07/26/05 — 916th wins awards

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916th wins awards

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Published in News on July 26, 2005 1:45 PM


Special to The News-Argus

North Carolina's only Air Force Reserve unit recently brought home top honors from Europe's largest airshow.

Members of the 916th Air Refueling Wing participated in the Royal International Air Tattoo July 16-17 at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England. The show attracts thousands of participants and fans each year.

916th ARW Rodeo

916th ARW/Kevin Jackson

Maj. Eric Jorgensen and Maj. Matt Young, Goldsboro residents and members of the 916th ARW, show off a Reserve KC-135R tanker decorated to represent the squadron's Totin' Tigers while at the Royal International Air Tattoo in England.

This year, military aircraft with a feline theme in their crest were showcased as part of the the "Tigers Roar in '05" theme. The 916th Air Refueling Wing was asked to participate because the 77th Air Refueling Squadron is known as the Totin' Tigers. Reservists from the 916th showed their support by decorating a KC-135R Stratotanker for the event.

The aircraft was decked out with tiger-themed graphics, including a large tiger on the vertical tail fin, tiger claws along the engines and claw marks indicating "916th ARW" across the body of the aircraft. The markings took 10 hours to affix when the crew landed in England.

The aircraft was such an attraction at the airshow that the 916th team won the Best Presentation Award beating out several other NATO aircraft and teams.

"The plane looks incredible," said Col. Paul Sykes, 916th ARW commander. "This was a great effort on the part of all those involved. It's terrific that we can bring this type of recognition back for the unit, the Air Force Reserve and Goldsboro."

-- Capt. Shannon Mann works for the 916th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs office.