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Meet the Air Forces first female F-35 demonstration team pilot

Stephen Losey

Meet the Air Forces first female F-35 demonstration team pilot
The Air Force on Monday announced that Capt. Kristin “Beo” Wolfe has been named the new pilot and commander for the F-35A Demonstration Team.

Wolfe will lead the F-35 demo team for the 2020 and 2021 air show season, the Air Force said. She will be the first woman to serve in the role, taking it over from Maj. Andrew “Dojo” Olson.

“We are extremely proud to have Capt. Wolfe leading the new F-35A Demonstration Team,” Col. Steven Behmer, commander of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, said in the release. “She’s an incredibly accomplished pilot and we can’t wait to see her and the team showcase the capabilities of our wing and the F-35s to the world.”

Wolfe took over on Saturday, after receiving her official certification from Air Combat Command head Gen. Mike Holmes, at the Air Force’s Heritage Flight Training Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. She previously served as an instructor pilot for the 388th and first flew F-22A Raptors, but transitioned to the F-35 in 2017.

She has about 800 hours flying the two aircraft.

The 388th said Wolfe’s flight experience and leadership abilities will be key as the demo team transitions from a training wing to a combat wing. The team was formerly based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, but is now part of Air Combat Command.

In the release, Wolfe said she is “beyond excited” to lead the team.

“It’s extremely humbling and rewarding to get the opportunity to showcase the F-35A at so many different locations,” Wolfe said. “It’s a privilege to work with the best airmen from Hill Air Force Base, and to give people a small glimpse of what this jet is capable of.”

Olson praised Wolfe’s selection as a “phenomenal choice.”

“As a previous F-22A Raptor instructor pilot, she’s flown and instructed in 5th gen fighters her entire career,” Olson said. "She will serve as an outstanding role model and ambassador for the Air Force and the F-35 enterprise, and I look forward to seeing her take this team to the next level.

The F-35 team is scheduled to fly at 20 performances across the country, performing a roughly 18-minute long profile and a maintenance team jet launch and recovery, the release said.

Wolfe will fly the F-35 in performances with the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, in formation with legacy aircraft from the World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War eras.


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