1st RS instructor pilot surpasses 4,000 hours in T-38

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ramon A. Adelan
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

37 years after commissioning, Jon “Huggy” Huggins, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron instructor pilot, flies past 4,000 flight hours in the T-38 Talon.

Huggy commissioned into the U.S. Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1985 after graduating from the University of Texas. His first assignment was to Laughlin AFB, Texas, as a T-38 instructor.

“As my first assignment was winding down, and I was getting ripe for an assignment, a friend of mine told me he was going to the U-2 [Dragon Lady program],” Huggy said. “I knew nothing about the U-2. This was late 1988, before the interne, so I asked him the same question I continue to hear till this day, ‘they still fly the U-2?’”

About 20 years of Huggy’s 28 year career was spent in the U-2 program where he accumulated approximately 2,600 hours in the U-2 and now 4,000 in the T-38.

“I ran the U-2 recruiting program for a long time, and the work I did to improve that made a difference,” Huggy said. “I spent a lot of time spreading the U-2 gospel and getting the right pilots to try to come join our ranks.”

After retiring in 2014, Huggy kept his roots in the aviation world taking a job as an executive director for an aviation club, flew commercially, announced and produced airshows, and also flew with the Patriots Jet Team. In 2020, Huggy returned to Beale to become the first civilian instructor pilot.

“My drive is to be a solid instructor and to teach new pilots how to fly the U-2 and T-38 well,” Huggy said. “I strived to be someone that they would find reliable, trustworthy and dedicated to the U-2 Program’s success.”