Last Initial Mission Qual Class

On 30 March 2007, the very last MH-53J PAVE LOW class, 06-10 graduated.

Class 06-10:
1Lt Will Thompson – Last PAVE LOW Pilot (#457) – Never flew PAVEs after graduating
SSgt Chris Curtis – FE
SSgt Pete Cunningham – FE
A1C Evan Pinkerton – FE (The last student checkride)
A1C Christopher Kennedy – FE

last ops class

Class 06-10 was an expanded class, which included four flight engineer students (vice two) and one pilot. Cunningham and Curtis were added to the class just before the start date. They were going to be re-directed to another airframe, but remained after approval of an AFSOC waiver request for the overage.
Also pictured is TSgt Terry Hobbs (2nd from right) from a previous class. Due to unexpected delays, he also graduated on this day.

15 Mar 07
Maj. Churchill administered the last pilot evaluation to 1Lt William Thompson. It was completed in aircraft 68-10363.
1Lt Thompson became the last qualified PAVE LOW Pilot (#457). Unfortunately, he never went into an operational PAVE LOW unit. Due to the drawdown of the PAVE LOW, he transferred to another air frame.

The entire class graduated two and a half months ahead of normal PFT courseflow. They did an astounding job as they worked on Saturdays and spent eight hours at a time in the simulator accelerating to meet the 30 March 2007 training deadline.

28 Mar 07
The last training flight occurred on aircraft 66-104429 with an evaluation given to A1C Pinkerton.

The Instructor/Evaluator crew consisted of:
Maj Steve Cherrington (AC) | Maj Kevin Churchill (MP)
TSgt Mark Mapel (IF) | MSgt George Levkulich (EF)
TSgt Jay Schneider (MG) | TSgt Clint Grizzell (MG)

John Grove Memorial

John Grove’s legacy lives on and not just in the PAVE LOW world. John helped fund Bless the Children, an international organization helping the poorest children of the world who are living under extreme conditions. He did this with his own retirement check! After his passing, several other caring PAVE guys stepped in to help out. In short, Bless The Children is looking for annual donations in order to provide a minimum of $2000 a month towards his memorial fund.

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