from 21st Operations Support Squadron
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The “fini-flight” is a long standing practice of both the United States and Royal Australian Air Forces. This time-honored tradition warrants a gala event in which fire trucks join the crowd in welcoming the pilot back from his final flight. Several wing agencies came together April 29 to celebrate this tradition with Lt. Col. Troy “Krusty” Endicott, the outgoing 21st OSS commander. Although Colonel Endicott isn’t a pilot, he was honored with this fitting farewell after commanding PAFB’s award winning airfield for the past two years.
Maj. Hyral “Buddy” Walker, the wing’s newest chaplain, piloted Colonel Endicott in his privately owned aircraft. Chaplain Walker is an accomplished pilot with almost 3,000 hours and has flown his aircraft adorned with a vintage Air Force paint scheme for nearly 14 years. Chaplain Walker plans to make good use of his aircraft as a tool to connect with Airmen during his tour at Peterson AFB.
Tech. Sgt. Matthew Cross, Staff Sgt. Simeon Brockway, Senior Airman Wesley Rawson and Airman 1st Class Robert Welborn from the Peterson fire department provided the “archway” to the red carpet for the event. The power and precision of the fire trucks electrified the crowd of greeters as they anxiously awaited Colonel Endicott’s arrival.
After exiting the aircraft, 21st OSS members and Colonel Endicott’s family greeted him with smiles, handshakes and blasts of water from water guns, followed by farewell presentations and a barbecue. The send-off was a hallmark finish for Colonel Endicott’s tenure, as during his command he accomplished a complete renovation of airfield facilities, captured the 2009 Air Force Space Command “Airfield Management Facility of the Year” Award and secured the highest Air Traffic System Evaluation Program inspection score in Peterson AFB history.