Virginia Air National Guard pilot wins Instructor Pilot of the Year award

2017 Air Force Fighter Awards Ceremony

Lt. Gen. Mark C. Nowland, U.S. Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, hosts the 2017 Air Force Fighter Awards Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., June 25, 2018. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)(This photo has been altered for security purposes by blurring out a first name)

Virginia Air National Guard pilot "Mongo" Dietrich wins Instructor Pilot of the Year award

Maj. "Mongo" Dietrich, 149th Fighter Squadron chief of weapons, stands in front of the 149th FS flagship F-22 Raptor November 17, 2017, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Mongo won the United States Air Force Instructor Pilot of the Year award for 2017. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Myhr)

2017 Air Force Fighter Awards Ceremony

Lt. Gen. Mark C. Nowland, U.S. Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, hosts the 2017 Air Force Fighter Awards Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., June 25, 2018. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)(Released)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. -- The U.S. Air Force announced the recipients of the 2017 Air Force Fighter Annual Awards in May 2018 at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C..

Of the five recipients, Maj. “Mongo” Dietrich, 149th Fighter Squadron chief of weapons, was named the Air Force’s Fighter Instructor Pilot of the Year.

Dietrich is the first F-22 Raptor pilot to receive this award. He is an instructor pilot in the 149th FS based out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. The squadron consists of about 50 members with about half being pilots.

“He is the perfect example of what the entire Virginia Air National Guard brings to the fight, both in garrison and around the world, during combat operations,” said Col. Frank Lobash, 192nd Fighter Wing commander “We are key players in the success of our U.S. Air Force and execution of national security. From the maintainers that make the F-22 fly to the many support Airmen that make sure Dietrich is always ready to fly, it is a VaANG family effort."

As an instructor pilot, Dietrich trains pilots during scenarios and tasks. He also acts as a mentor during regular operations by providing feedback and advice on piloting the F-22. He is not the only instructor pilot in the 149th FS by far; every pilot in the squadron is an instructor pilot.

“I've been lucky my entire Air Force career to be surrounded by great people and exceptional instructors who've looked out for me, taken me under their wings and guided me through my time in the Air Force,” said Dietrich as he reflected on what the award meant to him “I don't really see this award as an individual award. Every technique I've ever learned on how to instruct I learned from someone else.”

The award is designed to recognize an instructor pilot’s commitment, performance, leadership and aviation skills that were instrumental to mission success of their units, the USAF and the Department of Defense.

“Dietrich is a true superstar, and it's an honor to be able to work next to him each day as he continues to teach the next generation of fighter pilots how to do things right,” said Lt. Col. Michael Schaner, 149th FS commander.

The award citation spoke to Dietrich’s ingenuity which helped the USAF adapt to ever changing contingencies around the world.

“Honestly, I feel like a running back getting an MVP award, when we all know it's the offensive line, the coaching, schemes, game planning, practice team, QB calling audibles, wideouts/TE blocking, training staff and strength coaches that all contribute to the mission,” said Dietrich. “The only difference is the contributors: crew chiefs, specialists, fuels, weapons, ammo, production, 1COs [aviation resource management specialists], life support, medical support, wingman and intelligence, just to name a few, all contribute to successfully generating sorties to get weapons effects on the enemy or build another combat mission capable pilot in a training mission at home.”

