Meet the new head of the US Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team – Captain Kristin “Beo” Wolfe!
Beo takes over from Major Andrew “Dojo” Olsen as the demonstration pilot and commander of the team. She was publicly introduced as the new commander today after being certified to fly the demo profile during the annual Heritage Flight Conference.
Although the F-35A demo team has performed in Heritage Flights since 2016, it did not perform a full aerobatic routine until 2019. It was initially formed as part of Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and based at Luke AFB in Arizona where F-35A pilot training is conducted. After the conclusion of the 2019 show season, the demo team duties were transferred to Air Combat Command (ACC) and the team is now based at Hill AFB in Ogden, Utah.
Previously an instructor for the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB in Utah, Captain Wolfe has amassed nearly 800 hours in both the F-35A and the F-22A Raptor. “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,” said Colonel Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander.
She is the first female single-ship demonstration pilot since Capt. Zoe “Sis” Kotnik was suddenly relieved of her command of the F-16 Viper demo team in early 2019. The immense public scrutiny on that situation is likely a major reason why the Air Force is being so tight lipped about the new demonstration pilots this year.
The other new ACC demo pilot for 2020 is Major Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson, commander of the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team. He took over for Major Paul “Loco” Lopez, and was introduced last month following his own certification flight.
Check our airshow calendar to see a full list of airshows in the US and Canada, including where you can see Beo show off the F-35, and chime in with your own thoughts in our forums!