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70 Years, and Still Flying Strong

  • Published
  • By by Tech. Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter
  • 145th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 145th Airlift Wing stood up on March 15, 1948, just six months after the Air Force established its own separate service on Sept. 18, 1947. Starting its journey with the P-47 Thunderbolt, the Wing has undergone several transitions in mission and aircraft. The most recent change being the transition to the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in April, but what remains the same, is the dedication and commitment of its members.

“This a huge milestone, and the Air Force just celebrated its 70th Anniversary. What this tells you is the 145th has been in the fight since nearly day one of the Air Force,” said Col. Alan Cecil, vice commander of the 145th Airlift Wing.

Change has evolved the unit, which makes it continually valid in the overall mission of North Carolina and the Air Force.

“Whether it’s been standing up new missions, changing aircraft, or creating new units, we have always really stepped up and done an outstanding job. We break down the change that has to take place and embrace it,” said retired Chief Master Sgt. Terry Henderson, 145th Force Support Squadron Airmen and Family Readiness program manager.

Henderson has been with the 145th Airlift Wing for 48 years; first, as an Airmen, and now as a civilian employee and said, “I’ve been involved in this unit for most of my adult life and it’s hard to put into words, but it’s like family to me.”
The unit fosters a sense of family and belonging, and Airmen often mentor others throughout their career.

“Being a member of this unit is a very unique brotherhood and sisterhood because, as guardsmen, you don’t move. We grow up here together as part of this Wing. It’s like a family,” said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Green, 145th Security Forces Squadron.

Airmen of the 145th Airlift Wing not only have a strong camaraderie, they also live for the mission taking part in disaster relieve efforts and supporting overseas deployments.

“We are known for getting the job done in locations we have been assigned and places we are currently deployed. Our Airmen want to be a part of what’s happening in world and serve by being part of the solution. They have the drive and dedication to make that happen. We have the heart for service,” said Cecil.

The transition to the C-17 Globemaster II aircraft brings the 145th Airlift Wing into the future by providing greater flexibility, performance, and the capability for rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the transition and this unit. As a leader, I hope I can set up as much success for the unit as our forefathers did so we can have another 70 years of success,” said Cecil.