June 14 flight by Delaware Air National Guard aircrew and C-130 aircraft to mark 160,000 accident-free flying hour milestone

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Delaware Air National Guard
Headquarters, 166th Airlift Wing
2600 Spruance Drive
New Castle, DE 19720-1615 

Contact: Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Matwey
Public Affairs Specialist, 166th Airlift Wing
Cell 302-593-2126, or office 302-323-3369
E-mail: Benjamin.Matwey@denewc.ang.af.mil
Release No. 2007-06-001 [corrected Release No.]
June 8, 2007

News media are invited to interview air crew and distinguished visitors, and also invited to be passengers on June 14 morning flight lasting about one hour (photography is allowed on aircraft during flight). Media must arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. June 14 if going on flight. Media covering event from ground may arrive between 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Media MUST call ahead to Public Affairs if interested in sending reporter or photographers on flight to cover story. Required data needed no later than Monday, June 11: Full name of news media member(s), SSN, home address, contact phone, name of organization and supervisor granting permission and an alternate contact and phone number (can be a work phone). News organizations may request to reserve a seat(s), but specific names must be provided no later than the morning of June 13.


NEW CASTLE - By next week, the Delaware Air Guard will reach a flying milestone when the unit expects to reach 160,000 accident free flying hours without a Class A, B or C flying mishap since 1963. The milestone covers the 44-year period when the unit has flown three models of aircraft - the C-97, the C-130A, and the C-130H model transport aircraft, and the last 16 years of flying in Southwest Asia with significant periods of combat flying in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The June 14 C-130 flight originating and returning to New Castle Airport will be a celebratory flight marking the flying milestone. Joining the aircrew on the flight will be several distinguished visitors, including honorary commanders, unit retirees and civilian government officials. Weather permitting the flight will traverse all three counties in Del., and parts of Md. and N.J. Major General Frank Vavala, Adjutant General, Delaware National Guard, and Brig. Gen. Hugh Broomall, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Delaware National Guard, will attend the event.

The unit currently has over 159,900 accident-free flying hours, and sometime within the next week will reach the 160,000 hour mark. The 166th Airlift Wing's flying unit, the 142nd Airlift Squadron, has seven C-130 aircraft flying from home station while a eighth unit C-130 aircraft and fellow aircrew members are now in Southwest Asia conducting combat missions.

Brigadier General Hugh Broomall, Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Delaware National Guard, said, "We've achieved this milestone over a 44-year period, covering times of war and times of peace. For five decades our people have successfully carried forward the attitude towards safety so profoundly believed in and expertly communicated by retired Brig. Gen. William V. Spruance, our top leader from a half century ago. The inspired work of hundreds and hundreds of Airmen on the ground and in the air over this long period has led to this remarkable achievement in flying safety that we are so very proud of. Every day, on the ground and in the air, our goal is to carry out our mission successfully. That means we always act with a safety attitude taking a front seat while practicing or performing our state and federal missions."

The April 2007 issue of Air Force Flying Safety Magazine features a cover story on how the Delaware Air National Guard leadership has embraced safety (headline: The Delaware Way). The article covers the people, safety attitude, behaviors and history of the unit from the early 1960s to the present as the unit approaches 160,000 accident-free flying hours. The article prominently features retired Brig. Gen. William W. Spruance, a unit founding father who for five decades has been making a significant national and worldwide impact as one of the nation's premier safety advocates. Also mentioned is Lt. Col. David McCallister, 142nd Tactical Fighter Squadron Commander, who died in an aircraft crash in 1961 that also nearly took the life of Gen. Spruance. Lt. Col. McCallister's F-86 aircraft remains on the base as part of the unit's heritage.

Web link to magazine: http://afsafety.af.mil/SEMM/fsmfirst.shtml (shows cover and table of contents). The direct link to the full April 2007 issue PDF file (just over 9 MB) is here: http://afsafety.af.mil/SEMM/pdf/fsmapr07.pdf. After the feature cover photo, the article is on pages 4-7, with an additional photo layout on pages 16-17 (the double-truck, or centerfold).

Quoted are seven former and current senior leaders and three current chief master sergeants (2 quoted directly, one indirectly): retired Col. Jim Scott, former director of operations; retired Col. James Dugar, former 166th Tactical Airlift Group Commander and former Assistant Adjutant General for Air, Delaware National Guard; Brig. Gen. Ernest Talbert, current vice commander of the Delaware ANG and former 166th Airlift Wing Commander; retired Brig. Gen. Tom Lauppe, former director of operations and Assistant Adjutant General for Air; Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Schulte, maintenance supervisor; Chief Master Sgt. Lorin "Pete" Peterson, aircraft maintenance superintendent; Maj. Craig Conrad, 166th Airlift Wing Chief of Safety; Col. Jonathan Groff, 166th Airlift Wing Air Commander; and Col. Bruce Thompson, 166th Airlift Wing Commander. Quoted indirectly is Chief Master Sgt. Michael Forsyth, air transportation superintendent.

This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.

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