Incentive Program at Nellis
By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Mutti, 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published November 17, 2010
Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada -- When you work all day long in the hot Nevada sun preparing F-15s for flight, or you struggled for weeks before a deployment, readying cargo and coordinating airlift for a mission, an opportunity to be part of the execution of the mission, from the backseat is an invaluable tool for motivating and educating the Airmen who work so hard for missions to succeed.
While the wing was supporting the Weapons School course at Nellis Air Force Base, a number of deserving Airmen had an opportunity to sit in the back-seat of an F-15D and experience first hand the fruits of their labors. "This type of trip allowed us to offer a few incentive rides . . . as thanks [for their hard work, and to reward] some [members] at the end of their career and as a motivator for those just beginning," said Capt. Michael Dibrindisi, 104th Fighter Maintenance Officer.
"The best rollercoaster ever!" is how TSgt. James O'Brien described his incentive ride. "I've been in for 30 years this November and they gave me a good anniversary present. We flew over the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, and then at a few thousand feet through the unrestricted air space of death valley . . . the one and half hour ride felt like 15 minutes - I was having so much fun!"
"It means a lot to us to be able to bring the two seat model out here and we fly as many Airmen as we can during the two week trip- getting them in the backseat and saying well-done!" said Lt. Col. David "Moon" Halasi-kun.
The area surrounding Nellis Air Force Base provides an ideal opportunity for the pilots to highlight the capabilities of the F-15 to the members flown in the backseat. The proximity to restricted airspace allows the pilots to fly low and high at speeds they cannot typically do in Massachusetts due to the congested airways.
"The Airmen are so motivated when they know they have an opportunity to fly in the F-15," said Halasi-kun. "Not many Airmen get a chance to break the sound barrier and pull up to 9 Gs (nine times the force of gravity)."