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Lt. Col. Tucker Hamilton to speak at 2019 Engineers Week Banquet

Lt. Col. Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton is set to speak at the 2019 Engineers Week Banquet on Feb. 21 at UTSI. (Courtesy photo)

Lt. Col. Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton is set to speak at the 2019 Engineers Week Banquet on Feb. 21 at UTSI. (Courtesy photo)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- Lt. Col. Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton will be the featured speaker at this year’s Engineers Week Banquet, Feb. 21, at the UTSI Dining Hall.

The banquet, one of several National Engineers Week activities occurring on and around Arnold Air Force Base, will get underway at 5:30 p.m., and Hamilton will begin speaking at approximately 7 p.m.

Hamilton is an Experimental Fighter Test Pilot for the United States Air Force and is the current Commander of the U.S. Air Force F-35 Integrated Test Force. He is also an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronauts Distinguished Lecturer, and his speaking engagement at the banquet is being sponsored by the Tennessee Section of AIAA.

Hamilton started his Air Force career as an operational F-15C pilot. He supported multiple Red Flag Exercises and real-world Operation Noble Eagle missions where he protected the President of the United States, at times escorting Air Force One. He served as an Air Liaison Officer in Germany where he was the director of operations for a key command and control squadron. While serving in Germany, he was hand-selected to be the initial cadre for the first MC-12 squadron in Afghanistan, heralding in the Air Force's first tactical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft.

After Afghanistan, he attended Test Pilot School where he flew 30 different aircraft and wrote 38 papers. After TPS graduation, he became an F-15C and F-15E Instructor Experimental Test Pilot and the Technical Director for the Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He was the lead test pilot on 11 test programs, supporting the newest software, systems and weapons for the 450-plus F-15 fleet. He then served as the Developmental Test & Evaluation Lead for the Joint Strike Fighter, F-35, overseeing the entire DT&E effort for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines. He then transitioned to Edwards Air Force Base, California, where he began to fly all three variants of the F-35 as the Developmental Test Director of Operations.

Hamilton has a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado (2002), a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Tennessee (2009), and a Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering from the USAF Test Pilot School (2012).

Hamilton’s topic is “What’s the F-35 really fly like?” He will address questions such as, “Does the F35 have the capability to be the preeminent fighter of the 21st century?” and “How has F-35 flight test progressed and tackled challenges?”

Through personal experiences, photos and videos, Hamilton will answer these questions and discuss 21st century military airpower, the use of military aircraft technology/autonomy and lessons learned from the largest aircraft acquisition program in the history of the Department of Defense.

This year’s National Engineers Week runs from Feb. 17-23. Other activities around Arnold to mark the occasion will include a Student Design Competition on Feb. 19 at UTSI. This is a design competition for high school students from several local counties. The Engineer-for-a-Day event will take place on Feb. 20 at Arnold AFB. This event provides high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to visit Arnold and spend time with engineer mentors at the base and local businesses.

The annual MathCounts® competition, which kicked off the month of engineering activities, was Feb. 2 at UTSI.

For more information on National Engineers Week activities at Arnold, call 931-454-6542.