Col. Hiss flies final B-1 mission

  • Published
  • By Airman Ashley J. Cass
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Col. Steven Hiss, 28th Bomb Wing vice commander, flew his final B-1 mission Thursday, June 7, 2012, a fitting bookend to his 26 years as a professional aviator.

The atmosphere on the flight line was bittersweet as Hiss was congratulated and thanked by family and friends after stepping down from a B-1 for the last time.

The weather at Ellsworth was overcast and windy, but Hiss said the skies were clear once they were about 100 miles away and that the flight went well.

"It was a great sortie," Hiss said. "We dropped three 500-pound bombs and one 2,000-pound bomb. We shacked the target each time!"

Although it didn't rain, Hiss didn't make it off the flight line dry. In keeping with tradition, his wife, children and crew members were on hand with a fire hose to make sure he was soaked from head to toe.

Hiss has approximately 3,600 flying hours under his belt, with almost 2,300 of those hours from flying B-1s.

"Obviously, it's a sad day, after 26 years of flying," Hiss commented. "But all good things come to an end and life goes on."

Hiss is scheduled to leave Ellsworth this month in order to pursue his next assignment as Professor of Aerospace Science at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.

"I'm looking forward to mentoring our next generation of officers at the University of Virginia," said Hiss. "Many of whom want to be pilots, as well, so hopefully I can help them realize their dreams."