As most of you know, I spent sixteen years in the Georgia Air National Guard before getting out by way of an early retirement program. I left for basic training in San Antonio about 5 days after graduating high school and the next sixteen years spending one weekend a month at Dobbins AFB in Atlanta loading bombs and missiles on fighter planes. We took some mighty cool trips for extended training as well. TRR reader and contributor David was a bud of mine in the Weapons Loading shop of the Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron(CAMS is on our hats) of the 116th Tactical Fighter Squadron. He sent this picture to me this morning that another friend of ours had come across from back in 1986. There I am in the front row, fourth from the right. (If you click on the picture it'll get much bigger). David is standing behind me, one man to my right.
The plane on the left is an F-16 Falcon (we never worked on those). The one in the middle is the F-4 Phantom, the workhorse of Vietnam and the plane we were loading on in '86, and the F-15 Eagle on the right to which we were converting at the time. You can see AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seekers on the wing pylons of the F-4 and F-15. You can also see one AIM-7 Sparrow, a radar guided air-to-air missile on the inboard launcher of the F-15.
I just thought I'd throw this picture out there so you would get an idea about a formative part of my life and know that it contributed to shaping my thoughts and opinions today.
Man, even from here I can see how much younger I look....thanks for that David.