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Father, daughter pilot duo reflects on family legacy at Ellington

  • Published
  • By By Airman 1st Class Asiah Phillips
  • 147th Attack Wing

Several photos of Mr. Honeycutt standing next to F4s, F16s and former president George W. Bush can be found mounted on the walls. He spent 30 years serving his country before retiring, but Honeycutt still has a close connection to the base.

Mr. Honeycutt enlisted into the Air National Guard in 1966 and started his career in Operations. After three years he was offered an opportunity by his leadership to commission as a pilot and obliged. Little did he know that 40 years later, his daughter, Julie, would follow in his footsteps.

Lt. Col. Julie Honeycutt, Chief of Safety here said she has fond memories of her father being a fighter pilot long before she decided to forge her own path in the skies.

Mr. Honeycutt said that although his daughter expressed that she did not want to join the military early on, he saw potential in her that could lead to military success.

“She had absolutely no knowledge or interest in it,” said Mr. Honeycutt. “But I wrote a letter to the U.S. Air Force Academy saying she was interested so they’d send her mailers.”

It wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she decided to go to attend the academy, where she graduated in 2005. She later finished initial pilot training in 2007.

She said her father never pushed her to become a pilot nor gave her advice after she graduated flight school. He said he knew she would find her own way.

“I trusted her judgment,” said Mr. Honeycutt. “I felt like she would be a big contribution. Her mind was right.”

Unlike her father, Lt. Col. Honeycutt decided to focus on flying heavier aircraft like the C-21, C-130, and KC-10 in her active-duty career.

“I remember telling him I don’t want to fly fighters,” said Lt. Col. Honeycutt. “I like it when we’re sitting next to each other and working as a team.”

She preferred the teamwork aspect of operating larger planes compared to working alone as a fighter pilot.

Mr. Honeycutt was proud of his daughter, nonetheless.

“I was very, very, supportive,” said Mr. Honeycutt. “I felt like she could do it.”

Lt. Col. Honeycutt eventually would move back to Houston after 12 and a half years to join the Air National Guard at Ellington Field where she had spent so much of her childhood.

She said she never knew those mailers for the Air Force Academy that her father requested when she was in junior high school would lead to such a long-standing career.

Now, bearing the same rank that her father once did, Lt. Col. Honeycutt’s career contributes to a legacy at Ellington Field that defines honor and yields respect.