Staff Sgt. Nicholas Mersinger is the United States F-35A Lightning II Heritage Flight Team member, 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. As an F-35A Heritage Flight team member, he is responsible for representing Air Education and Training Command, Air Combat Command, United States Air Force, Department of Defense, and the United States of America at 16 air shows annually. He is one of nine enlisted members of the F-35A Heritage Flight Team and performs maintenance actions on the F-35. By doing so, he ensures Heritage Flight pilots are equipped with a safe and effective jet to execute their mission of showcasing the Air Force’s premier fifth-generation aircraft for millions of spectators each year.
Sergeant Mersinger was born in Alton, Illinois. He attended Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, Illinois, graduating in 2006. He enlisted into the United States Air Force in September 2008. After basic training and his technical school, he was assigned to maintain the F-15E Strike Eagle at Royal Air Force Lakenheath. He was then assigned to Luke Air Force Base to maintain the F-35A Lightning II where he is a dedicated crew chief. Mersinger has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Odyssey Dawn and Operation Octave Shield.
2006 Althoff Catholic High School, Belleville, Illinois
2012 Airman Leadership School, RAF Lakenheath, England
1. 2009 – 2014, 48th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Dedicated Crew Chief, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom
2. 2014 – Present, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Dedicated Crew Chief, Luke AFB, Ariz.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Air & Space Campaign Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman 1st Class: October 31, 2008
Senior Airman: August 31, 2010
Staff Sergeant: June 1, 2012
(Current as of January 2016)