Anniversary logo flies on 161st Air Refueling wing plane

Anniversary logo flies on 161st Air Refueling wing plane

Alfonte and representatives from the 161st Air Refueling Wing in front of the KC-135R

The Arizona National Guard turned 150 years old in 2015. The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) helped celebrate the anniversary by creating a special logo for the Guard.


“The Guard requested a logo to be designed and provided me with their ideas,” said Nenette Alfonte, DEMA’s Marketing Coordinator. “The goal was to keep the Guard logo, add the dates to show the 150 years, and add some finishing touches to create balance and character.”


Shortly after the logo was finished, Colonel Randall Inman, a pilot and the Maintenance Group Commander with 27 years of service, requested approval from the National Guard Bureau to place the logo at the tail of an Arizona Air National Guard airplane.


“To me personally it represents the Arizona National Guard’s long heritage of men and women that have provided assistance to the people of Arizona and protected the freedoms our nation enjoys today. It was an opportunity to display our heritage to the nation as it travels across our great nation,” Inman said. “It is unique and when the plane travels across the country, people have a chance to look at it and be reminded that the nation's first military was the militia, which is made up of citizen volunteers from our towns, cities and states throughout the nation. I'm proud to have been part of a great team in Arizona for so many years and consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to serve.”


The chosen plane, the KC-135R, is a refueling plane with the 161st Air refueling wing. The wing deploys globally, landing and operating on both domestic and foreign soil. Inman says the plane’s primary mission is worldwide air refueling, but that it is also used for troop and cargo movement.  


The KC-135R was in Georgia for an exercise called Sentry Savannah and just returned from an exercise called Neptune Falcon. The plane flies on weekly training missions around the southwest.


Senior Master Sergeant Michael Ormerod, the Fabrication Superintendent and an Arizona guardsman for 15 years, made the decal using equipment inside the Air Guards Fabrication Unit. Ormerod’s team fabricated and mounted the logo in two days time.


Alfonte and other members of the DEMA public affairs and information teams visited the 161st to see the logo on the tail of the KC-135R. On their visit to the fabrication unit, the Guard presented Alfonte with a replica of the tail.


Twenty feet off the ground, the 5-foot-by-5-foot logo gleamed in the Arizona sunlight.



“I was grateful and proud at the same time! It is the highlight of my career that my work is placed on a plane visible to many,” said Alfonte. “I felt so humbled when I was presented with a replica tail. It is something I will never forget.”