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Keeping legacies alive long after their final flight

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Paige Weldon
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

From transport to close air support attack, the 355th Wing Heritage Park has a variety of aircraft, some as old as the United States Air Force itself, that call Davis-Monthan’s Heritage Park home.

A cleanup event was held where volunteers washed an F-100F Super Sabre display and cleared debris from the area as part of the 355th Wing’s new Aircraft Adoption Program at Heritage Park, Sept. 9, 2022.

“Some of these planes have been out here since the 1970’s, that’s when Heritage Park was established,” said Staff Sgt. Jose Barrera, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron fabrication flight Heritage Park custodian. “There are plaques on the displays about their missions, the pilots that flew them and decorations those pilots achieved.”

The 11 retired aircraft that currently reside at Heritage Park all played significant roles during their time in the Air Force and in accomplishing DM’s various mission sets throughout the years.

The goal of the 355th Wing’s Aircraft Adoption Program is to maintain the appearance of these historical displays and keep their legacies alive long after their final flight.

“We’re in the process of changing the park right now by getting rid of aircraft that were not part of our mission sets and receiving new aircraft that are,” said Barrera. “It’s going to be completely rebuilt and something we can take even more pride in.”

The program allows squadrons and local organizations to adopt a display at Heritage Park. Volunteers are responsible for upkeeping their area at least once a year.

All supplies required for upkeep will be provided at no charge to by the Heritage Park property custodian Staff Sgt. Jose Barrera.

“The opportunity to give back to the community by preserving our legacy and protecting our future was a great privilege,” said Lynn Stedge, Office of Special Investigations Region 2 OL-B (AFSOUTH) director. “It was nice to get out of the office and do something different from our typical day of work.”

Units or organizations interested in adopting an aircraft can submit a request form to the 355th Wing Commander’s Action Group organizational box, 355WG/CAG@us.af.mil.