She was commissioned as a USAF second lieutenant in 2004 and after training as an F-16 jet pilot was sent to Iraq with the 34th Fighter Squadron to support US ground troops in close air support missions.
Early this year she was promoted to captain and assigned at Hill Air Force Base in Salt Lake City, Utah.
As the first Filipina to fly the F-16, Capt. Catuncan “also carries the Philippine flag and the pride of the country it represents and the people in it.”
The US Air Force is an elite organization and to a pilot, an F-16 fighter plane is a prized possession. Monessa, through her perseverance and hard work, has earned not only the fly the F-16, but also the pride and honor of defending the United States , as well as making the Filipinos proud.