445th Airlift Wing hosts C-5 Dedication Ceremony
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio - Brig. Gen. Bruce E. Davis, 445th Airlift Wing commander, and Thomas H. Nagel, Mayor of the City of Fairborn, unveil the nose art on the C-5 during a ceremony to dedicate the aircraft "City of Fairborn - First Schoolhouse of Aviation". (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ken LaRock)
City of Fairborn flies high on a C-5

by Tech. Sgt. Charlie Miller
445th Airlift Wing

10/30/2007 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- In recognition of the City of Fairborn's rich history of supporting the military community at Wright-Patterson and promoting aviation, the 445th Airlift Wing officially dedicated a C-5 Galaxy October 29, 2007. The flightline ceremony was held under a brilliant sky that, fittingly, was crystal clear.

With approval from the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, 445th Airlift Wing commander Brig. Gen. Bruce Davis and Fairborn Mayor Thomas Nagel dedicated aircraft 70-0457, the "City of Fairborn - First Schoolhouse of Aviation."

"It took two years and 23 days, but who's counting," the general quipped about the process for the dedication.

The huge cargo plane's nose art, a painting or design on the nose of the aircraft, proudly displays a large red map of Ohio with the city's name and star marking its location. Accompanying the map is a drawing of the Wright brother's airplane and the words "First Schoolhouse of Aviation." Together the general and the mayor pulled a string that dropped a tarp to reveal the nose art.

"This is the home of firsts," said Amanda Wright-Lane, great grand niece of the Wright brothers about Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. "It's my honor to be here to congratulate both the 445th and the City of Fairborn."

Wright-Lane, one of the honored guests, spoke about the flying exhibition team her great uncles operated in 1910 just a short way from the ceremony's location. It was her great uncles first time setting up a team of acrobatic pilots.

It was a day of firsts. The 445th Airlift Wing dedicated the first of its C-5 Galaxy aircraft to arrive at Wright-Patterson AFB; and for the first time, a direct relative of Orville and Wilbur Wright visited the 445th Airlift Wing and boarded a C-5.

Mr. Nagel, an Air Force retiree, addressed the crowd about how he approached General. Davis on the idea of naming a plane for Fairborn."

"The general said 'Let's do it" and today, we do it," the mayor said. "We are very proud of these citizen airmen." The mayor said there is only one city named Fairborn in the world and with the plane bearing that unique name "Fairborn will be transported to many locations."

The 445th, with its global mission, frequently flies to Germany and many other countries so the nose art will be seen, literally, around the world.

The idea for a plane dedication came from Mr. John Dalton and Mayor Nagel.

"This is an aviation town," said Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce executive director John Dalton, also an Air Force Retiree. "It's appropriate to have this done." The city is the home of dozens of active duty, reserve and retired Air Force members

Dalton said that photographs of the plane and its nose art will be prominently placed on the Chambers website and in their marketing brochures.

"We need to give credit to General. Davis for allowing this and helping this dedication to happen," Dalton said. "We were sending correspondence in to the Air Force, writing proposals; it took about two years."

The 445th has ten C-5 cargo planes based at Wright-Patt. The newly dedicated plane was parked close to Building 4006, the 445th's new home of the 89th Airlift Squadron.