Kentucky Army National Guard Aviation community celebrates 60 years of Fixed-Wing Aviation
Reunion this Saturday Sept. 23rd at Frankfort’s Capital City Airport
Friday Sept. 22
WHAT: Reception for Kentucky Army National Guard
Aviation family and friends
WHERE: VFW Post 4075 located at 102 East Second St., Frankfort
WHEN: 6 p.m.
Saturday Sept. 23
WHAT: Aviator Reunion
WHERE: Capital City Airport, State Maintenance Hangar, Frankfort
WHEN: 11 a.m.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Sixty years after the Kentucky Army National Guard received its first aircraft, aviators from across the state will join in Frankfort to celebrate the occasion.
The Kentucky Army National Guard Aviation community will come together Saturday Sept. 23 in conjunction with Aviation Days at the Capital City Airport. The “60 Years of Fixed-Wing Aviation” reunion will begin at 11 a.m. Events will include remarks from Maj. Gen. Donald C. Storm, Adjutant General for Kentucky and award presentations.
“I am so pleased that our past and present Kentucky Army National Guard aviators will join together to celebrate the 60 wonderful years of fixed wing aviation in Kentucky,” said Storm. “And it will be a great day Saturday when we honor two of the great Kentucky National Guardsmen who paved the way for our current aviators.”
Retired Maj. Ephraim A. Berry of Glasgow and retired Command Sgt. Maj. Kelly Barker will be presented with Fixed-Wing Pioneer Certificates.
It was after World War II when the Kentucky Army National Guard was authorized its first aircraft as part of an artillery unit. In September of 1947, the Guard leased portions of Bowman Field in Louisville and had a fleet of eight planes stationed there by the following year.
In 1957 the Kentucky Army Guard moved its planes to Frankfort’s Capital City Airport and have operated from there ever since.
Today the Kentucky Army National Guard fixed-wing aviation fleet boasts two of the most deployed units in the nation - Detachment 11 Operation Support Airlift (OSA), and Detachment 3, Company H, 171st Aviation Regiment. Detachment 11 was one of the first units tasked to support September 11th disaster relief efforts immediately following the attack when the rest of the country’s aviation civil and military fleets were grounded. Both units have deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism; and upon their return to the US, flew rescue personnel and critical supplies to the Gulf Coast in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
As part of the weekend celebration, a reception will also be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday Sept. 22 at the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post 4075 (102 East Second St., Frankfort).
Former Kentucky Army National Guard Aviators and crew members should contact Maj. Mark Sherman at 502-607-1476 for more information about the weekend festivities. All former and current aviators and crew members are encouraged to bring photos, as well as any other information for a history book on Kentucky Guard fixed-wing aviation that is now being compiled.