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Inbound North Carolina Air National Guard C-17 Globemaster III Tail Flash Unveiled

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  • By Staff Sgt. Laura Montgomery, 145th Public Affairs
Like a hot brand to a new steer, the 145th Maintenance Squadron fabrication section has created the iconic symbol that will represent the brand of the North Carolina Air National Guard’s inbound C-17 Globemaster III. The tail flash created by Master Sgt. Gary McNeill, Master Sgt. Rodney Hall, Tech. Sgt. Charles Gerow, Staff Sgt. Erik Maiers, and Senior Airman Victor Ramirez, was unveiled for public display in the dining facility at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, May 6, 2017.

“This was a two to three week process involving innovation, creation, and approval. We maintained much of the same design from our C-130 [Hercules] aircraft tail flash which stems back to the F-86 Sabrejet we flew from 1959 to 1961,” stated Master Sgt. McNeill, sheet metal supervisor.

The tail flash, much like an aircraft Punnett’s Square, has maintained the heritage of the 360th Fighter Squadron that was stationed in England and was deactivated after World War II. It was then reassigned as the North Carolina Air National Guard’s 156th Airlift Squadron.

There were, of course, some changes to be made including a larger bolding of “Charlotte,” on the tail flash so as to catch the eye. The members also elongated the leading part of the sabre before “Charlotte,” to symbolize cutting the path and leading the way.

“One of the more notable changes depicts the end of the sabre out-running the blue to showcase the speed of the new [C-17 Globemaster III] aircraft,” stated Col. Allen Cecil, commander for the 145th Maintenance Group.
Despite the subtle yet symbolic changes, the North Carolina Air National Guard maintains the spirit of the 360th Fighter Squadron and 156th Airlift Squadron in their tail flash and unit patch with one simple message; we bring the fight to the enemy.