Sheppard Air Show Air Operations Chief carries on family tradition

  • Published
  • By Julie Svoboda
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

Capt. Amos Bartlow, Air Operations Chief for the Guardians of Freedom Air Show, said one of his earliest memories is standing in his backyard watching jets fly overhead in Klammath Falls, Oregon. When a jet would rock its wings, he thought it was his father, an instructor pilot, waving at him and he would wave back.  Although he now knows the wing rocking was most likely a signal for a wingman to tighten up the formation, it inspired the journey that began as a student here at the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program followed by assignments in Asia and then a return to ENJJPT as an instructor pilot.

His father was with him when as a student in the ENJJPT, he was assigned the F-16 -- the same jet he watched his father fly. Bartlow said his family was excited to see him follow in his father's footsteps, but the real source of their pride was his hard work and dedication towards realizing his dream.

“My dad's thing was he never wanted us to do it because he wanted us to,” he said. “He was definitely proud and excited to be able to see it from that perspective and watch me grow into that. And you know, hope and pray for me to achieve what I wanted, which was good. Which is a huge blessing and benefit. So, for his reaction, definitely just a proud moment. To be fair, he was proud of my brother when he joined the Army. He's just proud that I followed what I wanted and that I worked hard to go get it.”

Bartlow graduated from the ENJJPT Program in 2016 and attended F-16 training at Holloman AFB. His first assignment was in South Korea where he did his mission qualification training. He then went to Misawa, Japan. After two years in Japan, he was surprised, but pleased, to be returning to Sheppard AFB and the ENJJPT program as an instructor pilot.

“I like how often I get to fly,” he said. “In the combat units, you have one day of planning and then one flight the next day, so you don't get to fly super often. The fact here is that our missions are more predictable, which is good for the students because it gives them something to focus on and move on from there but that also enables me to fly more often with less planning once you become experienced. So, the pace is good, and I think it's still a healthy pace. Additionally, just seeing the students go from like never touching a jet to going solo is a is a very interesting phenomenon -- to watch them mature and go from not knowing anything to being able to handle an emergency.”

Bartlow hopes the public enjoys the air show and walks away with a better understanding of the importance of the training mission at Sheppard AFB.

“We in the Air Force, and the fighter pilots that are here at ENJJPT specifically, continue to press and develop that warrior ethos,” he said. “The Air Force needs it, our country needs it. We need fighter pilots. And it's a just a crazy, incredible experience to be able to do that. And we need to not lose sight of the opportunities we have and the responsibility that we have to be the warriors that the country and the NATO alliance need us to be.”