The F-15 East Coast Demo Team is just one of the six single aircraft Demonstration Teams assigned to Air Combat Command (ACC). The Team is comprised of one Demo Pilot, nine Maintenance personnel, and four Narrators.
TheAircraft themselves are not assigned to the team, but are actual operational fighters from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.
The U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command Single-Ship Demonstration Teams perform precision aerial maneuvers, demonstrating to the public the unique capabilities of the Air Force’s high performance aircraft. ACC Single-Ship Demonstration Team members also exhibit the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft.
The United States Air Force F-15 East Coast Demonstration Team is assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. The demonstration pilot and team leader is Capt Jason “Bondo” Costello of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is a veteran fighter pilot with more than 1,500 hours in the F-15 including 30 combat missions over the skies of Iraq. The Demo Team NCOIC is MSgt Scott “Harry” Burrowsfield from Lake Elsinore, California and the Assistant NCOIC is TSgt Tyrone “T-Bone” Tillery from Enfield, North Carolina. They lead a team of eight crew chiefs and avionics technicians assigned to provide maintenance support while the team is on the road. The team crew chiefs are SSgt Patrick Robison, SSgt Stephen Roby, SSgt Durrel Weldon, SSgt Tomasz Szymanowski, SrA James Toker and SrA Avery Johnston. The avionics techs are SSgt Scott Hauber and SSgt Shirley Belvin. Also, the team has five narrators and four safety observers. The narrators are Capt Rochelle Brown, 2d Lt Wendy Condrey, 2d Lt Rachel Sherburne, 2d Lt Ali Abtahi and TSgt Chuck Gardner. The safety observers are Capt Greg Ebert, Lt Pete Lee, Lt John Hensz and Lt Nick Huet.
The aircraft flown during the aerial demonstration are fully combat capable and would immediately deploy to war if called upon to do so. Additionally, all team members remain current in their wartime duties and are immediately deployable in the event of conflict.
The demonstration team’s primary mission is to promote Air Force recruiting, retention, and community relations through better understanding of the U.S. Air Force and its mission.
ACC F-15C demo team flies last flight, showcases 33rd FW Eagle era
Team Eglin Public Affairs
5/4/2009 – EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Nomad and Air Combat Command history was made May 1 as the last day an Eagle demonstrated its graceful flight full of high-performance climbs, split-s turns, loops, knife passes and dives.
When the command’s F-15 West Coast Demo Team performed their finale in front of the 33rd Fighter Wing Nomad reunion, plus special guests here, they not only ended the season, they ended an era.
“It was a bitter-sweet moment,” said Lt. Col. Bill Edwards, AAC Aerial Events chief, after presenting the10-man team with a farewell gift to recognize its encompassing 1983-2009 timeframe.
Capt. Sam “Nuke” Joplin wowed the crowds with each display of Eagle power in a moment that was also sad for his team, command and the wing they called home.
The 33rd FW Nomads have been home to ACC’s team since the 1990s. They originated from Holloman AFB, N.M., and moved to Tyndall AFB, Fla., before settling at Eglin. The name “West Coast” has been retained for heritage purposes.
“It didn’t sink in until the very end,” Captain Joplin said.
Maintainers told the pilot “this is it” on the radio just before the jet landed.
Once the Eagle was turned down and secure they ran out to greet Captain Joplin with handshakes and hugs. Shortly after, the crowd joined including family members.
ACC’s teams usually have a two-year assignment and during the last two seasons, the F-15 West Coast Demo Team performed more than 150 times all over the world. They took the same routine of air superiority with them as the last.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and they represented the Air Force and the country well,” said Colonel Edwards. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
The demo team draws down along with the rest of the Nomads who end a 30-year chapter of Eagle driving at Eglin in September. Starting Oct. 1, during a formal ceremony, ACC will pass the 33rd FW legacy to Air Education and Training Command to make way for the upcoming F-35 Joint Strike fighter training complex.
ACC now has six demonstration teams left to showcase America’s air power