Dave Hughes is a 21 year veteran of the United States Air Force. He currently works for General Atomics as an MQ-9 UAS (Drone) Instructor Pilot, flying operational missions guarding both our northern and southern borders and training US Customs and Border Protection aircrews.
Dave was born in San Diego, California, attended public schools, and graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. After graduation, Dave began his active duty service in the United States Air Force. He first worked in space weapon system acquisition. He then became a pilot, and flew the KC-135 Stratotanker, the C-21 Learjet, and the MQ-9 Reaper UAS (Unmanned Aerial System). During his career, Dave was deployed to combat zones seven times, participating in Operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Allied Force, and Iraqi Freedom. He worked in Saudi Arabia to enforce the no-fly zone in southern Iraq and in Turkey to enforce the no-fly zone in northern Iraq. Dave flew missions from Spain and Italy during the brief war with Serbia in 1999. Dave also deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, where he performed surface-to-air fire incident analysis for all of Iraq for the American General in charge and helped Iraqi national political leaders rebuild their national agriculture programs. Dave was again called to serve in Iraq as a lead judge to interview detainees, assess if they were a threat to Coalition Forces, and recommend either release or further detention. Dave Hughes retired after 21 years of service as a Major with numerous awards and decorations having top secret security clearance.
Dave lives in Karlstad, Minnesota with his wife, Amanda, and their 7 children.