On Guard at Reno
The National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada were held September 11th to the 15th. The event obviously features many highly modified race aircraft, along with civil and military flight displays.
As a self proclaimed Eagle fanatic, one of the things I look forward to each year is the arrival of the F-15 Eagles that perch here every race week. Several past visitors have included the Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing, which one year featuring there Screaming Eagle color bird 79-0041. The 159th Fighter Wing – the “Bayou Militia” – came to Reno again this year. A “Bayou Boy” Eagle driver known as “Slap” said “this is his gig”, and has attended the races numerous times now – and a concurrent TDY couldn’t make him miss it.
This year I got to meet and spend some time talking to the pilots and crew from the California Air National Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing. The Wing displayed two Eagles to Reno. One, the beautiful anniversary color bird 84-004, is adorned with the squadron’s fire breathing Griffin and over sized anniversary logos on the tails. The other jet, 74-0480, is just as well known in the Eagle community. It was a former 65th Aggressor Squadron’s bird, which is “unfortunately repainted in gray” now, to quote a crew member. Meeting the unit personnel and talking all things Eagles was a highlight of my Reno experience.
I hope to be invited out to the base in Fresno someday, for an up close visit and flight line report of this historic unit. Below are some photos of the units visit and departure flight. Special thanks to “DEPOT”, “VOODOO”,” “HIJAX” , “JUDGE” and the entire crew for bringing the Eagles to Reno. https://www.144fw.ang.af.mil/
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