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    Hometown Hero: Staff Sgt. Humberto Morales

    Hometown Hero: Staff Sgt. Humberto Morales

    Photo By Senior Airman Alexander Cook | Staff Sgt. Humberto Morales, F-35 Demonstration Team aircrew flight equipment...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Alexander Cook 

    F-35A Demo Team Public Affairs

    Q: When did you join the Air Force?
    A: “I joined the Air Force in August of 2013.”

    Q: Where did you grow up?
    A: “I grew up in a small town West of Portland called Tillamook.”

    Q: What got you interested in joining the Air Force?
    A: “I’m actually the first generation in my family to join the military.” Growing up, I always knew I wanted to go to college, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. Coming out of high school I worked at a lumber company, but I wanted to get back into college and the Air Force was a way for me to do that.

    Q: What were some of your main sources of inspiration growing up?
    A: “I was always intrigued by airplanes growing up.” Little known fact, there’s actually an air museum in Tillamook that’s one of the largest free-standing wooden structures in the world. Going to that air museum as a kid and the history behind it really sparked an interest in me to join the Air Force.

    Q: What was your first airshow experience like?
    A:“My first airshow experience was actually at Luke Air Force Base during Luke Days 2015.” I was a young Airman at the time and was given the opportunity of waving the starting flag for a race between a Dodge Viper and an F-16 Fighting Falcon during the show. After that experience, I thought airshows we’re really cool.”

    Q: What’s life like out on the road during an airshow as an aircrew flight equipment technician?
    A: “Aside from inspecting and maintaining the pilot’s flight gear at each show, I get to showcase and talk about this cutting edge piece of technology to people around the world. The F-35 helmet has the most advanced technology out of any fighter pilot helmet in the world, so to be able to capture people’s attention and imagination during conversation is incredible. I’ve worked on previous helmet models such as the F-16 in the past, and to see how far we’ve come is truly amazing.”

    Q: How does it feel to be going back to your hometown to represent the team in front of your home crowd?
    A: “I’m feeling a lot of gratitude. I wouldn’t be here without the support of my friends and family back home. A lot of the lessons I learned growing up were from my educators, teachers, parents and friends. So, I’m just super excited and grateful to be able to go back and show them where I’m at now.

    Q: What’s your favorite part of being on the F-35 Demo Team?
    A:“You go through every show and get to see the demo every time, but after the third or fourth show, I stopped looking at the sky and started looking more at the crowd and their reactions. I think that’s my favorite part, is the reaction of the people when they see what this jet can do. That’s the biggest reward.”

    Q: Anything else you want to add?
    A: “Yes, I would like to see everyone I know back home in Tillamook to come out and enjoy the show and see what the F-35 is capable of. Also stop by our tent during the show to see the F-35’s fifth-generation fighter helmet on display.”

    To learn more about the F-35 Demo Team and their performances this season, check out their website at



    Date Taken: 09.18.2019
    Date Posted: 09.18.2019 17:11
    Story ID: 342074
    Location: LUKE AIR FORCE BASE , AZ, US 

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