USAF ROTORHEAD Members
Alfonso (RT) Rivero-Torres
RT entered the USAF in February 1966 and served our country as follows;
Feb. 1966 – Following the obligatory stint at Lackland AFB, TX. for basic training I was assigned to Sheppard AFB, TX. for Helicopter Mechanic School. After graduation I was assigned to F. E. Warren AFB, WY. (might as well have been in Siberia) with the 90th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron where I served as a Crew Chief on the UH-1F’s supporting the Minuteman Missile crews. At the time SAC personnel were “frozen” and they kept me there for 3 long years. Nearly froze to death.
Mar. 1969 – Finally, after numerous volunteer statements, I got my orders to join the 20th SOS in Nha Trang. Started as a Crew Chief for the best UH-1P chopper there (63-13159) and after a trip to Jungle Survival School in the PI and initial flight certification I became a Helicopter Mechanic/Aerial Gunner for Slicks and Gunship configurations.
I served as a Helicopter Aerial Gunner, Crew Chief, Standardization Evaluation Flight Engineer with the 20th SOS, “Green Hornets”, UH-1P and UH-1N Helicopters. Flew 1,021.2 Combat Hours with the 20th with a total flight hours on my last form 5 of 1,280.6. My regular flight hours were mostly test flight time.
After completing the first extended tour with the 20th SOS I was sent to Vance AFB in Enid Oklahoma where I served as Flight Engineer/Crew Chief on HH-43’s. The assignment was OK, but I missed the Hornets and quickly volunteered to go back. This time things moved fast and within a couple of months I was back with the Hornets.
While with the Hornets I was based at first in Nha Trang, later on we moved to Tuy Hoa and later to Cam Rahn Bay . We also switched to UH-1N helicopters.
March – 1972, at the end of my second extended tour I was sent to Hill AFB , Utah, flying UH-1N’s. I served there flying rescue training missions until my discharge in October 1973. Took an “early out” and went to Weber State where I received my BA in 1975.
I am a life member of the Special Operations Association and the Air Commando Association.