Upon enlisting as an F-15 Strike Eagle crew chief in 1997, Chief Master Sgt. Jason Hughes, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron chief enlisted manager, dedicated 20 years to servicing six airframes. Now, he will become the newest member of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
After many years of contributing to the Flying Tiger’s historic heritage and achieving several milestones, Hughes wanted to pursued another challenge. As the chief enlisted manager at the 23d AMXS, he saw an opening for the same position for the Thunderbirds and felt compelled to apply and earned the position.
As the incoming Thunderbird’s CEM, Hughes will provide advisory skills to the commander about aircraft maintenance and be the enlisted force manager for two years.
Hughes will take on the role of managing 120 enlisted personnel spanning from 25 various career fields. Upon arrival with the team, he’ll also will reunite with a familiar face, former Moody A-10 pilot, Capt. Erik Gonsalves, Thunderbirds narrator pilot.
While Hughes doesn’t foresee what the future may hold, he says he’s honored to have been entrenched in the fight for Moody’s A-10 mission and that he’ll fully cherish the opportunity of donning the prestigious Thunderbird flight suit.