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58th, 150th SOWs participate in Farmington, N.M., memorial

A civilian woman speaks to Airmen and cadets at a replica of the Vietnam memorial Wall.

Callie Wright (left) gives an overview of the “Wall That Heals,” a mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., to Airmen from Kirtland AFB and cadets from the Civil Air Patrol. From the 58th Special Operations Wing’s 512th Rescue Squadron center, left to right, are Maj. Garrett Wilson, Maj. Trevor Martin, and Staff Sgt. Nicholas Valentine. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eva Blaylock)

Air Force aircrew member aboard HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.

Tech. Sgt. Josh Otzenberger, with the 150th Special Operations Wing, prepares for a flyover at the “Wall That Heals” event in Farmington, N.M. on Sep. 9. Members of the 58th SOW and the 150th SOW flew an HH-60G “Pave Hawk” flyover in reverence of the sacrifices of New Mexican service members of the Vietnam War era. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eva Blaylock)

Air Force helicopter pilots speaks to people near HH-60G Pave Hawk.

Maj. Trevor Martin, of the 58th Special Operations Wing’s 512th Rescue Squadron, leads a discussion with Civil Air Patrol Cadets and members of the community in Farmington, N.M. on Sept. 9, 2021, before an HH-60G flyover at the “Wall That Heals” event to honor Vietnam veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eva Blaylock)


Airmen from the 58th and 150th Special Operations Wings at Kirtland AFB, N.M., supported "The Wall That Heals" memorial display in Farmington, N.M., on Sept. 9, 2021.

The wall is a mobile replica of the permanent Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., that is moved throughout the country and set up for people to visit. The wall has visited 600 cities to date. Last year, Farmington was among 28 other cities across the country that were selected by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to become temporary memorial sites.

An HH-60G “Pave Hawk” from the 512th Rescue Squadron at Kirtland provided a flyover in reverence of the sacrifices of New Mexican service members during the Vietnam War.

Before the flyover, the aircrew was able to tour the wall and meet with members of local veterans and Civil Air Patrol groups. The unique bonds of service members called to arms are reinforced by such interactions.

The men and women of the 58th and 150th SOWs train the newest generation of aircrew for service in combat search and rescue, nuclear security, and distinguished visitor rotary-wing airlift, as well as special operations missions.

“This event provided our team the humbling privilege of recognizing the sacrifices of our New Mexico neighbors. We get an enormous benefit from connecting with those who served before us and the communities that they come from. Today’s flyover is a bridge between generations and our heritage,” said Col. Meghan Ripple, commander of the 58th Operations Group, who grew up in Farmington.

“Previous models of the UH-1N “Huey” we currently fly in the 58th Operations Group flew combat missions to rescue American service members in the jungles of Vietnam. Today, we train our students the UH-1N, as well as the HH-60, to go out and perform missions critical to our 21st Century National Security Strategy. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of The Wall That Heals journey and honor those who paid the ultimate price,” Ripple said.