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News > Academy grad hits 3,000-flight-hour milestone
Joint Base Balad pilot completes flying milestone
Lt. Col. Robert D. Whitehouse taxies on the flightline at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, after reaching his 3,000th flying hour in the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft June 23, 2011. Only 214 other F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots have made this accomplishment. Colonel Whitehouse is the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group deputy commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jennifer Seidl)
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Academy grad hits 3,000-flight-hour milestone

Posted 6/24/2011   Updated 6/24/2011 Email story   Print story


by Maj. Pamela Carroll
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

6/24/2011 - JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq -- In 1985, Robert D. Whitehouse joined the Air Force as a cadet at the Air Force Academy because of patriotism and a call to public service, with the dream of becoming a pilot.

Not only did he become a pilot, but 25 years later, now Lt. Col. Robert D. Whitehouse reached 3,000 flying hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon here June 23.

Colonel Whitehouse joins the elite group of approximately 200 F-16 pilots who have reached 3,000 flying hours.

Upon landing, Colonel Whitehouse received congratulations from his friends and fellow Airmen as well as a traditional hosing down for his accomplishment.

Colonel Whitehouse is currently the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group deputy commander at Joint Base Balad. He assists execution of senior airfield authority at JBB and oversees airlift support activities and enables the flow of passengers and cargo in and around the Iraq.

More than 250 of Colonel Whitehouse's total hours are combat hours. He has deployed several times but this is his first deployment in Iraq. Other deployments include Operations Provide Comfort and Northern Watch from 1992 to 1993 and Operations Deny Flight and Deliberate Force from 1994 to 1997.

Colonel Whitehouse is a deployed Air Reserve technician assigned as the 56th Operations Group deputy commander at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

"My most memorable flight is my first combat sortie where I actually employed ordinance," he said. "But each flight in the F-16 is unique in its own way."

After 11 years of active duty, he joined the Reserves. In addition to flying the F-16, he flew an A-320 Airbus for a commercial airline.

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