Spangdahlem pilot hits 3,000 hours

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- Family, friends and fellow Airmen help Lt. Col. Steve Bowen, 52nd Operations Support Squadron commander, celebrate his 3,000 hours of flying in the F-16 May 29. Colonel Bowen, who was born in Munich, Germany, took over command of the squadron in June 2005. He’s been named a distinguished graduate three times in his career, and plans to fly as long as the Air Force will let him. Colonel Bowen is married with two children. (US Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Clark)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- Family, friends and fellow Airmen help Lt. Col. Scott Bowen, 52nd Operations Support Squadron commander, celebrate his 3,000 hours of flying in the F-16 May 29. (US Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Stephanie Clark)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- -- Lt. Col. Steve Bowen, 52nd Operations Support Squadron commander, flew his 3,000th hour Tuesday. Fellow Airmen and pilots celebrated by spraying him with water, a time-honored tradition. 

Colonel Bowen said that this has never really been a goal for him. He has just always wanted to fly for the Air Force. It took him 15 and a half years to fly 3,000 hours in the F-16, but he wants to make sure that the support team get the recognition, too. 

"Even though it's 3,000 hours for me personally, countless thousands of hours have gone into it making it possible, making sure the plane is ready to fly, making sure it's fueled," said Colonel Bowen. 

Colonel Bowen said his achievement is definitely a "team approach" rather than his sole achievement. 

Colonel Bowen said that it has always been his dream to fly and he is very thankful for the opportunity. He said he will continue to fly as long as the Air Force will let him. With this milestone behind him, he does not have any major goals, but to keep flying.
His wife, Sonja, daughter, Hannah, and son, Joshua are very proud of his accomplishment. 

As the commander of the 52nd OSS, Colonel Bowen is responsible for supporting the combat readiness of three fighter squadrons and one air control squadron. The squadron is committed to NATO and United States national taskings by providing scheduling, pilot training, plans, weapons and tactics, intelligence, weather, airfield management and air traffic control.