173rd FW spouses see mission first-hand

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Riley Johnson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

Seventeen spouses of 173rd Fighter Wing Airmen boarded the back seat of an F-15 Eagle to experience a “hot taxi” down the runway May 6, 2018, at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore.

A spouse taxi provides dependents of Kingsley Airmen the opportunity to experience first-hand the daily operations of their loved ones and to get a first-hand look at where their significant others work.

“The event is designed to give spouses…some insight as to what we do on a daily basis,” said the event organizer, Lt. Col. Nick Huet 173rd FW F-15 instructor pilot. “It's very difficult to adequately explain how a fighter squadron functions, and events like this demystify the environment from our spouses' point of view.”

To start the day, the spouses attended a pre-flight briefing from the lead taxi instructor then donned their flight suits and helmets at aircrew flight equipment shop before heading to the aircraft.

“The taxi event includes a detailed explanation of the F-15C pre-flight inspection, ground operations, taxi, and high speed taxi down the runway,” Huet said.

Following the briefing, the pilots and their passengers stepped to the flightline and embarked for the main event of the day.

The jets progressed down the taxi-way to the main runway where they engaged the afterburner for a quick burst of speed that lifted the nose of the aircraft before slowing back down to a roll-out.

“I thought it was awesome, it gave me a new respect for what he does,” said Lindsey Thesing, wife of Maj. Joel Thesing, an F-15 instructor pilot. “You hear about it on a day-to-day basis a lot, but to actually see what he does and experience a little bit of it…it gives you an appreciation for it.”

The taxi event gave family members the opportunity to see and experience a segment of the 173rd’s air to air combat pilot training mission.

“The 173rd Fighter Wing is extremely supportive of our spouses and morale-building events,” Huet said.