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Orientation Flight
Professional NHRA driver Alexis DeJoria posses for her “hero shot” following her F-15E Strike Eagle orientation flight with the 389th Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, Aug. 7, 2012. During the flight DeJoria experience aggressive maneuvering, aerobatics, low-level flying over canyons and a supersonic run. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Roy Lynch/Released)
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NHRA driver breaks sound barrier

Posted 8/17/2012   Updated 8/17/2012 Email story   Print story


by 2nd. Lt Bryant Davis
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office

8/17/2012 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Professional NHRA driver Alexis DeJoria received a ride that not even her 8000 horsepower funny car can deliver, a near 9G, supersonic flight in an F-15E Strike Eagle.

The orientation flight provided DeJoria with a unique insight into the mission of the Air Force, 366th Fighter Wing and 389th Fighter Squadron; one she can share with an audience of race fans nation wide.

"They really let me feel the full effect of what these jets are capable of, including a vertical take-off, formation maneuvers, pulling 8.4 G's, and they also let me fly it," said DeJoria. "This was an absolute dream come true."

According to DeJoria's pilot, Capt. Daniel Joyce, 389th FS director of staff, the orientation flight also included aggressive maneuvering, aerobatics, low-level flying over canyons and a supersonic run.

DeJoria's Air Force dream is evident in other aspects of her life. The team she's owned since 2009, StealthMotorsports, helped launch her career in racing and eventually led her to a 2010 race in Las Vegas, where she met many members of the 389th FS who were training at nearby Nellis AFB, Nevada.

The relationship between the 389th FS and DeJoria began with a lighthearted statement from Lt. Col. Thomas Yeager, 366th Operations Support Squadron F-15E simulator project office. He asked DeJoria, "I'll trade you a ride in an F-15 for a ride in your car?" A claim that neither side could have anticipated would lead to a continued friendship between both parties.

At the conclusion of the day, Yeager and Royal Australian air force Flight Lieutenant Michael Galton, 389th FS flight commander, presented DeJoria with an American flag that the pair flew in their F-15E during a combat mission in Afghanistan.

DeJoria summed up her experience by saying, "What an amazing experience that was and I'm extremely grateful to the United States Air Force and particularly Mountain Home Air Force Base."

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