Colonel (Ret.) Mark Tillman was the 12th presidential pilot and commander of the Presidential Airlift Group during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He swiftly coordinated and executed the successful evacuation of the President and his staff during the extremely volatile security environment. “Sept. 11 was a day full of unknown threats,” he said. “Most of the threats proved to be nothing, but they were still threats at the time.” In addition to securely transporting the President on Sept. 11, Tillman is also credited with executing a highly-secretive mission in the most recognizable aircraft in the world, when he transported President Bush to Iraq for Thanksgiving dinner.
He started his Air Force career as a rocket propulsion engineer before being selected for pilot training. He flew the C-130 Hercules in various tactical airlift roles before applying to fly with the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews AFB, Md. He distinguished himself and his leadership abilities as a pilot for our nation’s senior leaders.