2014 with the Juvats
From Osan AB to Alaska, Seoul to Busan, and everywhere in between the Headhunters had an action packed and productive year in 2014. Bottom line up front, flying with the 80th Fighter Squadron at Kunsan remains the best place to cut one’s teeth as a young punk learning the Viper, or for the fossils, to stay in the cockpit of the F-16 when the modern Air Force is making every effort to send them to white jets, or worse, a staff tour. Between Opsat scenarios against the SA-2’s, the occasional CT BFM sortie, sweeps to A-Town, and singing in Brunigan’s, the 8th FW remains the last bastion of the fighter pilot.
Throughout 2014, the Juvats alone flew 4511.5 hours in 3,507 sorties.
The 80th FS deployed three times, in the Spring to Gwangju for Max Thunder, then in early Fall to Eielson AFB, AK for Red Flag 14-3, and finally to Osan AB for a month during the runway repair in October. Battle damage was limited to one injured cranium (careful on those steps, Demon), one broken nose (you had him, Spike), and many beaten-down egos thanks to the local feminine talent in Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seoul, Busan etc (all punks, especially Archer). The casualties were well worth the reward however, as few experiences in life compare to the first time you shoot a 690 lb Maverick off the wing of a jet fighter, or lead a four ship down the “Star Wars” canyon on the low level in Alaska next to 12,000’ peaks. Successfully deploying 12 jets across the Pacific for a month, surviving several nameings, Meet AJ’s, and farewells, as well as a fishing trip with a catch large enough for 180 people was a testament to the 80th EFS. There was no rest for the weary.
Under the leadership of Lt Col “Trip” Raymond (Dos Gringos and Juvat Boys Choir retired), the Juvats are moving forward into 2015 with a solid cadre of pilots and maintainers. On the scope for 2015 is the planned return of the Hollandia Air-to-Air competition, tentatively planned for May, and a potential deployment to Singapore for Commando Sling later in the year. While the faces may change, the Juvat heritage remains strong, 73 years on.
What is Good?
Capt Sean “Notch” Foote, Juvat Boys Choir Lead