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145th Airlift Wing, NCANG Proudly Supports Community with Mini C-130

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Patricia F. Moran
  • 145th AW/PA
Gloves, hats, mittens, even hot coffee could not keep frosty away on that chilly Saturday morning October 26, 2013, but the Seventh Annual Runway 5K Run/Walk still drew almost 2,000 participants to one of the nation's most unique locations and busiest airports: Charlotte-Douglas Intl. Airport. Along with the adult runners in the crowd there were many very happy children when members from the 145th Maintenance Squadron showed up with the North Carolina Air National Guard's Mini C-130 Hercules complete with frost on its wings. Although no de-icing was necessary the rides were still cold enough that you could see each breath as the children took turns riding in the airplane on a designated area of the tar mac.

In 2013 alone the Mini has supported such events as the Thomasville Memorial Day Parade, 4th of July Parade in Harrisburg, N.C., the Charlotte Veteran's Day Parade and numerous static displays with the Kangaroo Express. The Mini has traveled to the Joint Headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. supporting Family Day for the last 3 years and the Golden Corral Wounded Warrior 4-H Camp Program. Members of the North Carolina Air National Guard have also taken the 145th Airlift Wing's Mini C-130 to air shows at Warner Robins Air Force Base Ga., Monroe Air Show and the Airshow in Concord, N.C.

The 145th Airlift Wings Mini C-130 was designed and fabricated by members of the 145th Maintenance Squadron, North Carolina Air National Guard. It took these maintenance volunteers over five years to build the Mini working on their own time. It was a true labor of love that has since become a symbol of pride as many members spend countless hours giving back to the community by attending events with the ever so popular "Mini".

"We volunteer to support these events for the kids and the community. Without support from the community," Master Sgt. Marty Jones proudly stated, "Our job would be a lot tougher. Being able to give back is an honor and service before self is one of our sworn promises. To be able to give our time to kids and educate them about the Air Force is far more valuable than anything else. The look on their faces and happiness they exude when in and around the mini C-130 is reward enough! I will continue to selflessly volunteer as long as I am able and as long as I am an Air National Guard member." Jones is an Aircraft Structural supervisor for the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

The North Carolina National Guard is a proud member of communities throughout North Carolina in which our Airmen and Soldiers serve. Through an active community relations program, the Members of the 145th Maintenance Squadron demonstrates it is a good neighbor and community partner by providing support with the Mini C-130 which has supported the Runway 5-K Run/Walk for the past four years and look forward to next year's event.