Air Force Pilot with 1,000 combat hours puts experience to work for U.S. citizens.

BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq -- Lt. Col. George Uribe, 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group fighter pilot, is greeted and congratulated by Col. Steven Shepro, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing vice commander, and Col. Charles Moore, 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group commander, after completing 1,000 combat flying hours as an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot here, Feb. 17. Colonel Uribe is deployed from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Julianne Showalter)

Lt. Col. George Uribe upon completing his 1000 combat flying hours as an F-16 Fighitng Falcon on Feb.17 at Balad, Iraq, prior to his return to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Julianne Showalter)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The pilot who achieved 1,000 combat flight hours, and more than 3,000 flight hours overall, returned from war to the numbered Air Force to offer his invaluable experience for the benefit and protection of U.S. citizens.

Lt. Col. George A. Uribe works here under Commander Maj. Gen. Henry 'Hank' Morrow at First Air Force, Air Force Northern, responsible for the air defense of the U.S.

Uribe is the chief of standardization and evaluation here making sure air crews are certified and qualified through oversight and evaluation of higher headquarters.

"Colonel Uribe is a role model for young men and women who look for excellence. We are honored to have him working at First Air Force," said the general.

Uribe has a distinguished career achieving his 1,000 combat flight hours in Balad, Iraq this year after serving eight tours overseas as an F-16 fighter pilot.

Uribe has served all over the world as a weapons officer, chief of training, planner, commander, F-16 fighter pilot, flight examiner, and wing director of staff.

"It's all worth it. I love flying," said Uribe. Uribe grew up in the military and told his father, an Army doctor, he was going to be a pilot at age nine.

During his recent deployment, he served with the Madison Air National Guard out of Wisconsin "Eight squadrons conducted 24 hour operations with more than 800 personnel providing air support to Army troops on the ground while conducting combat search and rescue, and setting the stage for success" said Uribe.

1st Air Force (AFNORTH) operates nine Air National Guard wings, two Air Defense Sectors and a Combined Air and Space Operations Center all working to provide Air Force assistance when needed during hurricanes, fires, flooding or search and rescue efforts. 

"Uribe's extensive experience is put to use everyday. He is key part of the First Air Force mission. He upholds the standards of excellence vital to successfully providing air defense and support to U. S. civil authorities when, and where it is needed,"said Morrow.