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NEWS | March 11, 2020

Is the San Antonio Spurs Coyote an Air Force Pilot?

By Janis El Shabazz 340th Flying Training Group Public Affairs

There wasn’t a bird, but there certainly was a plane (or four) and - of all things - a coyote.

In late February the well-known NBA mascot was sighted riding his motorcycle on the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph taxiway, sparking a flurry of interest and speculation. What could he have been up to!? Later sightings of the Coyote in flight gear confirmed suspicions! He's an Airman!  

The rest of the story, as they say, is that the Coyote wanted to know what it's like to go through pilot training, so he reached out to a friend at the 340th Flying Training Group – Lt. Col. Mark Pasierb – to request an orientation.

From there, a team of Regular Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and civilian Airmen from the 340th Flying Training Group headquarters, 39th Flying Training Squadron T-6 Texan Flight, 12th Flying Training Wing Safety, 559th Flying Training Squadron T-6 team, 3rd Combat Camera Squadron and the NBA San Antonio Spurs production crew joined forces at JBSA-Randolph -- and later in the skies over San Antonio - to expose the Coyote to the pilot training process, capturing video footage of each step along the way.

That footage was been transformed into a video that will was released during the 10th annual Spurs Military Appreciation Night at the AT&T Center March 10.

The Spurs' annual tradition of honoring military members, veterans and retirees includes a series of events that highlight, celebrate and honor the men and women of the United States armed forces in San Antonio, also known as Military City USA.

This year, those events included Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Ramos, 433rd Airlift Wing, JBSA-Lackland, singing the national anthem to kick off the evening. Soldiers from the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research helped display a court-sized American flag during the anthem, as members from each military branch presented the colors. A special enlistment ceremony also took place during halftime as recruits from all branches were sworn in to the United States armed forces.

As an early nod to the April Month of the Military Child observance, the team is hosting 20 pre-selected military members from local installations and 40 of their children for a March 12 once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit the court at the AT&T Center. The children will run practice drills and receive one-on-one assistance from Spurs assistant coaches before meeting with players and touring the arena. Military children will also be celebrated during the April 5 game.

For more information about Spurs military appreciation events, visit the team's official website.