187th has a new F-16 display at HQ
The F-16C is now in front of the new headquarters building at Dannelly Field.
The airframe had to be dismantled before painting could begin. Both wings were removed before transport; also removed were the horizontal stabilizers, fuel tanks, weapons pylons.
A crane and special harness were used to remove and replace the F-16 on the static display pedestal. They used a low boy truck used for transport that had to be specially engineered with custom built rails to properly secure the F-16 during transit to and from the painting facility in Peachtree City, Ga.
To paint the F-16 accurately, Clayton International Inc. used a hangar-like paint studio.
The red paint on the tail represents the historic Tuskegee Airmen. The 187th adopted their flash in a ceremony at Maxwell Air Force Base in September 2007. The vertical stabilizer highlights the state of Alabama and the 187th FW in white paint, the Air National Guard emblem and corresponding tail code numbers.
Col. Jeff “CAG” Smiley’s name appears in black below the canopy as well as Tech. Sgt. Felix “Cat” Gordon as the last assigned crew chief. Smiley is the 187th commander.
The city of Montgomery is painted below the tail in black and the US Air Force symbol is stenciled in white between the tail and the wing. The two-tone gray sheen on the body of the jet provides spectators a perfect backdrop to see what a real F-16 and all its markings looks like.
187th FW Inspector General, Major Chris Watson explained the significance of the newly painted F-16, “The historical value of the F-16 is obvious, but the updated red tail is a great tribute to the Wing and the Tuskegee Airmen legacy.”
Upon hearing of the news at a local Tuskegee Airmen Litho Signing, Lt Col (Ret.) Herb Carter was impressed with the accomplishment.
“That is real good,” said Carter with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.
Carter was an original member of the Tuskegee Airmen and championed the ceremonial efforts of the adoption of the red flash.