132nd Wing celebrates its legacy during 75th anniversary celebration

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly
  • 132d Wing Public Affairs
    The 132nd Wing, Iowa Air National Guard celebrated its 75th anniversary on Saturday, June 11 at the Des Moines Airbase, Des Moines, Iowa.
    The event, attended by hundreds of current Airmen, families and alumni, featured multiple static aircraft displays from different generations of flight, children's activities, a college fair, and a performance by the Iowa Army National Guard's 34th Army Band Sidewinders.
    "I think it turned out great," said Col. Shawn Ford, the 132nd Wing commander. "I think people were able to have a lot of fun outside due to all the hard work and effort of everyone involved."
    Ford said he was proud of the Wing's 75 years of excellence, as he addressed the wing alongside U.S. Representative David Young.
    Over a dozen aircraft, from World War II to the present day, lined both the south and west ramps. These aircraft brought back a feeling of nostalgia for many of the 132nd Wing retirees and alumni.
    "I got a little teary-eyed," said James Autry, who served from 1956 to 1969 flying the F-100 Super Sabre. "It brings back so many memories of friends and different situations."
    Legacy aircraft included a P-51 Mustang, an F-100 Super Sabre and several older air observation aircraft from the World War II period.
    Also present was an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Ohio Air National Guard, formerly maintained and flown by the 132nd Wing.
    For current members, seeing their old F-16 was a reminder of the legacy of manned aircraft they left behind and a testament to the skillful transition to their new missions.
    "It shows a lot of where we came from and what we were built on," said Staff Sgt. Josh LeMaster, a munitions specialist. "The recent transition from F-16's to unmanned aircraft definitely shows our versatility and that we will do whatever it takes to help our country."
    Among the aircraft displays were local college representatives and organizations offering different services to veterans.
    "It's been a great event," said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Flowers, a targeteer with the 233rd Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Squadron. "I think it's good for the community and especially good for the members of our unit."
    In 2013 the 132nd Wing transitioned from flying F-16s to three new missions including intelligence targeting, Remotely Piloted Aircraft operations and cyber operations.