58th, 150th SOWs participate in Farmington, N.M., memorial
By Eva Blaylock, 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 10, 2021
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
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.