FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, May 9, 2023
CONTACT: U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Ben Kimball, 720-847-9435, firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Air National Guard heritage flight honors Colorado aviation centennial
By 140th Wing Public Affairs 140 Wing
BUCKLEY SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. – Following the 100 Years of Aviation in Colorado celebration, May 7, 2023 at BSFB, the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, flew as part of a past, present, and hopeful future formation, over the skies of Colorado, representing the historical legacy of aviation in the Colorado Air National Guard, May 8.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joshua “Ratt” Burger, pilot, 120th Fighter Squadron, 140th Wing led the formation flying an F-16 Viper, sporting an anniversary paint design created by members of the 140th Wing.
“It’s a privilege to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the squadron's service to our nation and state by leading the formation throughout Colorado,” Burger said. “The F-16 showcases a tremendous effort from airmen throughout the 140th Wing to design and execute a paint scheme that represents our pride in Colorado, the significant heritage of our organization, and the critical role the Air National Guard plays in the United States Air Force.”
Burger was joined in formation by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rob “Voodoo” Bielanski, pilot, 120th Fighter Squadron, also flying an F-16 Viper, Mark Bingham of Lakewood, Colorado in a P-51 Mustang, representing the 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron of 1946 and Lt. Col. Phil “Catfish” Francis, pilot, 315th Fighter Squadron, 158th Fighter Wing, Vermont Air National Guard in an F-35 Lightning II, representing the COANG’s hopeful aircraft upgrade of the future.
The formation could be seen over the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, Buena Vista, Salida, Leadville, Mount Evans, Denver, Empower Field at Mile High, Broomfield, and Boulder, Colorado.
“Taking command of the 140th Wing this past weekend while also celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Aviation in Colorado is an immense and humbling privilege,” 140th Wing Commander Col. Jeremiah “Weed” Tucker said. “Today’s Heritage Flight caps off not only a well-earned celebration, but an observance of a monumental achievement. As we have long maintained the vanguard of air power, we will also outpace our adversaries in the dominions of space and cyber warfare, as we move into the future of state and national defense. This heritage flight was the representation of our long-standing defense of this nation and our continued commitment in the next generation of fighter aircraft.”
The 140th Wing flies and maintains F-16C+ Fighting Falcon aircraft under Air Combat Command and stands alert 24/7 to protect the central U.S. from airborne threats. The COANG has been a pioneer in leveraging aviation as the state and national defense for a century and has continually adapted and innovated this technology to remain Always Ready, Always There.
For more background on this historical event, click here.