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‘Toro’ grabs Viper Demo by horns

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kathryn R.C. Reaves
  • F-16 Viper Demonstration Team

Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, certified Maj. Garret “Toro” Schmitz as a demonstration team pilot following an aerial performance, May 16.

Schmitz is tasked with commanding the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team through their 2019 and 2020 seasons as they perform at approximately 40 shows across the world.

Previously assigned to the 55th Fighter Squadron, Schmitz is a combat-proven pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours in his approximate 11 years of military service. He also completed 55 combat missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The new commander’s training included more than 20 practice missions and 45 hours of study which prepared him for four certifications at the 20th Operations Group, 20th Fighter Wing, 9th Air Force and Air Combat Command levels.

Schmitz will lead the team in giving individuals a firsthand look at one of the world’s premiere multi-role fighter aircraft while also inspiring the next generation of pilots, maintainers and Airmen.

For more information on the F-16 VDT, or for the team’s 2019 schedule, visit www.shaw.af.mil/Viper-Demo-Team