Easterling accepts command of Firebirds

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Haynie
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Lt. Col. Jason Barlow relinquished command of the 43rd Flying Training Squadron to Lt. Col. David Easterling Jr., during a change of command ceremony, Aug. 26, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.

Easterling is a seasoned pilot with over 5,600 flying hours in the T-38 Talon, at Randolph AFB, Texas, Williams AFB, Arizona, and Columbus AFB, Mississippi.

“Firebirds, you are why we are the best squadron in the Air Force,” said Easterling. “Dedication, expertise, longevity. Those are just a few of the qualities that make you amazing. You are why I am still in the Reserves. It is an honor and privilege to be your commander.”

The 43rd FTS administers and executes the Air Education and Training Command, Air Force Reserve Command, Associate and Instructor Pilot (IP) Program. The program provides Active Guard Reserve and Traditional Reserve IPs to augment the resident active duty instructor pilots conducting pilot training.

Barlow is a career pilot has been flying for approximately 21 years and was the first T-6 instructor pilot at Columbus Air Force Base , spending the majority of his career with the 43rd Firebirds, working his way through the ranks and eventually becoming the Squadron commander.

“Firebirds, you are the reason we do what we do,” said Barlow, out-going 43rd FTS commander “It has been truly an honor and I appreciate it .”