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Airman Magazine visits the 162nd

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Krystal Tomlin
  • 162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Two staff members from Airman Magazine visited the 162nd Fighter Wing July 7-11 to highlight the unit's international pilot training mission in the magazine's November-December edition.

Staff Sgt. J. Paul Croxon, magazine staff writer, and Master Sgt. Jack Braden, photojournalist, spent a week with unit members getting to know the 162nd for a story in an edition that will focus on the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. The story will reach a vast audience with 75,000 copies projected for distribution across the globe.

Croxon interviewed Brig. Gen. Greg Stroud, wing commander, Lt. Col. Andrew MacDonald, 148 Fighter Squadron commander and Maj. Donna Wolslagel from the International Military Student Office.

The goal is to showcase how the 162nd impacts the world-wide F-16 community, and builds relationships between the United States and other nations, said Croxon after shadowing Lt. Col. Chuck Blank's interactions with international students at the 152nd Fighter Squadron.

Croxon, who visits two-to-three bases every month, said the 162nd Fighter Wing has been one of his most rewarding assignments. The unit was very accommodating, everybody has a story to tell, and the mission is so unique, he said.

"I got to see 19 F-16s launch today," said Croxon after he and Braden followed block 60 crew chief Staff Sgt. Danny Pacheco through a morning launch. "That is not an everyday occasion at other bases."

Croxon said the unit feels like a family, and he was accepted as if he were a unit member.

Braden, who photographs Airmen around the world, said the 162nd was extremely helpful. "They have all gone out of their way to get me everything I needed," he said.

He usually only gets one flight when he visits a fighter unit, but went on two flights here. "I felt that I could fly everyday here if I needed to," said Braden.

"Hopefully we can highlight you guys the way you should be," Braden said .