Thursday, January 14, 2010

Who Fights This War? -- Apache Longbow Pilot


Just When I Thought I Was Out... They Pull Me Back In

For the senior staff in Task Force Diablo, dinner at the Coalition DFAC was an event. It was often a big event with more than a dozen officers and NCOs sharing food and a lot of jokes and laughter. One oft-repeated themes was about Maj. Frank Tedeschi’s connection to ‘The Mob.’ Some of the staff members refers to him as The Tulip: the hitman (played by Bruce Willis) from the movie ‘The Whole Nine Yards.’

The Italian-American officer who flies an aircraft that is a gun with rotary wings, the AH-64 Apache Longbow, takes these jokes with good humor and hands many back himself. Part of the fun revolves around Tedeschi’s encyclopedic knowledge of Gangster movies. One of the lines he quotes often is from Godfather III (1990) when Michael Corleone says, “Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in.”
The jokes are even funnier for those who know that Tedeschi earned an bachelor of science degree in criminal justice at St. Joseph’s University before attending Officer Candidate School and being commissioned a 2nd Lt. in 1992. He joined the Army in 1989 serving first as helicopter mechanic in the 1-104th Cavalry.

After receiving his commission and serving in operations, Tedeschi went to flight school in 1994 qualified in several aircraft but with a particular focus on the Apache Longbow. He earned ratings successively as an instructor pilot, pilot-in-command, and Master Aviator Wings.

From 1995 until 2007 Tedeschi served as a platoon leader, troop commander and assistant operations officer (S-3) with the 1-104th, eighteen years with a single battalion including deployment to Kosovo as the assistant S-3.

Then in 2007 Tedeschi accepted an AGR position in the 2-104th as S4. For the current deployment he also served as the assistant operations officer. In October he was promoted to major. He served as the assistant ops officer on both deployments, Tedeschi said. “Next deployment I am getting a different job.”
This month, after almost three years with 2-104th Tedeschi will be moving his family to Johnstown. He will return to the 1-104th. Of that move he said, “Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in.”