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179th Airlift Wing pays tribute to Ontario

  • Published
  • By Emily Dech, Staff Reporter
  • Richland Source

The 179th Airlift Wing dedicated one of its eight C-130H aircraft to the City of Ontario.
A ceremony was held Thursday at the base to unveil the new script over the aircrew door that reads, "Spirit of Ontario."

Special guests included Ontario Mayor Randy Hutchinson, Service Safety Director Jeff Wilson, Ontario Council President Larry Collins and his wife Beverly.

Hutchinson thanked the 179th on behalf of the city for this honor.

He said, "I never served--that's one regret I have. But I thank you for all of your service and this is a great honor today."

Naming the C-130s is tradition, according to Wing Commander Col. Gary McCue.

"We did it in '91 with the original eight C-130s. We were about to do it with the C-27s, but they moved on, but since we've gotten the new, old C-130's we wanted to do it again," he said.

This is the fourth dedication they've completed, he said, having previously dedicated aircraft to the Mansfield, Lexington and Clear Fork Valley communities.

Other communities they plan on paying tribute to include Ashland, Crestline, Galion and Shelby.

"It's a great way to show support to our communities who've done nothing but show support for the unit, which has kept us here," he said.

The two crew chiefs who maintain the C-130 that now bears the name "Spirit of Ontario" are Master Sgt. Mike Myer and Staff Sgt. Joe Sabo.

Myer said he's been with the unit since 1997, and prior to that, he served eight years in active duty. The Lexington High School graduate said that after he got off active duty, he settled in Ontario and has been there since.

Sabo, who's originally from New Philadelphia, Ohio, served nine years in active duty. New to the unit, Sabo said he's glad to be a part of the 179th Airlift Wing.