Pullen-Mayfield Ranch east of Bellevue welcomed 28 pilots-in-training and their commanding officer Friday for an official squadron photo.
The NATO pilots are members of the 469th Flying Training Squadron, 80th Flight Training Wing, based at Shepperd Air Force Base. The 469th is called “The Fighting Bulls” and features a black bull on its squadron patch.
Looking to break from the monotony of squadron photos taken in the past — studio pictures taken on base — The Fighting Bulls wanted incorporate the main feature of their insignia. They found the Pullen-Mayfield Ranch, which raises Angus cattle, through an Internet search.
“They found us online and contacted us through the website,” said rancher Carla Sue Pullen.
Sixty percent of the squadron is made up of United States Air Force officers, said Lt. Col. Filip Lindeman, commanding officer. Pilots in the squadron also hail from Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Spain. Linderman is Dutch.
Linderman also noted the hats worn by the squadron, a style popular among pilots during the Vietnam war and unique to the 469th. Linderman said The Fighting Bulls wear them in honor of pilots who served in the conflict.
After the photo shoot, Rayford and Carla Sue Pullen and members of the community treated to 469th to supper at the Bellevue Community Center.