Air Force squadron commander flying high
Houston native Travis Koch has been in the U.S. Air Force for almost 20 years. He first decided to pursue a military career after being recruited to play lacrosse at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., fresh out of high school.
“When I heard about the Air Force Academy and then I was recruited to go with the dream of one day flying jets, I was sold,” Koch said. “It seemed like a no-brainer.”
Koch is now a lieutenant colonel. He’s stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., where he currently serves as commander of the 43rd Fighter Squadron. The squadron, which is a subordinate unit of the 325th Fighter Wing, trains airmen to fly the F-22 Raptor.
“Flying is a heck of a good time, but honestly, the people are the best part (of my job), the airmen that I get to work with day in and day out,” Koch said. “While flying is the most fun, the reason that I’ve stayed in and come back every day is because of the men and women that I get to serve with.”
When he’s not busy fulfilling his duties as a squadron commander teaching airmen to fly the F-22, Lt. Col. Koch enjoys fishing with his 7½-year-old son, John, and spending time with his wife of 12 years, Amanda.
Koch met his wife in 1998, when their mothers — both members of the Houston Junior Forum volunteer organization — played matchmakers. They hit it off, married two years later and recently welcomed their second child.
“Our moms set us up on a blind date on Dec. 26, 1998. How about that?” he said.
Koch and his wife also enjoy traveling back to Houston to visit friends and family, and attend special events whenever their schedules permit.
“We do like coming home to Houston,” he said. “We try to get back every spring for the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show.”
For more information on career opportunities with the Air Force, visit www.airforce.com. You can also connect with the U.S. Air Force on Facebook.
ABOUT TRAVIS KOCH
OCCUPATION: U.S. Air Force squadron commander
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Originally from the Clear Lake area
FAST FACT: Koch’s maternal grandfather served as a fighter pilot in World War II.
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