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News > Grand Forks tanker maintenance unit donates sculpture flag to ALS
 
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319th AMXS donates flag to ALS
This copper and stainless steel American flag sculpture was donated to the Grand Forks Air Force Base Airman Leadership School by the 319th Maintenance Group during a ceremony Nov. 4, 2010, at Grand Forks AFB, N.D.. The 319th MXG donated the flag sculpture to the school because the maintainers wanted to leave a piece of their heritage behind as the 319th Air Refueling Wing mission continues to draw down. (U.S. Air Force Photo)
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Grand Forks tanker maintenance unit donates sculpture flag to ALS

Posted 11/4/2010   Updated 11/5/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Rachel Waller
319th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


11/4/2010 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D.  -- After being on display at Heritage Hall in Building 607 here since February of 2004, the copper and stainless steel American flag sculpture was donated to the Grand Forks Air Force Base Airman Leadership School by the 319th Maintenance Group during a ceremony Nov. 4.

As the base mission continues to draw down and the maintainers continue to move on, the 319th MXG wanted to leave a part of their heritage behind.

"Grand Forks AFB is changing," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Wilson, 319th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "Air Mobility Command is leaving and Air Combat Command is coming. It is time to pass on our heritage, this flag, to another organization. To the maintainers, this flag means pride, honor and integrity in all we do."

The flag was sculpted by David Badman, a local artist from Grand Forks, N.D. Originally, the flag sculpture included a fountain but the fountain didn't work properly so it was removed. Mr. Badman created the flag sculpture specifically for Heritage Hall and was formally dedicated to the base in March 2005.

"Maintainers always made us earn our Air Force specialty code," joked Tech. Sgt. Angela Garren, ALS instructor. "But looking at the plaques of past John Levitow award winners (an award given to an Airman who represents the highest degree of excellence as a leader and a scholar), more than a third of the winners have been maintainers."

In order to donate the flag to the ALS, the maintainers had to remove more than four feet of steel from the pole and fashion a base to secure the sculpture.

"This flag is part of our legacy and it feels great to be leaving it to an organization like ALS, who has done a lot for the maintainers," said Senior Airman Michael Walsh, 319th AMXS and current ALS student.



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