The Dynasty… a Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker assigned to the 101st Air Refueling Wing, Maine Air National Guard, wears special NFL New England Patriots colors. It was unveiled at the Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show in June, 2018. Crew Chief Master Sergeant Lance Ryan explained that since the Patriots are a New England Team, having a New England – based aircraft honoring the team’s success in recent history made perfect sense. He had to jump through a series of hoops to be able to put the markings on this military aircraft – a fifty-nine year old veteran tanker/transport. Not only did the U.S. military present rules and regulations to follow, but the Patriots logo and other markings had to approved by the team’s front office too.
The plan became reality just days before the air show at Quonset Point, Rhode Island… the engine covers were made in-house at the Bangor, Maine base. MSgt Ryan made the decision to present four players’ names and uniform numbers on the engine covers, the four players were naturally part of the football “dynasty” that covers the five championships that the team has won since the turn of this century.
The team decal came from the Patriots team, and although there wasn’t a full ceremony to meet the aircraft upon arrival at the Quonset airport (which is less than an hour’s drive from the Patriot’s Foxboro Mass. home field), photos of the crew flanked by New England Patriots Cheerleaders were featured on the Wing’s Facebook page shortly after the air show.
There’s another photo on the Wing’s Facebook page showing a different tanker wearing a Boston Bruins logo in its nose, and one has to wonder what the jet that wears the Boston Red Sox “B” looks like now that the Sox have won another World Series earlier this year… if there is such a treatment on an aircraft. In any event, what a great way to show support for New England pro sports teams, from a New England-based Air National Guard unit!