‘The ASU Plane’ Unveiled at Maxwell’s 908th Airlift Wing
By Lois G. Russell/ASU
Alabama State University participated in a special ceremony on October 29, 2020, with the 908th Airlift Wing located at Montgomery’s Maxwell Air Force Base.
Officials from the 908th and ASU unveiled the distinctive nose art, featuring the University’s logo, that now adorns one of the reserve unit’s C-130 aircraft.
“This nose art will be seen all around the world as we execute our tactical airlift missions,” said Col. Craig Drescher, Commander of the 908th Airlift Wing. “And we often refer to the plane by the nose art or name that is on the front. So from this day forward, all around the world, people will refer to this as ‘The ASU Plane.’”
Drescher said the naming of military aircraft is a longstanding tradition. He said he is proud to acknowledge the relationship between ASU and the 908th with the naming of the C-130 in the University’s honor.
President Quinton T. Ross, Jr. led a large contingent of University leaders, including Board of Trustees President Pro-Tem Brenda Brown Hunter, in attending the ceremony. Ross also recognized student leaders who were in attendance: SGA President David Hammond and members of his cabinet, and Miss ASU Yasmine Whitehurst.
“Having the Hornet logo to adorn the nose of one of the 908th’s celebrated C-130 Hercules aircraft is indeed an honor that will be a cherished part of the University’s history,” said Ross. “Today’s unveiling serves to strengthen the partnership between ASU and the 908th Airlift Wing, Alabama’s only Air Force Reserve unit. Since it’s relocation to Maxwell Air Force Base in 1969, members of the 908th have participated in numerous missions around the globe to defend our nation’s freedom during times of war and have flown missions of mercy to areas around the country during various disasters and emergencies at home.”
Drescher also announced that a special identification number had been added to the ASU logo in honor of Jarvise Gibson, a member of the maintenance group for the C-130 that bears the University’s name. Gibson was an ASU alumnus who recently passed away and Drescher said his fellow airmen wanted to honor him.
The ceremony was officiated by Lt. Col. Jeffrey Randall, 357th Squadron Commander and project leader, and included the presentation of colors by cadets from the Air Force ROTC Detachment O19 located at Alabama State University and a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Dr. Cordelia Anderson, Assistant Professor of Voice at Alabama State University.
“At ASU, we are proud of our connection to the Air Force through the Detachment 019 (oh-one-nine) Air Force ROTC program, which is located on the campus of Alabama State University… Each year, a new class of cadets is commissioned to serve as officers in the United States Air Force. This longstanding tradition is one that we look forward to continuing for years to come.
“And now, we have a new and visible connection to the 908th Airlift Wing with today’s unveiling. Hornet Nation is proud to know that the name of our great University…a University that has been grounded in the history of the state of Alabama for more than 153 years…will now soar with the Air Force Reserves whenever this beautiful aircraft behind me takes to the skies,” Ross added.
ABOUT THE 908TH AIRLIFT WING
The 908th is the state’s only Air Force reserve wing. The unit operates a fleet of eight C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft. Known as the “Workhorse of the Air Force,” the C-130 can carry 42,000 pounds of cargo, 92 troops, 64 paratroops or 74 litter patients. It can fly up to 386 mph with a range of 5,200 miles.