Last 185th Air Refueling Wing F-16 pilot retires

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tylon Chapman
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Col. Kevin Alons retired after 28 years with the Iowa Air National Guard during a formal ceremony held over the December training weekend at the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, Iowa.

After being a part of the 185th for 25 years, Alons concluded his career as the Director of Operations with the Air National Guard at Iowa Joint Forces Headquarters.

Alons leaves behind a legacy as the last F-16 fighter pilot that flew with the 185th Fighter Wing prior to the unit’s conversion to aerial refueling over 20 years ago. 

A unique part of National Guard service is that parents and children can often serve together in the same unit. 

Alons said that during his time with the 185th he his late father, Brig. Gen. Dwayne Alons, served together as pilots with the unit. 

Alons commented during the ceremony that he was inspired by his father’s service, so he joined the unit in 1986. 

Alons initially served alongside his father where he worked on the airframe that his father flew at the time, the A7-D Corsair II. 

After Alons earned his bachelor's in mathematics and computer science, he returned to the unit and become an F-16 fighter pilot until the unit transitioned to flying the KC-135 Stratotanker. 

At the ceremony, he recalled some of his favorite moments of service, including flying beside his father and practicing aerial dogfighting with him. 

Alons said he and his father once flew together for a graduation ceremony flyover at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas.  “He took me on the wing through a cloud so dense that I was flying formation on his red wing-tip light, for what felt like an hour, but was probably only one minute. It’s something that you just don’t forget,” Alons remarked. 

About his time with the wing, Alons said he enjoyed his service and is impressed with the upcoming generation of Airmen for their attitude, work ethic, and commitment to the Constitution. 

“I can attest for a bunch of young people in this unit that they are really impressive,” said Alons, “I look forward to seeing what they do.” 

Alons not only took after his father in his military career, but also in his political career. His father served in the Iowa House of Representatives for eight terms, and Alons is in his second year as an Iowa state senator for Iowa’s northwestern senate district seven.

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