Skip to comments.1st aerial kill of Desert Storm subject of motivation for Westfield's Air National Guard
Posted on 03/02/2012 8:30:32 PM PST by sukhoi-30mki
1st aerial kill of Desert Storm subject of motivation for Westfield's Air National Guard 104th Fighter Wing
WESTFIELD There is no easy way to explain the experience, the rush, of piloting an F-15 Eagle jet fighter, peacetime or in combat.
There is nothing else like it, said Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Jon K. Kelk, credited with the first Iraqi MiG-29 aerial kill of Desert Storm in January 1991.
There is every emotion, every element of excitement, intrigue. In combat, multiply that ten times, he explained Friday as he prepared to motivate members of the Massachusetts Air National Guards 104th Fighter Wing currently scheduled to deploy to Southwest Asia later this spring.
It was a reunion of sorts with Kelk getting reacquainted with the same F-15 he flew during Desert Storm on more than 50 combat mission over more than 2,000 there.
That fighter now bears the name of Col. Robert T. Brooks, commander of the 104th and a fellow Desert Storm teammate of Kelks during the United States' first involvement in Iraq.
Kelk, now chief of staff for the Missouri Air National Guard, came to Barnes on Friday at Brooks invitation.
I believe in mentorship and bringing a senior officer here to talk to those who will now walk in the same moccasins shortly is invaluable, said Brooks.
During Desert Storm, Kelk was a captain and Brooks a lieutenant in the regular Air Force. They were pilots with the Air Forces 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron flying F-15C jet fighters.
Kelk welcomed the opportunity to address members of the 104th Fighter Wing. I am here to share my experience, what I learned and beyond that, he said.
His message was training. If you train well you are prepared, he said. Everything
(Excerpt) Read more at masslive.com ...
Republican staff photo/ Don Treeger3-2-12 - Westfield - Republican staff photo by Don Treeger-
Missouri Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Jon Kelk stands on the ladder of the F-15 that he flew in the Iraq war when he was credited with the first aerial victory of that conflict, an Iraqi Mig 29, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He's in a hangar at the 104th Fighter Wing at the Barnes Air National Guard Base.
I guess they award Silver Stars for showing up to work on time.
And Purple Hearts for rice grains in the arse, self-inflicted.
During my time in Iraq in 2005-06, the Bronze Star was an attendance pin.
The standing order was, if you were E-7 or above, the Bronze Star was “yours to lose”. An E-6 or below, it was “yours to win, but God better justify it”.
Decorations have been overrated. Hell, even Jessie Lynch got a Bronze Star.
“Eight of the jumbo jet transports used both for humanitarian and combat support missions will be reassigned to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas”
Last time I checked Lackland had no runways, lots of drillpads, but no runways. Must mean Kelly.