HomeNewsArticle Display

Easterling accepts command of Firebirds

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. David Easterling, incoming 43rd Flying Training Squadron commander, gives a speech at the 43rd FTS Change of Command ceremony at the Walker Center, Aug. 26, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. The 43rd FTS is an Air Force Reserve unit providing Active Guard Reserve (AGR) and Traditional Reserve (TR) instructor pilots to aid in creating pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. David Easterling, incoming 43rd Flying Training Squadron commander, gives a speech at the 43rd FTS Change of Command ceremony at the Walker Center, Aug. 26, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. The 43rd FTS is an Air Force Reserve unit providing Active Guard Reserve (AGR) and Traditional Reserve (TR) instructor pilots to aid in creating pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen)

The 43rd Flying Training Squadron T-38 Talon flagship name is unveiled during a 43th FTS Change of Command ceremony, Aug. 26, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. Squadron Flagships are named after the current commander and are revealed during Change of Command ceremonies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen)

The 43rd Flying Training Squadron T-38 Talon flagship name is unveiled during a 43th FTS Change of Command ceremony, Aug. 26, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. Squadron Flagships are named after the current commander and are revealed during Change of Command ceremonies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen)

U.S. Air Force Col. Brent Drown, 340th Flying Training Group deputy commander, salutes Lt. Col. David Easterling, incoming 43rd Flying Training Squadron commander, during the 43th FTS Change of Command ceremony, Aug. 26, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. During wartime, or in the event of hostilities, the 43rd FTS is mobilized to offset anticipated losses of experienced active duty pilot contributions to the instructor pilot training programs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen)

U.S. Air Force Col. Brent Drown, 340th Flying Training Group deputy commander, salutes Lt. Col. David Easterling, incoming 43rd Flying Training Squadron commander, during the 43th FTS Change of Command ceremony, Aug. 26, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. During wartime, or in the event of hostilities, the 43rd FTS is mobilized to offset anticipated losses of experienced active duty pilot contributions to the instructor pilot training programs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jason Barlow, 43rd Flying Training Squadron outgoing commander, gives his remarks at the 43rd FTS Change of Command ceremony at the Walker Center, Aug. 26, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. The 43rd Flying Training Squadron administers and executes the AETC/AFRC Associate Instructor Pilot (IP) Program and provides Active Guard Reserve (AGR) and Traditional Reserve (TR) IPs to augment the cadre of active duty pilots conducting pilot training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jason Barlow, 43rd Flying Training Squadron outgoing commander, gives his remarks at the 43rd FTS Change of Command ceremony at the Walker Center, Aug. 26, 2021, on Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. The 43rd Flying Training Squadron administers and executes the AETC/AFRC Associate Instructor Pilot (IP) Program and provides Active Guard Reserve (AGR) and Traditional Reserve (TR) IPs to augment the cadre of active duty pilots conducting pilot training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jake Jacobsen)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- 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 .”