CAFB Airman joins excellence legacy

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

The USAF Thunderbirds are an elite aerial performance team known for demonstrating the incredible capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, a multi-role fighter jet. Columbus Air Force Base’s very own Tech. Sgt. Teddrick Thibodeaux, 14th Operations Support Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment (AFE) flight chief, was selected to become one of these elite members.

Thibodeaux will begin his journey with the Thunderbirds in September, 2021, but this will not be the last time Columbus AFB will see him. With his new team, Thibodeaux will return to the base in March, 2022, as they headline the ‘Wings Over Columbus’ airshow.

This assignment did not happen overnight for Thibodeaux. This is a dream he had been working on for years

“I enlisted in 2011 and I first saw the Thunderbirds in 2012 when I got to Luke Air Force Base,” said Thibodeaux. “I got backstage to see what they do in the AFE section and ever since then, I have always applied to become a Thunderbird.”

For nearly eight years, every time the job became available, Thibodeaux would apply through the Assignment Management System (AMS) and wait for a response in the following weeks.

“It isn’t something that just happened for me. I had to stay consistent because it was something I have wanted to since joining the military,” said Thibodeaux.

The Thunderbirds are very thorough when selecting teammates, which is why the application process can become quite lengthy, ranging upwards to two months.

“I hit the button in AMS for the job on May 17th and got a notification to submit my package about a week later,” said Thibodeaux. “Around June I was selected to do a Zoom interview and found out I was selected on July 2nd.”

As a flight chief, Thibodeaux supervises approximately 28 people ranging from Quality Assurance to the Airmen working on flight equipment, and making sure everyone has what they need to succeed.

“He is the best supervisor I have had for sure,” said Senior Airman David Richardson, 14th Operations Squadron AFE technician. “He is really good with communicating with people. He is charismatic and pushes us to meet deadlines. Demanding, but in a good way. I think that played a big part in his selection.”

Thibodeaux was deployed and was not sure if he would apply this time. He made the decision to throw his name in the hat once more not knowing that this time would bear different results.

“I wrote a recommendation for TSgt Thibodeaux because I really do think he is the best person for the job,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Rosatone, 14th Operations Support Squadron superintendent. “He got chosen because he checked every box they were looking for. He has time in, experience, leadership, and he was consistent, not to mention his dress and appearance surpasses Air Force standards.”

Thibodeaux mention big changes are on the way for his family, but they are ready.

“I really want to thank all of my leadership for their recommendations,” said Thibodeaux. “I believe they played a huge part in my selection and I am truly grateful. My family discussed the changes, such as the time I would spend away and getting our children back into a public school setting. We accepted it and I am on fire for this next assignment”

According to Rosatone, Thibodeaux is the first Airman in AFE from Columbus Air Force Base to be selected to work with the Thunderbirds.

“My ultimate goal is to uphold the Thunderbirds mission, to recruit, retain, and inspire the next generation,” said Thibodeaux.