Moody becomes one of the largest active duty wings in the USAF - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moody becomes one of the largest active duty wings in the USAF

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September 29, 2006

Valdosta - For more than five years, Moody Air Force Base has been the only active duty Search and Rescue Wing in operation.  But in a realignment ceremony the Rescue Wing became the historic 23rd Wing, adding close air support and security force protection to their list of missions.

These changes now make the 23rd Wing at Moody one of the largest active duty wing in the Air Force.  "And to be the largest part of that Air Force says a lot for the wing," says Col. Joe Callahan, 23rd Wing Commander.

Although Moody has officially taken the name of the 23rd Wing, personnel and the A-10 "Flying Tigers" won't begin their move until next year.

In preparation for this transition, Moody airmen have begun painting the shark's teeth on their aircrafts that will stay through the realignment next year.  "We had all the aircraft painted with teeth on them and we're even joking about putting some teeth on our Humvees used by security force personnel. So everybody is definitely attaching themselves to that legacy in order to carry it on," Col. Callahan adds.

Moody also unveiled its official shield and patch.  Based off the original "Flying Tigers" logo, two Moody airmen spent four weeks designing, painting and perfecting it.

Seeing the finished product made all the hard work worth while.  "It's actually nice to see a piece of my work be put up somewhere and I know it will stay there for quite some time," says Staff Sgt. Nicholas Hall.

Senior Airmen and fellow artist Craig Rasmussen agrees.  "I can't even explain. It's totally different then I'm use to. My doodles usually stay in my closet."

Moody airmen will now replace their old 347th Rescue Wing patches with those of the 23rd Wing.

The 23rd Wing is the only group within the military allowed to paint the sharks teeth and eyes on the nose of their aircraft.

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