January 29, 2022
U.S. Air Force Reserve pilots Lt. Col. Preston “Moses” McConnell, Lt Col Paul “Harb” Brown, Maj. Nathan “Ponch” Bevis, and Capt. Garrett “Rusty” Ruwaldt, are returning for their fourth straight year to fly a 4-ship of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft over the American Football Conference championship game at approximately 1:58 p.m. CST on Jan. 30, 2022, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The flyover will be supported by the 442d Fighter Wing maintainers launching the A-10s, more commonly known as the “KC Hawgs,” and a ground crew of two pilots monitoring the flyover from the stadium.
“It is always an honor and privilege to be asked to fly over Arrowhead Stadium,” said Col. Steve Nester, the commander of the 442d Fighter Wing. “The relationship between the 442d Fighter Wing and the Kansas City Chiefs dates back to when we were flying A-10s out of Richards-Gebaur Airfield. We proudly fly the Chiefs’ arrowhead on the tails of our A-10s as a symbol of our relationship with the greater Kansas City community and the support the Chief’s Kingdom fans show our military members. Today, we salute the Kansas City Chiefs’ in their historic achievement in a fourth straight AFC Championship appearance at Arrowhead Stadium.”
Flyovers also provide the opportunity to showcase the capabilities of U.S. Air Force aircraft to the American public. “We hope to inspire the next generation of aviation enthusiasts right from the Kansas City area” said Col. Mike Leonas, the commander of the 442d Operations Group. “Flyovers allow our pilots to share their Air Force story and provide time-over-target training, which parallels our close air support and combat search and rescue missions, showcasing our pilots’ capabilities to protect and recover American troops in harms way.”
The “KC Hawgs” are operated by the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, 45 miles east of Kansas City. The wing has deployed 15 times, in multiple combat operations around the world and continues training to support troops on the ground for tomorrow’s fight.