Raptor pilot to show skills worldwide

  • Published
  • By 1st. Lt. Amanda Ferrell
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force's first F-22 Raptor demonstration pilot was selected from the 43rd Fighter Squadron here. 

Maj. Paul Moga, 43rd FS assistant director of operations, will be relocating to the home station of the F-22 demonstration team, Langley AFB, Va., to begin training for upcoming airshow circuits. 

Air Combat Command considered all qualified Raptor pilots for the two-year assignment. 

"The demo certification process is fairly in-depth," said Major Moga. "I'll start by getting certified on Heritage Flights, then move onto practicing the 'demo profile' and receive certification from ACC leadership." 

Demonstration-specific training will be conducted at Langley AFB, but it all began here with initial F-22 qualifying training. 

"I learned how to fly this jet in the 43rd FS, and I learned how to instruct this jet in the 43rd FS. All the experience I have in this jet is due to the efforts of the 43rd FS and the 43rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit," said Major Moga. 

"The American Hornets demand absolute dedication to getting the mission done perfectly each and every day - that's our legacy," said 

Lt. Col. Michael Stapleton, 43rd FS commander. "I cannot say enough about every one of the instructors here, including Max Moga. I'm very proud of them all." 

Demonstration qualification training for the F-22 will require approximately 20 flights and multiple simulator missions. Demonstration pilots also receive training to prepare them for public appearances and interaction with the media. 

Major Moga will execute Heritage Flight duties for his first year while the low-level demonstration routine is perfected. The complete high-speed, low-level demonstration acts are planned to be showcased during the 2008 Airshow season. 

"The aerial demonstration mission is important to the Raptor community," he said. "We need to get this jet out to the public so they can see with their own eyes what it can do in the visual maneuvering arena." 

Many people have worked very, very hard to bring this jet and its capacities to the Air Force, and they deserve to view the fruits of their labor as well, he said. 

One of the primary missions of aerial demonstration teams is to showcase aircraft assets and gain public interest in the Air Force. 

"I can't imagine anything more motivating than watching an F-22 execute a demo profile," said Major Moga. "I'm looking forward to getting this jet out for the general public to see and be proud of. When they watch the Heritage and demonstration flights, they'll hopefully be reminded even more of how great a nation we live in." 

The complete demonstration team, which will be composed of Raptor maintainers, crew chiefs and other support assets, will be established early next year. 

"If I can make one more person feel patriotic, my job is a success," said Major Moga.