Boneheads receive Heisman

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Christopher Bowyer-Meeder
  • 325 Fighter Wing Public Affairs
According to the Heisman website, the Heisman Trophy is, "the most prestigious award in college football."

Tyndall may not be a collegiate team, but the base did receive a Heisman.

First Lieutenant Brenden "Heisman" Torphy, 95th Fighter Squadron pilot, completed his B-Course training with the 43rd Fighter Squadron at Tyndall the same way every other F-22 Raptor pilot has in the Air Force. The key factor that made him different from other F-22 student pilots is that after graduation, he moved a few hundred yards up the road to his new home with the 95th FS, known as the "Boneheads."

Torphy is officially the first Raptor pilot to learn how to fly the aircraft at Tyndall and then transition to a combat-coded, deployable squadron located here.

"I was lucky the timing really worked out for me to stay here," said Torphy. "It seemed to me like a place that would be great to stay, and they've really taken care of me over at the 95th, so it was definitely a good fit."

Torphy being selected as a pilot for the 95th was the result of years of hard work.

"Total time commitment entering the pilot training pipeline for fighter is about three years," Torphy said.

After commissioning from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa., Torphy said he spent most of his career learning how to fly.

The process started at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas in May of 2011, Torphy explained, where he completed introductory flight screening as well as actual pilot training. When he completed pilot training, he found out he would pilot the F-22.

"I still had to go through the introduction to fighter fundamentals, or IFF course, out at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas," said Torphy. "We flew the same aircraft I had been flying in pilot training there, but you were trained to use it as a combat asset as opposed to just an airplane. I showed up here at Tyndall January 2013, went over to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, to go through the F-16 Viper lead in course, came back to Tyndall April 2013 and started the B-course, then graduated December 2013 and came over to the Boneheads."

The new fighter pilot said he's excited to be a part of the squadron which brings a combat deployable capability to Tyndall.

"The 95th has been around for a long time," said Torphy. "They have an awesome heritage and a great history. However, to be here the first time that we have a deployable combat fighter squadron at Tyndall is awesome!"

Now that Torphy is officially a combat pilot for the Boneheads, he is ready to utilize his three years' worth of training in an active role.

"It feels great to be in an operational unit," Torphy said. "To really feel that three years of training kind of culminating, and seeing almost on a daily basis things that we practiced day in and day out in what was basically our basic training, IFF, even flying an aircraft as complicated as the Raptor - for me that's been the coolest thing."