Modesto F-15 Dedication
By Staff Sgt. Christian Jadot, 144 FW
/ Published May 15, 2016
Atwater -- An F-15 Eagle fighter jet from the Fresno Air National Guard Base, 144th Fighter Wing, was dedicated to the city of Modesto, Calif. at the Castle Airport May 14, as part of the Cities of Honors Program.
The 144th FW's Cities of Honor Program dedicates an individual aircraft to a select city in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Modesto was the latest city to be honored with this dedication.
"The most important part I have come here to talk about, and that is the connection we have with the community," said U.S. Air Force Col. Sean Navin, 144th FW vice-wing commander. "Community outreach is important to us, we have great men and women who work out at the 144th Fighter Wing. We value their work and leadership. Without them coming to us we can't do that. Without the local community and surrounding communities support we would not have the great National Guard we have today."
Accepting the aircraft dedication for the city of Modesto was the city's mayor, Ted Brandvold.
"The dedication of this aircraft to the city of Modesto is extremely meaning for us, knowing the assigned pilot, Lt. Col. Dan Kelly [pilot] from the 144th Fighter Wing is from Modesto," said Brandvold. "144th has several people from Modesto serving, and I am very proud to know that. Having Lt. Col. Dan Kelly as one of our own from Modesto is amazing."
As the ceremony progressed Tech. Sgt. Chance Babbitt, 144th FW crew chief, unveiled the city of Modesto's shield on the nose of the F-15.
"Our city has been and will always be in support of the F-15 Eagle and the men and women of the 144th Fighter Wing," Brandvold said. "I proudly accept the dedication of this F-15 Eagle, which is a true representation of strength, grace and power on behalf of the city of Modesto."