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Oscar hits 4,000

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Stephen Hudson
  • 169th FW/PA-Deployed
In the span of a month, two South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 pilots have reached a milestone few aviators achieve. Col. David "Oscar" Meyer is the second pilot from the 169th Fighter Wing to reach 4,000 hours in the F-16 while deployed here supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Lt. Col. Scott "Cleetus" Bridgers hit 4,000 hours, June 7.

Meyer achieved the aviation milestone while providing overwatch for troops in contact with enemy ground forces. He recently joined the elite class of F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots to cross the 4000-hour flying threshold, stepping to his aircraft with 3998.2 hours in the seat of a Viper and landing with more than 4002 hours.

"I have been blessed to stay in the cockpit my entire career," Meyer said of reaching his achievement. He first flew as a 12-year-old with a friend of his father and was hooked. "I came down with a smile ear-to-ear and said, 'That's what I want to do Dad,'" Meyer said.

In the skies over Afghanistan protecting ground forces Meyer is still flying and according to, he is the 37th F-16 pilot in the world to reach this milestone. Meyer's achievement also makes him the fourth SCANG F-16 pilot to reach such a significant feat in his career.

A 1987 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he completed pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., and has flown more than 80 combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and twice in Operation Enduring Freedom. Meyer currently serves as the 169th Operations Group commander at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., and is the deputy operations group commander for the 451st Expeditionary Operations Group while deployed to Kandahar Airfield. He is a graduate of the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

In April the 169th Fighter Wing deployed more than a dozen F-16s and 400 personnel including pilots, maintenance specialists, and support staff to support Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.