Military Aviation

Meet Col. Trena “HaK” Savageau, the first female F-16 pilot in USAF Reserve to reach 2,000 hours in the Viper

Col. Trena “HaK” Savageau is known for breaking barriers and setting high expectations as the first female commander of the 944th Operations Group at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

On Jan. 13, 2021, Col. Trena “HaK” Savageau, the first female commander of the 944th Operations Group at Luke Air Force Base (AFB), Arizona, crushed another goal, becoming the first female in the US Air Force Reserve to reach 2,000 flying hours in the F-16C Fighting Falcon.

As told by Capt. Monique Roux, 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, in the article Charting history: female pilot reaches 2,000 hours in F-16, Savageau, a 1998 US Air Force Academy graduate, after having served as an F-16 pilot, instructor pilot, and evaluator pilot, separated from active duty in 2007 and she transitioned into the Air Force Reserve as a Traditional Reservist with the 944th Fighter Wing.

“I switched to the Reserve after my active duty service commitment because of the flexibility it gave me,” said Savageau. “I wanted to have a family, be a stay-at-home mom and Reserve Citizen Airman.”

Savageau started her Reserve career as an instructor pilot with the 301st Fighter Squadron and over the past 14 years, she has served in various positions throughout the 944th Fighter Wing and in the spring of 2019 she was selected as the 944th Operations Group’s first female commander.

Savageau’s recent 2,000 F-16 flying hour accomplishment is representative of her tenacity and devotion to duty and the mission.

Col. Trena Savageau, 944th Operations Group commander, poses in front of an F-16 Fighting Falcon after completing a milestone sortie Jan. 13, 2021, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. During this flight Savageau exceeded two thousand flying hours in the F-16.

“2,000 hours has been a goal for me for a few years,” said Savageau. “I didn’t think I would make it before retirement, so it’s exciting!”

“A huge thanks to all of the maintenance professionals who are 100% responsible for getting me airborne 1,500 times,” she added.

The 944th Operations Group and Fighter Wing are tasked to support worldwide mobility and combat employment operations in conjunction with supporting the Air Education and Training Command mission to train F-16 and F-35 pilots for the US Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, and other participating nations.

Moreover The 944th Fighter Wing, the Air Force Reserve’s largest F-16, A-10, F-15E, and F-35 training wing trains and provides combat-ready Citizen Airmen.

The Wing consists of over 1,955 personnel with five groups, 14 squadrons and three detachments including geographically separated units. The majority of the unit personnel are Reservists who attend unit training assemblies once a month. Reservists represent a wide variety of civilian career fields and hail from all over the US.

This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-16D Fighting Falcon 56th FW, 310th FS, LF/90-0778 / 2018

Photo credit: Master Sgt. Louis Vega Jr. / U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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