F-16 pilot with 187th fighter wing/100th fighter squadron
Assistant Weapons Officer
WHAT Bart DOES NOW
First and foremost, I’m a combat mission ready pilot and officer serving at the leisure of the President of the United States and the Governor of Alabama. Our unit has conducted a variety of missions and deployments ranging from standing alert to defend the continental United States to supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. In April of 2014, we are executing a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in support and armed over watch for the troops on the ground. Flying one of the most versatile fighter aircraft in the world today, an F-16 pilot has to be proficient in a wide range of skills including visual dogfighting, beyond visual range weapons delivery, close air support, and offensive strike missions.
As an assistant weapons officers, my job is to be intimately familiar with the most advanced tactics, techniques and procedures used in executing our mission as an F-16 squadron. I work with the 100th Fighter Squadron’s chief weapons officer to research and understand newly developed tactics and systems, then teach the other pilots in the squadron the ins and outs of these systems.
BEST AUBURN MEMORY
While I treasure every moment spent on the Loveliest Village on the Plains, one moment will always stand out as my favorite Auburn Memory. On a cool, fall night in October of 2007, my girlfriend Rachel Kichler and I were driving back from visiting her family in south Alabama. I asked if we could swing by Comer Hall so I could print out some Ag Ambassador documents before I took her home, and after some initial reluctance, she agreed to accompany me. It was a beautiful orange and blue sunset, the kind that lets you know that someone up there in heaven is a huge Auburn fan. We parked in front of Comer, and as we walked up the sidewalk to the front steps, I talked about how many great memories we had in the College of Agriculture: the Block and Bridle Olympics, Ag Ambassador trips, and other good times. As we began to climb the steps to the front door, I stopped, pulled a ring out of my pocket, and asked if she would marry me. She said yes, and we’ve been happily married almost six years now with a beautiful 10-month-old daughter, Martha. All told, that memory just barely edges out watching Cadillac Williams take the ball 80 yards down the field for a touchdown on the opening play of the 2004 Iron Bowl.