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STAFF SERGEANT NIKOLAS KINDER

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SSgt Nikolas Kinder is a member in the United States Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II Heritage Flight Team, 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. As an F-35A Heritage Flight team member, he is responsible for representing Air Education and Training Command, Air Combat Command, United States Air Force, Department of Defense, and the United States of America at 16 air shows annually. He is one of sixteen enlisted members of the F-35A Heritage Flight Team and performs maintenance actions on the Lockheed Martin-produced F-35. By doing so, SSgt Kinder ensures Heritage Flight pilots are equipped with a safe and effective F-35A Lightning II to execute their mission of showcasing the Air Force’s premier fifth-generation aircraft for millions of spectators each year.

SSgt Kinder was born at Naval Station Rota, Spain. He graduated from Brentsville District High School, Brentsville, Virginia in 2009. He left for Basic Military Training in San Antonio, Texas March 2010. He attended Technical Training School in Wichita Falls, Texas, for F-15 Tactical Aircraft Maintenance. After graduating from his technical school, he was assigned to his first duty station at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom as an inspection section journeyman. He has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

EDUCATION
2010 F-15 Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Technical Training School, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2015 Airman Leadership School, Luke AFB, Ariz.

ASSIGNMENTS
2011-2013, F-15 Inspection Section Journeyman, 48th EMS, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom
2014-2016, F-35 Dedicated Crew Chief, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Luke AFB, Arizona
2016-Present, F-35 Dedicated Crew Chief, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Luke AFB, Arizona

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leave cluster
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman Basic 7 March 2010
Airman 1st Class 9 May 2010
Senior Airman 7 Sept 2012
Staff Sergeant 1 March 2015

(Current as of January 26, 2016)