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Vance Couple Selected to Pilot B-2s

Vance Couple Selected to Pilot B-2s

By 1st Lt. Lori Wise, 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs.

Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma -- (AFPN) January 30, 2006 -- The Air Force's only B-2 Spirit bomber wing has announced a historical first -- the selection of a married pilot couple.

Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma -- (AFPN) -- Capts. Rob and Beth Makros, T-38 instructor pilots with the 25th Flying Training Squadron here, were recently selected for assignment to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., as B-2 Spirit bomber pilots. U.S. Air Force photo.

Captains. Rob and Beth Makros - U.S. Air Force photo

Capts. Rob and Beth Makros, T-38 instructor pilots with the 25th Flying Training Squadron here, have been selected for assignment to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.

Both are thrilled with their new B-2 assignments.

"We were praying for this assignment, and our prayers were answered," said Beth, a former B-1 pilot.

"It's awesome. The B-2 is a great opportunity for both of us," said Rob, who was an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot.

The B-2 pilot selection process consists of a board screening, airmanship evaluation and commander's interview at the wing headquarters. The pilot selection standards are competitive because there are only 20 operational B-2s.

"Captains Rob and Beth Makros are two outstanding officers who did exceptionally well during our selection process," said Lt. Col. Steve Moulton, commander of 394th Combat Training Squadron. "The 509th Bomb Wing is fortunate to gain two superbly talented aviators who will now become part of an elite team that can deliver mass, precision and stealth ... anytime, anywhere."

Although the Makroses have been married for six years, the longest time they've spent together consecutively has been their 18 months at Vance.

After graduation from the Air Force Academy, they dated long-distance for two years while Beth completed her master's degree at Harvard in Boston and Rob completed his pilot training at Columbus AFB, Miss.

After the couple married, Rob headed to F-15E training at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., before taking his assignment at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. Meanwhile, Beth completed pilot training at Columbus. She selected a B-1 in hopes of also getting assigned at Mountain Home.

"But it didn't quite work out the way we had hoped," Rob said.

"Throughout our comedy of errors, we tried to plan our assignments to be together, but the Air Force relocated the B-1s to Dyess AFB, Texas. So again we were back to commuting on weekends to see each other," Beth said.

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, the couple deployed several times with their F-15E and B-1 squadrons to support the global war on terrorism. With operational combat experience under their belts, they were both selected to become instructor pilots in a join spouse assignment to Vance.

After finally getting to enjoy an overdue honeymoon, the couple recently moved apart again when Beth accepted a one-year internship at the Pentagon.

"Our commanders have all been very supportive of our careers, marriage and commuting," Rob said.

"Rob and I also support each other's goals and allow each other the freedom to grow and develop separately in our individual ambitions," Beth said. "We do our best to cooperate, communicate and make adjustments as necessary to strengthen our relationship."

The Makroses are looking forward to their July assignment and reunion at Whiteman. After becoming mission-qualified for the B-2, they hope to stay for three to five years and also assist as instructor pilots in the T-38 program there.

(Courtesy of Air Education and Training Command News Service)



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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).