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Air Guard wing commander flies with Blue Angels

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mary Thach
  • 155 ARW/Public Affairs
The commander of the 155th Air Refueling Wing, Col. Richard J. Evans III, flew as a passenger in a U.S. Navy Blue Angels jet during the Guardians of Freedom Airshow practice, Sept. 8, in Lincoln, Neb.

The colonel was qualified to fly in the F/A-18 Hornet with some of the most highly trained pilots in the country due to his experience as an RF-4C Phantom II navigator when the 155th ARW was previously known as the 155th Tactical Reconnaissance Group.

The Blue Angels pilots are highly conditioned to perform difficult maneuvers without wearing a G-suit while flying, so Evans followed suit. G-suits are worn by pilots to prevent loss of consciousness when flying under high levels of acceleration force.

Evans said he was able to tolerate the level of G's and sheer speed of the aircraft, but the experience would strain one's body if not conditioned to that environment.

"I haven't pulled any Gs in a long time, but it was fun, and obviously with their professionalism and how close they fly, it's staggering to the average person," said Evans. "Very impressive."

After his ride of a lifetime was over, the colonel said he felt a little tired, but was amazed to see the entire airshow from the sky.