By Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran , 145th Public Affairs
/ Published August 31, 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Members of the 145th Airlift Wing witnessed the final flight of Col. Charles D. Davis, III, when he landed, July 28, 2015, onboard a 145th Airlift Wing, C-130 Hercules aircraft, at the North Carolina Air National Guard base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
As part of a military tradition with aviators, Davis stepped off the C-130 onto the tarmac where leadership waited to congratulate him after his "fini" flight." Then the tradition continued when aircrew members and family douse him with a bucket of ice water and cold champagne as they celebrated his retirement and 18 years of service in the North Carolina Air National Guard and a total of 38 years proudly wearing the U.S. Air Force uniform.
Col. Davis is a master navigator with over 5300 hours of military flying time. He has multiple rotations in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, acuminating 883.9 Combat and 143.9 Combat support hours.
Davis started his military career in 1977 as a weapons mechanic in the Arizona Air National Guard, Tucson, Ariz.
In 1985, Davis earned his commission through the Academy of Military Science, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, in Knoxville, Tenn. Davis continued his education by attending Undergraduate Navigator Training at Mather Air Force Base, Calif., earning his navigator's wings in 1986.
From 1988 to 1993, Col. Davis flew for the Nevada Air National Guard, first as a Weapons System Operator then as an instructor of the weapon system.
In 1995, Davis was selected to represent the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Air National Guard in the prestigious Personnel Exchange Program. After attending the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., Davis flew the RF-4C "PHANTOM II", a tactical reconnaissance aircraft, with the Spanish Air Force, based at Aerea de Torrejon, Madrid, Spain.
Davis converted to C-130's in 1996 after attending USAF conversion training at Little Rock AFB, Little Rock, Ark. then transferred to the NCANG, 145th Airlift Wing in August 1997.
Since joining the NCANG, Davis has served in various key staff and command positions including Squadron Electronic Warfare Officer, Tactics Officer, Assistant Chief Navigator, Mission Commander Joint Forge (Delta Squadron), Commander Operations Support Flight, Deputy Commander Operations Group and Joint Force Headquarters J3/A3, NCANG.
Col. Davis' last assignment was as the Commander of the 145th Operations Group (OG). In this position, Davis was responsible for providing aircrew and operations support training to personnel in order to execute a broad range of missions, including C-130 airlifts and airdrops of personnel, equipment and supplies and the aeromedical evacuation and aerial firefighting missions.
While commander of the 145th OG, Col. Davis was once again honored when selected to the esteemed position of Commander, 145th Air Expeditionary Group, Boise, Idaho; for two consecutive fire seasons, 2013/2014. Davis was selected following a nomination and vetting process that included commanders from the four MAFFS wings, the National Guard Bureau, Air Forces Northern, and U.S. Northern Command for the aerial fire-fighting, Modular Airborne Firefighting System (MAFFS) mission.
During August 2015, Unit Training Assembly (UTA), military members, past and present, along with family and friends got the chance to congratulate Col. Davis during a celebration held in his honor. Awards and accolades were given by many.
"I will leave you with one last piece of advice," said Davis, "You represent the 1% of our country who stepped up to serve. You need to look forward with a clear and unlimited vision, see your future and be in charge."
"I thank you for all you have done to support me and our great military."