News>Pilot from the 36th AS fulfills 10 year dream
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Senior Airman Christopher Sanchez, 374th Operations Support Squadron, assists 1st Lt. Evan Dineen, 36th Airlift Squadron pilot, with his HGU-55P flight helmet at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 27, 2011. The HGU-55P helmet is required for all tactical missions and offers safety and communication support for flight crew members. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- 1st Lt. Evan Dineen, 36th Airlift Squadron pilot, tests out his night vision goggles before heading out for a flight at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 27, 2011. Dineen is a native of Laguna Beach, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- 1st Lt. Evan Dineen, 36th Airlift Squadron pilot, gathers paperwork during a pre-flight briefing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 27, 2011. Pre-flight briefings ensure that all flight crew members are ready for the mission at hand. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- 1st Lt. Evan Dineen, 36th Airlift Squadron pilot, smiles for a photo before preparing for a flight at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Sept. 27, 2011. Dineen is a native of Laguna Beach, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett)
by Airman 1st Class Desiree Economides
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
9/30/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- As the old proverb says, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and that is true of 1st Lt. Evan Dineen.
With an engineering salesman for a father and a retired flight attendant for a mother, there is little doubt that Dineen was bound to be a pilot.
The Laguna Beach, Calif. native grew up in a tightly-knit family with parents Scott and Jane and twin sister Sarah.
"We are all really close," said Dineen. "Growing up, my friends would joke and even call us the Brady Bunch because we all got along and did so much together."
Living two miles from the Pacific Ocean, the family often spent time surfing together. When they weren't surfing, Dineen and his father, a private pilot, would spend time flying through the sunny skies of California.
Though he spent hours flying with his father it wasn't until the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011 that Dineen decided he wanted to be a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
"That event changed so many of our lives," said Dineen, who was 16-years-old at the time. "After it happened, I really evaluated what I want to do and knew I wanted nothing else than to be an Air Force pilot."
Following high school, Dineen attended San Diego State University in San Diego, Calif. As a mechanical engineering student and ROTC cadet, Dineen kept busy with his studies.
"ROTC was great. I made some of my best friends there," said Dineen. "It was also cool being able to get military training while having a college experience at the same time."
Dineen made his way from the cool coast to the dry desert and attended pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. For Dineen, pilot training was the best of times and the worst of times.
"Pilot training is something I'm proud I accomplished," says Dineen. "The two years of training is stressful, but knowing it is really what I wanted to do helped me get through it."
Upon graduation, the new pilot prepared to go he knew not where--wherever fate would take him.
"Initially I looked at all the bases the C-130s are stationed and was a little worried of where I could be going," said Dineen. "Then I found out I was coming to Yokota, and I was over the moon."
Regardless of where he may have ended up, Dineen says he is happy to be a pilot and serving in the U.S. Air Force.
"I've been so blessed throughout my entire military experience," explained Dineen. "From being selected to be a pilot, through training, getting Japan as my first assignment, and ending up in a squadron like the 36th with a close-knit group of brothers."
Though Dineen enjoys the company of his new found squadron brothers, he still remains close to his father.
"My father and I have always had a strong bond," said Dineen. "Now were able to connect even more as pilots."