 pilot. His experience in the cockpit makes Millero an effective pilot and leader.

But even those with experience still tend to rely on good luck charms. Millero takes his father’s dog tags with him when he flies. The squadron commander says that the tags remind him of his father’s sacrifice, and the opportunities that his father’s service provided him.

Included in these hours are the 611 hours flown in combat, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Lt. Col. Millero is a Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Southern Watch.

While Millero plans to keep on flying, he intends to pass on all that he has learned to younger generations of pilots. He says that he gets the most enjoyment out of instructing others.

We at Military Connection would like to thank Lt. Col. Millero for his service and congratulate him on passing this incredible milestone. We would also like to encourage future generations of Air Force pilots to try and emulate Lt. Col. Millero’s professionalism and perseverance, and to Aim High… Fly-Fight-Win!

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Military Connection: USAF Pilot Logs 3,000 Hours: By Debbie Gregory