450 SSS Members and Guests attended April’s Las Vegas Reunion

…..and a good time was had by all…the 2017 Vegas reunion was by any measure a resounding success…and here’s a photo preview.

It was a cacophony of camaraderie – friends who had not seen each other since pilot training, or Luke, slapped each other on the back, shook hands, hugged, toasted and even shed a few tears for those not present but sorely missed.

It started Tuesday at the Gold Coast Hotel with a Flight Suit Party; hats, jackets, patches and flight suits, some requiring extra rolls of velcro to fasten, festooned a reunion room full of stories of gallantry and tales of yore, some true. Fighter pilot authors began to hawk their books.

Wednesday and Thursday were filled with tours and activities: a tour to the Nevada Nuclear Test Site required a long, hot bus ride, but rewarded travelers with views of where it all really happened – deep craters, some still radioactive, things few Americans will ever see. 

Tours to Nellis visited the Thunderbird Museum; the “Threat Training Facility” equipped with new threats and Russian Fulcrum and Flanker aircraft whose cockpits one could look at or sit in; an F-22 static and views of takeoffs from a flightline balcony; a briefing on modern warfare, tactics and the F-35 at the Red Flag auditorium.

The Creech tour opened eyes wide to a new way of warfare conducted from afar. Up close views of the Predator and Reaper were available in static displays, tours of the simulators and a briefings on current operations were given by those who really do it. 

Thursday concluded with a membership meeting and banquet. Final goodbyes were said Friday morning at an Afterburner Breakfast including Hoz’s SOS. 

We all left thankful to see old faces and impressed with our new Air Force – they’ve got we wanted and didn’t have and can do things we wanted to do but couldn’t – find and hit targets with precision in all kinds of weather, day and night, stationary and moving – THE NEW KIDS ARE AWESOME! – we offered a solution to the current pilot shortage – SUIT UP THE GEEZERS! – we are tan, fit and ready, no sims or academics required, a couple of chase rides, we’re ready and will work for beer.  

FWIW – Shep

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