• RVForums.com is NOW OPEN. Register now and join the most modern friendly RV community ever. We can't wait to meet you.

Tracing my Military Days

Neal

Newmar Owner
RVF Administrator
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
273
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
Toad
2017 Chevy Colorado
I'm on a six month winter trip from VA southern route to AZ via ABQ Balloon Fiesta. My trip is a mix of seeing the balloon fiesta, retracing some of my Air Force days, and doing a south to north end to end tour or AZ.

Heading west I made my first Air Force revisit to my first A-10 assignment in Alexandria, LA which was then England AFB. I remember my first arrival to this base as when I got to the gate my squadron was launching for Desert Shield. Now it's an airport but they preserved much of the base and street names from those days which was nice. It "was" a very very small town, about two miles end to end with large round-abouts at each end. I was shocked how huge Alexandria, LA has become. I guess this is what 5, 15, okay 30 years can do. You think when a military base closes the economy would implode and the town would have problems. It appears this was the complete opposite. I couldn't even find the townhouse I lived in as it appears to have been leveled for a highway to extend down from Shreveport.

My next stop after visiting NIRVC in TX was to visit my pilot training base in Wichita Falls, TX. While this wasn't really just a military town it also is amazing how that area grew over those few short years since I was there, umm, in 1989-90.

I'm currently in Tucson where I went to A-10 training and later returned in 94 to teach pilots to fly the A-10. Tucson has done the same, I cannot believe how big this town has become. I love it here, always have, but my few days here has been met with 30 minute drives to get to dinner, etc.

Sure, 30 years is plenty of time for areas like this to grow, certainly is eye opening. Makes you wonder why it wasn't much bigger back then. Not like humans had just set foot in the area! But it's been interesting thus far. My Air Force retracing ends here as I proceed north to explore AZ as I've always wanted to live here. Now with the MH that likely will never happen, I think my future home would be a nice location where I can snuggle my MH at night in a garage for it.

Interesting times...
 

TJ&LadyDi

RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
79
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
Toad
2014 Honda CR-V
I used to shoot skeet at Davis-Monthan AFB back in the 1970s. We lived in Scottsdale at the time. There were several skeet tournaments each year at DMAFB at that time.

We stayed in Tucson for several days a couple years ago and, like you, were amazed at the growth occurring there. And, the "boneyard" at DMAFB was pretty impressive.

TJ
 

Neal

Newmar Owner
RVF Administrator
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
273
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
Toad
2017 Chevy Colorado
And, the "boneyard" at DMAFB was pretty impressive.
My plan was to visit the boneyard here. They have new rules in place and you need at least a 14 day advanced reservation as the Air Force will do background/security checks on all going on the tour now, which is run by Pima Air Museum now as well. I tried to get a reservation and the next available is around 3 weeks out so I couldn't do it. I may come down from Palm Creek when I circle back in Jan-Feb.

 

J&JD

RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
23
Location
Fremont, California
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4018
RV Length
40’
Toad
Jeep Wrangler Sahara
I, too, am ex Air Force. Spent a year at Denver Lawry Field at Weapons school, two years at George Air Force Base in Victorville, Ca as a Weapons Officer in an F4 Squadron. Spent a year as the base Explosives Safety Officer at Utapao, Thailand in 69-70. Interesting times. In my one year in Thailand I watched B52’s fly 40 sorties/day, 365 days/year each aircraft carrying 105 500# bombs. That’s 1,533,000 #500 bombs. Thats just nuts! Much more fun driving my Dutch Star around our beautiful country😀😃😄👏
 

turbopilot

RVF Moderator
RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
84
Location
La Quinta, CA
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3343
RV Length
33' 9"
Toad
2017 Jeep Wrangler
Neil, I was based at Edwards AFB when the A10 prototype made its first flight in May of 1972. I remember running out of my office watching lift off gear down doing circles over the dry lake bed. A few months later the A9 made its first flight, then the fly off started with the A10 winning. Flew several chase missions on the A10/A9 fly off program. That first YA-10A prototype is on display at Langley.
 

Neal

Newmar Owner
RVF Administrator
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
273
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
Toad
2017 Chevy Colorado
Neil, I was based at Edwards AFB when the A10 prototype made its first flight in May of 1972. I remember running out of my office watching lift off gear down doing circles over the dry lake bed. A few months later the A9 made its first flight, then the fly off started with the A10 winning. Flew several chase missions on the A10/A9 fly off program. That first YA-10A prototype is on display at Langley.
Very cool! I would love to go visit Edwards someday! So much history there.
 

turbopilot

RVF Moderator
RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
84
Location
La Quinta, CA
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3343
RV Length
33' 9"
Toad
2017 Jeep Wrangler
They have a visitor center. Even more fun is to camp out on the BLM land under the active restricted areas around Edwards. You would enjoy camping under the Edwards supersonic corridor. Don't know how often it is used today but we used to buzz back and forth low level in the corridor at Mach 2.0+ between Lancaster and Barstow in the old F104's. That will shake you coach.
 

Neal

Newmar Owner
RVF Administrator
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
273
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
Toad
2017 Chevy Colorado
That's gonna have to happen someday. :)
 

TJ&LadyDi

RVF Supporter
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
79
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
Toad
2014 Honda CR-V
And, this old ground-pounder (US Army, 1962-65) just watched in amazement as you bird men did your thing in the sky. Thanks, guys, for your service. Veterans Day is next week; stand proud!

TJ
 
Top