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F-111E Dedication
U.S. Air Force Col. Lance Kildron, 20th Fighter Wing vice commander (center) welcomes Airmen and guests to the F-111E Aardvark dedication ceremony, Sept. 12, 2012, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. The F-111E is a significant part of the 20th Fighter Wing’s history as it was first flown as a part of the wings arsenal in 1970. Aircraft 68-0035 and 680045 landed at Royal Air Force Upper Heyford 42 years ago, starting a new era for the wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kenny Holston/Released)
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F-111E Aardvark static display makes Shaw home

Posted 9/18/2012   Updated 9/18/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Daniel Blackwell
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

9/18/2012 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- A dedication ceremony for the recently refurbished static F-111E Aardvark display (68-0039) was held here, Sept. 12.

The ceremony was organized to bring those who piloted and maintained the aircraft together to pay their respects for the F-111's legacy and contributions to the Air Force throughout the years.

It was held at Carolinas Skies Club and Conference Center where artwork, information and the history of the F-111 being dedicated was on display for attendees to view.

After lunch was served, Arthur Sevigny, 20th Fighter Wing historian, introduced the event's first guest speaker Col. (retired) William Hoge, who during his active duty career piloted the F-111 being dedicated. After remarks from Hoge, guests assembled at the static display where the ceremony continued.

Col. Lance Kildron, 20th FW vice commander, spoke prior to Sevigny introducing the final two guest speakers. Then Staff Sgt. Thomas Mitchell, 20th FW F-111 crew chief, as well as former Capt. Kevin Allen, 20th FW weapons systems officer spoke about their respective jobs and duties while working with the F-111 and shared their thoughts about the dedication.

Kildron and Mitchell then unveiled the memorial stone dedicated in honor of the jet and Airmen who maintained it.

Lastly, attendees were invited to sign a commemorative plaque that will stay in the jets cockpit while the F-111 remains at Shaw.

"It's nice to be a part of this history," Mitchell said. "The static display is a great gesture by the wing, and I'm glad to be a part of it."

The F-111 on display was constructed August 9, 1970, and assigned to the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing stationed at Royal Air Force Station Upper Heyford, United Kingdom.

This F-111 flew 21 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm, and currently calls Shaw AFB home.

6/20/2013 10:51:48 AM ET
I was stationed at RAF Upper Heyford from 1974-1976. It was my first assignment in the USAF as a Security Policeman. I remember so well the noise and thunder the F 111 made and also remember the alerts when they did what was called the Aardvark Amble. It was very cool and gave you a sense of patriotism. Neat
James Woehl MSgt Retired, Port St Lucie Florida
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