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Commander Mark Anderson on Flying the F/A-18 Hornet

January 22, 2011

Mark Anderson is a military pilot who made 458 carrier arrested landings and has 3,170 flight hours, which equals 132 days and nights. He has spent 132 days and nights high in the sky, in the cockpit. He has flown different types of planes, including the F/A-18 Hornet.


On January 18, 2011, Commander Mark Anderson, U.S. Navy, U.S. Naval Attaché to Bulgaria, delivered a public lecture on «FLYING THE F/A-18 HORNET» at the American Corner of the Sofia City Library. This lecture was the first one from the series «Cities and People» and part of the Sofia Chicago Friendship Program. After the lecture, the winners in the O’Hare Contest as well as the winners in the F/A-18 Hornet Origami Contest received their prizes. The event was organized by the Friends of Chicago Foundation and the Black Sea Council of the Navy League of the United States.


Commander Mark Anderson’s presentation was a real success. More than 80 people came to the American Corner, and the Friends of Chicago Foundation may need a bigger room for its next event. Of course, Mark Anderson deserves all credit for the success of this event. He proved to be not only an excellent pilot, but a great speaker, too. The audience was thrilled by his achievements as well by his exciting presentation. People liked the way he answered the questions. His openness, sincerity and friendliness immensely impressed the audience. His interaction with all attending the lecture is an excellent example of people-to-people diplomacy. 

Not surprisingly, many came for a group photo with Mark Anderson in the end of the event. 

The awarding ceremony for the winners in the two contests held at the end of Mark Anderson’s lecture made the whole event even more exciting. In the O’Hare Contest, there were participants from Bulgaria, Chicago and even from Kiev, Ukraine. Ms. Evgenia Kirkovska was lucky to receive “US Navy Hornet Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom” – a book from Commander Mark Anderson’s personal collection. Admiral Peter Stranchevski, vice president of the Black Sea Council of the Navy League of the United States, presented a Sign of Honor to Ms. Silva Glavashka. And Ms. Iryna Herts, a university student from Kiev, was awarded Chicago Ukrainian Pages Book of Reference.

Dr. Dessislava Apostolova who made the best Hornet paper model and Gergana Dukova who initiated the Origami Contest, had the chance to be taken on a photo with Commander Mark Anderson.

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