Mile High Militia

Meet the members of the 120th Fighter Squadron, who protect the skies over Colorado.

(Ed Darack)

Advances

(Ed Darack)

"Flying the F-16 never gets old, even if I do," says Lieutenant Colonel Tim Conklin, commander of the 120th. "I'm amazed at the advances the aircraft has made in the 22 years I've flown it. The jets I fly today are the same tails I flew in Desert Storm, but the combat capability is exponentially better. I'm hopeful our squadron can transition to the F-35, but the F-16 will always be my first love."

About Ed Darack
Ed Darack

Air & Space/Smithsonian contributing editor Ed Darack’s forthcoming book, The Final Mission of Extortion 17 (Smithsonian Books, 2017), covers the story of the people and circumstances of Extortion 17 and its downing in Afghanistan in August 2011. The shootdown was the single deadliest incident in the war in Afghanistan. The book grew out of his article in the Feb./Mar. 2015 issue. See his website and Facebook page for more information.

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