Report: 'First Female Viper Demo Team Pilot Relieved of Command After Two Weeks'

Chris Menahan
InformationLiberation
Feb. 13, 2019

History made!

From the Air Force Times:
Capt. Zoe Kotnik, the first female pilot to head the F-16 Viper demonstration team, was relieved of command Monday.

“Col. Derek O’Malley, 20th Fighter Wing commander, relieved Capt. Zoe Kotnik from command Feb. 11 due to a loss of confidence in her ability to lead and command the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper demonstration team,” said Col. Allen Herritage, director of public affairs at ACC, in a statement. “The Viper demonstration team is working to minimize impacts on scheduled performances and looks forward to inspiring crowds around the country during the upcoming season as soon as a new commander is selected.”
Herritage would not comment further on what led to Kotnik’s removal, citing privacy concerns.

The 20th, which is located at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, said in an email to Air Force Times that Kotnik declined to comment. Capt. Alannah Staver, a spokeswoman for the wing, said that Kotnik is no longer performing with the team, but “will continue to serve in a non-supervisory role in the 20th Fighter Wing."
O'Malley posted more about the incident on Shaw's Facebook page:



You can see from their social media accounts they were hyping Kotnik's appointment for weeks and portrayed her as a Marvel Comics superhero:




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