Major Dan “Rock” Dickinson, F-22 Raptor Pilot, Commander of the Demonstration Team, just before demonstrating the capabilities of the most feared fighter jet in the world. The Raptor does both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. When I spoke with Major Dickinson, he mentioned he has logged in more than 900 flying hours in the F-22. This is his second year as a demo pilot. He absolutely loves flying this aircraft. Major Dickinson was actually assigned this aircraft straight out of pilot training. He has been a pilot for 12 years and a Raptor pilot for 9 years. Having always wanted to be a pilot and being inspired by his Grandfather, Uncle and Dad as they were pilots, he is carrying on the tradition. I asked Major Dickinson if he gets nervous prior to a demo and he said “No, it’s just exhilarating and exciting every time”. He has to concentrate on airspeed and winds while demonstrating the F-22. He stated that he practices the Heritage Flight every week to stay proficient. The Heritage Flight, which occurs directly after the F-22 demo, took 4 months to train for proficiency. Major Dickinson mentioned how great it is during the air shows to display what assets are available for our military to defend our country and inspire young people to join the military. Following this Air Show, it was off to Myrtle Beach SC. To be able to chat with Major Dickinson prior to his impressive demonstration was beyond enjoyable! What a nice guy! Such a small world too….his wife Erin grew up in the town where I live and graduated from the same high school where my daughters graduated. We salute you “Rock” and thank you for your service as well as displaying your passion for our military! Hats off to Erin for keeping those home fires burning while Dan is off and about in the Raptor.