Detachment 592 is the home and birth place to some outstanding alumni and officers in the United States Air Force. Notable alumni is a section to display the achievements of our alumni both as a cadet and as officers in the Air Force.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Mikeal is considered one of Detachment 592's most notable alumni for his undeniable displays of dedication to the Detachment and to the Air Force. While attending UNC Charlotte Lieutenant Colonel Mikeal was highly involved with the swim team and AFROTC while obtaining a bachelor's degree in psychology. He attended UNC Charlotte on a swimming scholarship where he was a three-year letterman as well as a team captain of the varsity team. During his time as a cadet he served as Cadet Wing Commander for the Fall 1990 semester. It was during his time as a cadet that he also met his wife, Marlo Mikeal. He graduated and commissioned as the Wing Distinguished Graduate from the program in the Spring of 1991.
As an officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mikeal made a career of piloting C-130s for ten years on active duty. At the end of those ten years he made the decision to switch to the Air National Guard where he was a part of the 156th Airlift Squadron of the 145thAirlift Wing in the North Carolina Air National Guard. During his career, Lieutenant Colonel Mikeal had five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan where he piloted C-130 transport planes and was involved in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom (in Afghanistan), Joint Forge (in Bosnia-Herzegovina), Jump Start (Mexico-U.S. border security), and Restore Focus. Due to his dedication to the Air Force he received numerous awards and medals which include; the Meritorious Service Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
Lieutenant Colonel Mikeal gave the ultimate sacrifice on July 1, 2012 while battling a fire in South Dakota. The six member crew was operating a C-130 Hercules aircraft, call sign MAFFS 7, equipped with a modular firefighting system with a capacity of 3,000 gallons of fire retardant. The crew had previously conducted a successful fire retardant drop on the fire and was in the process of making a second drop when the aircraft experienced turbulence from a thunderstorm and crashed. The four members of the flight deck crew were killed. The two crew members operating the firefighting system in the rear of the aircraft were injured but survived. Lieutenant Colonel Mikeal was the Pilot in Command and Aircraft Commander. He is survived by his wife Marlo, daughter Amanda, son Liam, his mother Connie Mikeal, his sisters Tina Adkins and Angela Yonce, and his grandmother Lucille Mikeal.
Lieutenant Colonel Mikeal truly lived the core values of the Air Force; Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in all we do. He was devoted family man and officer. Detachment 592 is proud to call him an alumnus.