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RAGE with the Gorillas: Maj. Hammervold

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Abigail Duell
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

Meet U.S. Air Force Maj. Joshua Hammervold, an F-35A Lightning II student instructor pilot with the 58th Fighter Squadron. His family moved around a lot growing up, but the main places he’s lived were Texas and Canada. 


“I signed up for the Air Force Academy in 2007, and have been active duty since 2011,” said Hammervold. “I wanted and still want to serve our country. The U.S. is one of the best places in the world to raise a family. I wanted to defend that way of life and live for something bigger than myself.”


Training to be an F-35 pilot is no easy task. 


“The most difficult part thus far as a student has simply been passing each upgrade event,” said Hammervold. “I just work hard and study until I’m ready for the event.”


Hammervold aspires to be the commander of a flying training squadron, and when he retires, to become a pastor. 


“I love flying and the mission of teaching people to fly,” said Hammervold. “At home, I want to have great relationships with my family and see my kids live lives that they’re proud of.”


Hammervold traveled with the Gorillas to Volk Field to participate in Exercise Northern Lightning, a large-force exercise with other airframes and realistic threat scenarios.


“Normally we cannot achieve the level of integration and missionized training that can be completed here,” said Hammervold. “During this exercise, we put up 30-40 aircraft in the sky participating in one mission. This is unheard of at Eglin unless we are doing an exercise or special training of our own. Our squadron has become a lot more of a family while on the road here at Volk.”