Aiming High: Galat's Story

Military Pilot preps flight equipment.

Captain Alex Galat, C-130 Pilot with the 164th Airlift Squadron at the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio, conducts preflight operations February 1, 2020, at the 179th Airlift Wing. Galat has been a member of the 179th AW since 2006, initially joining as a loadmaster before becoming a pilot in 2013. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Alexis Wade)

USAF Pilot poses for a photo in front of a C-130 in a maintenance hanger

Captain Alex Galat, C-130 Pilot with the 164th Airlift Squadron at the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio, conducts preflight operations February 1, 2020, at the 179th Airlift Wing. Galat has been a member of the 179th AW since 2006, initially joining as a loadmaster before becoming a pilot in 2013. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Alexis Wade)


For Captain Alex Galat, growing up with his father being a pilot to present day as a pilot in the Ohio Air National Guard himself, aviation has always been a part of his life.

“Growing up with my dad being a pilot here at the 179th, I was exposed to aviation at a very young age,” said Galat, C-130 Pilot with the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield, Ohio. “I would fly around with him in Cessna’s, that really planted the seed in me for being interested in flying.”

After not really knowing what he wanted to do after high school, Galat joined the 179th Airlift Wing as a loadmaster in 2006, and worked in that position while attending Ohio State University. Once he graduated college, Galat was selected for a pilot position in 2013.

“After being selected as a pilot, I then went through about two years of training, bouncing around states doing pilot training on different aircraft as well as survival training,” said Galat.

Although the training was long and intense, Galat said it was an incredible experience and he enjoys the challenges he faces being a pilot.

“I remember coming back and flying for the first time, it was incredible,” said Galat. “I came back from pilot training having eight years of experience as a loadmaster, so it was amazing to be sitting in the front this time and seeing things from a different perspective. It is extremely challenging being in control of the plane, but I enjoy it.”

Galat said one of the best parts of flying is it’s never perfect, so he enjoys the challenge of working on it and getting better with each flight, while getting to travel and see the world.

To anyone who dreams one day of becoming a pilot themselves, Galat offers advice to getting started.

“Expose yourself to the flying world, whether it be going to a local airport and getting some flying time or checking out some literature about aviation,” said Galat. “It is extremely challenging, but definitely worth it.”

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