192d Fighter Wing

192d Fighter Wing

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Issue #14 of the 2018 Commonwealth's Guardian bi-weekly newsletter is available for download in PDF format at https://go.usa.gov/xUkYn. Please share the newsletter link with anyone you think would enjoy keeping up to date with the Virginia National Guard. Please visit https://go.usa.gov/xUkfU to subscribe to the newsletter via email. In This Issue: 529th CSSB ordered to mobilize for federal active duty Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYa Virginia cyber warriors join New England exercise Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYY Bissell takes command of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYg Va. National Guard aviation battalion trains around the state Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkY4 192nd Security Forces Squadron trains to shoot, move and communicate Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYb DMA conducts first-ever Supervisor Course Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUkYW
This #VaANG recruiting video from 2001 is #throwbackthursday gold. #tbt
192nd Security Forces squadron trains to shoot, move and communicate. Read more here - https://go.usa.gov/xUWZg Photos here - https://flic.kr/s/aHskEepSJQ
Check out the 192nd's own SSgt. Cunningham co-hosting the sixth episode of the Air Combat Command's podcast "The Reflective Belt"
For this #throwbackthursday, 2nd Lt. Allison Gilbert, a Physician's Assistant from the Virginia Air National Guard's 192d Fighter Wing, treats a young patient with the help of interpreter, 1st Lt. Roberto Balderon from the Salvadoran Army July 16, 2002. The 192 FW's Medical Squadron took a 14-day humanitarian mission to Morazan, El Salvador. They visited the four towns of Guatajiagua, Sociedad, Cacaopera, and Chilanga for medical support of the local people. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michele G. Misiano) #TBT #VaANG
Happy Independence Day 192nd Fighter Wing! Thank you all for helping to keep our country free. Enjoy your families today and be safe. Honored to serve with you all! - Chief Bouley
"Please join me in congratulating our 149th Fighter Squadron's Maj. 'Mongo' Dietrich who was awarded the United States Air Force 2017 Fighter Instructor Pilot of the Year," said Col. Frank J. Lobash, 192nd Fighter Wing commander. "This is an incredible accomplishment that once again shows the amazing talent and dedication our F-22 fighter squadron brings to the fight everyday." Lt. Gen. Mark C. Nowland, U.S. Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, hosts the 2017 Air Force Fighter Awards Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington D.C., June 25, 2018. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)
Issue #13 of the 2018 Commonwealth's Guardian bi-weekly newsletter is available for download in PDF format at https://go.usa.gov/xUrKZ. Please share the newsletter link with anyone you think would enjoy keeping up to date with the Virginia National Guard. Visit https://go.usa.gov/xU4R5 to add your email to the subscription list. In This Issue: 149th Fighter Squadron celebrates its 71st year Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrb2 Soldiers, Airmen awarded for marksmanship excellence Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbT Flora to succeed Mercer as Assistant Adjutant General – Army Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbj Hubbard takes command of 183rd RTI Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbW 192nd Fighter Wing welcomes new wing command chief Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbZ Governor signs DMV drivers license veteran indicator bill Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xUrbB
#Throwbackthursday to when the Virginia Air National Guard enlisted 50 Airmen in just three days during 1970. See anyone you served with? #VaANG #VANGUARD #TBT read more here: https://go.usa.gov/xQsqU
“Civil Support Team operations are extremely complex, and excellence doesn’t just happen,” said Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, Virginia National Guard Director of the Joint Staff. “We are extremely proud of the outstanding performance of the Soldiers and Airmen of the 34th CST on the external evaluation and greatly appreciate the time and effort that went into their success.”
Welcome Chief Master Sgt. Christopher L. Amburn! He is the newest member of the VaANG and the incoming 192nd Fighter Wing command chief.
The VaANG is making a difference around the world. 203rd RED HORSE Squadron is building a school for children in rural El Salvador as part of Operation Beyond the Horizon 2018. Accompanied by the 192nd Security Forces Squadron and 192nd Medical Group, the mission provided training opportunities for the Airmen and new facilities for Salvadoran children.View photos here - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1826178330771708.1073741976.111055992283959&type=1&l=b1d569b546
Today, the 149th Fighter Squadron, Virginia Air National Guard, celebrates its 71st year as a unit. Read about what Airman 1st Class Dagejah Hampton and Lt. Col. "Scrappy" think makes the 149th FS great - https://go.usa.gov/xQhhc
Airmen of the 203rd RED HORSE squadron, Virginia Air National Guard, begin construction of a school, kitchen and latrine facility during May 2018 in rural El Salvador. The project was designed to bring vital services and resources to rural communities as part of Operation Beyond the Horizon, conducted by U.S. Army and Air Force active, guard and reserve components along with the El Salvadoran military and civic agencies. (Courtesy photo)
Happy Father's Day!
In case you missed it when the 203rd RED HORSE squadron volunteers were featured on the evening news for building a playground for kids in Norfolk, we talked with them too and went back to get photos of the finished project. According to one of the teachers there, the kids love the new playground. Great work RED HORSE! Read more here - https://go.usa.gov/xQtQ3
Members of the 203rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer (RED HORSE), 192nd Fighter Wing, volunteered their time to construct a playground April 20, 2018, at the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk, Virginia. The effort was in coordination with the United Way of South Hampton Roads to help a Head Start preschool program remain in the neighborhood it primarily serves.
Approximately 100 U.S. Flags are displayed in celebration of National Flag Day June 14, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. Flag Day was officially established by President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1916. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Bryan Myhr)