Father, son take to the skies during Air Defender 23

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jessica Sanchez-Chen
  • 52nd FW Public Affairs

Some sons walk in their fathers’ footsteps, while others fly. This is especially true for one U.S. Air Force family who have continued this legacy for three generations.

During Air Defender 2023, Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, Air National Guard director, had the opportunity to fly above Germany in a 148th Fighter Wing F-16 along with his son, Capt. Michael Loh, 480th Fighter Squadron chief of standardizations and evaluations.

“The love of flying fighters runs deep in our family,” said Lt. Gen. Loh.

While flying together during NATO’s largest ever air exercise was a unique opportunity, this was not the first time fathers and sons from the Loh family have flown together in the Air Force.

“I had the pleasure of flying my father, retired Air Force Gen. John Loh, in an F-16 before he retired from the Air Force in 1995,” said Lt. Gen. Loh. “To now fly with my son, who is an F-16 pilot out of Spangdahlem Air Base, is very special and linked three generations of Air Force aviators.”

The father-son duo flew out of Laage Air Base, alongside three Eurofighters, and an additional U.S. Air Force F-16, and landed at Holzdorf Air Base.

“This flight brought all the U.S. and German Air Force fighter aircraft to one location to meet other pilots as well as distinguished visitors that were in attendance,” said Capt Loh. “This is a clear demonstration of our cooperation between our two countries, as well as within the fighter aircraft communities.”

Capt. Loh said he is extremely grateful for the opportunity to fly with his father and expressed his thanks to everyone who made it possible.

“This was the first time I have ever flown with my dad and will most likely be the only time in my career I will have this incredible opportunity,” said Capt. Loh. “From my grandfather helping to design the F-16, to my dad accruing more than 3,000 hours in the jet and now getting to fly with my dad in that same aircraft, there are truly no words to describe that feeling.”

From being a third-generation U.S. Air Force Academy graduate to flying fighters around the world, Capt. Loh knows he will have his father’s support throughout his Air Force journey.

“He always tells me he would trade places with me any day to be back flying as a tactical expert of his jet,” said Capt. Loh. “It is great to have the constant support from my family and for them to consistently remind me that I have the greatest job in the world.”