185th personnel moves military relic to central Iowa museum - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

185th personnel moves military relic to central Iowa museum


Transporting a military treasure of the past sounds like anything but routine.
It certainly caused a whirlwind of activity at the 185th Air Refueling Wing. 

The 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City strapped an A-7D Corsair aircraft to the bottom of a CH-47F Chinook helicopter for transport to the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge... what they consider a routine mission.

"It wasn't too bad of a thing. It's just another mission for us to accomplish for the state," Sgt. Todd Isely, First Class, flight engineer instructor said.

So what made this routine mission unique? The vintage aircraft, unique for its two seats rather than one, with a fresh paint job... done by the Air National Guard's only paint facility in the nation at Sioux City's 185th air base. The custom job honors crew chief TSgt. Bruce Johnson and pilot Capt. Andy Erickson, the former unit members in charge of the aircraft.

"To be able to see something like this preserved for the longevity of the unit and to preserve our history down at Camp Dodge is pretty special," David Miller, command chief of 185th and operations manager of the paint facility said.

"Bruce Johnson, the crew chief, was a good friend of mine. So it's just great to have them on the aircraft and honored that way, into perpetuity actually because they're going to be on that airplane for the whole time it's down at the Gold Star [Museum]," Col. Scott Plambeck, Maintenance Group Commander of the 185th said.

This model of aircraft was used by the military from 1977 until the conversion to the F-16 in 1991. The paint job replicates the appearance of the aircraft at the height of the Cold War in the 80s.

While it is a heavier load than the crew is used to lifting, they don't anticipate any problems with the mission. All in all, it should be a pretty routine thing

"Safety is our main concern here, so we just try to mitigate risks and do everything in a safe and efficient manner," Sgt. Jason Nemeth, Flight Engineer on the CH-47D and F Chinook helicopter said.

The crew of twelve, five in the air and seven on the ground, transported the nearly 25-thousand pound plane all this afternoon, stopping to refuel just once. 


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