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F-100 static display dedicated at ANGRC

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The Air National Guard dedicated a static display of a Vietnam-era F-100 Super Sabre aircraft at the Air National Guard Readiness Center here September 13.

Air National Guard director, Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, dedicated the aircraft to former ANG director, retired Maj. Gen. Donald Shepperd and the Air Guard pilots who flew the F-100 on "Misty" fast forward air control missions during the Vietnam War.

"This memorial represents more than just selfless service to our country," said Rice. "It empowers us to remember and reflect on those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to our country, to our Air Guard, our Air Force. It represents boldly stepping forward in the face of great pressure and being proactive to drive our force to a better place. I proudly join with General Don Shepperd to dedicate this memorial as part of our history, our present today, and our future."

Shepperd accepted the honor both for his fellow Misty pilots who did not return home from the war, and for the ones who put their war experience to work strengthening the nation's airpower.

"When I look out at this beautiful airplane on a pedestal, I don't just see an airplane," he said. "I hear voices. I hear the voices of men in terrible danger and on fire. I smell smoke; I see the flames. I hear the 'thump, thump, thump' of AAA passing close to the canopy, and I feel the impact of shells hitting the plane. I see ejection seat rockets blowing pilots out of their planes and I hear parachute beepers."

"The men who flew this aircraft and others like it gave you what you have today," Shepperd told the Airmen in attendance. "They came home from a difficult war - one we did not win - and rebuilt the Air Force and the Guard with what you have now: modern equipment, relevant training and great facilities worthy of true professionals. In return, you have used what we gave you to construct a combat-ready operational force to fight side-by-side with our active duty counterparts, and you can't tell the difference."