On Aug. 26 and 27, Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia became the home to two new aircraft displays, a F-4 Phantom II and a F-16 Fighting Falcon.
“Many visitors to the installation think that our static displays are chosen just for their visual appeal,” said Jimmy Parrish, chief of the Environmental Management Division within Defense Logistics Agency Installation Management Richmond. “However, our aim is to proudly maintain and display those planes and helicopters that the employees of the installation worked hard to support and keep in the air, either currently or in the past. Each display becomes almost a personal thing.”
There are nearly 20 DSCR static displays. Acquiring one can be a long and laborious task. These aircraft took over five years to obtain. There was a long wait for F-16 availability, and it was certainly the most difficult to acquire. The placement has to be planned thoroughly in support of the DSCR Installation Master Plan and supported by the Installation facility budget. Adam Crooks, lead general supply specialist in the installation’s Operations Support Branch, was responsible for finalizing the acquisition of both displays.
“The F-4 came from the Vermont National Guard and the F-16 came from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona,” Crooks said. “Both acquisitions were coordinated through the National Museum of the United States Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.”
The F-16 was transferred to installation management while the F-4 is technically on loan from the museum.
“We have seven static displays loaned to us from either the National Museum of the United States Air Force or through the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida,” Crooks added. “Both institutions are extremely protective of their planes and require that we maintain their appearance at museum quality.”
Once the static displays were officially acquired, they had to be broken down for shipment, trucked to DSCR, reassembled, correctly painted to accurately reflect their military markings and safely placed in their final locations.
Ensuring that all these steps took place was the responsibility of Roman Ogryzko, a mechanical engineer in the installation’s Engineering Services Branch.
“We already had an available contractor who was knowledgeable of the necessary painting schemes,” Ogryzko said. “Our biggest challenge was hoping for a suitable break in the rain to allow for the safe use of a large crane to place both planes.”
“It is very exciting to be able to see the hard work of so many people come together, especially on something that reflects in a positive manner the contributions of the employees of the installation,” Parrish said.