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Academy graduates selected for Thunderbirds 2020 demonstration season

The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron "Thunderbirds" perform at the F-AIR Colombia Air Show in Rionegro, Colombia, July 13, 2019. The team traveled to Colombia for the first time in more than 50 years to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Colombian Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Andrew D. Sarver)

The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” perform at the F-AIR Colombia Air Show in Rionegro, Colombia, July 13, 2019. The team traveled to Colombia for the first time in more than 50 years to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Colombian Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Andrew D. Sarver)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Two Air Force Academy graduates were officially selected to join the United States Air Force Thunderbirds for the 2020 demonstration season.

Capt. Zane Taylor, a 2010 graduate, has been selected as Thunderbird No. 4, the team’s Slot Pilot. He will fly just aft of the No. 1 jet and between the two wingmen.

Capt. Katherine Moorkamp, a 2013 graduate, has been selected as Thunderbird No. 10, the team’s executive officer. Her responsibilities will include leading an executive support staff responsible for Thunderbirds budget, training and force support actions for the commander.

“This year’s applicant pool featured some of the very finest Air Force leaders who showcased a remarkable level of skill and motivation. This was an incredibly difficult choice, but I’m confident we chose the right team to carry on the Thunderbird mission and showcase America’s Air Force,” said Lt. Col. John Caldwell, the Thunderbird’s commander and 2002 Academy graduate.

The 12 officer positions on the team are two-year tours of duty. By design, the position openings are staggered, allowing the squadron to maintain continuity of experience and leadership. In 2021, Thunderbird Nos. 1, 3, 6, 8, and 11 will be replaced.