News: U-2 pilot reaches 1,000 combat flying hours
Story by Staff Sgt. Michael Means
UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - A pilot and tactics and employment lead assigned to the 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, exceeded 1,000 combat hours in a U-2 Dragonlady.
Air Force Maj. Ralph Shoukry reached this feat after his ninth deployment and 113th combat sortie which happened here, March 6, 2014.
"I think reaching 1,000 combat hours is a by-product of us supporting the war effort," said Shoukry.
Shoukry, who is a native of Monterey, Calif., and deployed here from Beale Air Force Base, Calif., has more than 3,500 flying hours throughout his career.
Shoukry who graduated from California Polytechnic State University, said he felt a higher calling to serve his country.
"I couldn't envision myself sitting in a cubicle going over TPS reports," he said. "I love my job and the fact that the U-2 provides a robust combat capability that directly supports the warfighter."
Shoukry has supported Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Odyssey Dawn flying missions over Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.