Air Park

The nemesis of Iraqi armor, the A-10/OA-10 flew 8,100 sorties in the Persian Gulf War and launched 90 percent of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles. It achieved the only air-to-air gun kills of the war. This jet was gained by the U.S. Air Force in February 1979, and this aircraft (tail number 77-0264) was retired from operational inventory in 1992.

The nemesis of Iraqi armor, the A-10/OA-10 flew 8,100 sorties in the Persian Gulf War and launched 90 percent of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles. It achieved the only air-to-air gun kills of the war. This jet was gained by the U.S. Air Force in February 1979, and this aircraft (tail number 77-0264) was retired from operational inventory in 1992.

From Linebacker to Desert Storm, the F-4 was the paragon of fighter aircraft, and set a standard for combat excellence throughout four decades of service. Designed as a multi-role fighter-bomber, the F-4 was used in the “Wild Weasel” configuration during the Persian Gulf War. This F-4G (tail number 66-308) was retired from the operational inventory in 1989. (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eydie Sakura)

From Linebacker to Desert Storm, the F-4 was the paragon of fighter aircraft, and set a standard for combat excellence throughout four decades of service. Designed as a multi-role fighter-bomber, the F-4 was used in the “Wild Weasel” configuration during the Persian Gulf War. This F-4G (tail number 66-308) was retired from the operational inventory in 1989. (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eydie Sakura)

The undisputed champion of the skies, the F-15 accounted for 36 of 41 aerial victories in the Persian Gulf War while sustaining no losses. Designed to gain and maintain air superiority, the F-15 patrolled the skies over Iraq in the years following the Gulf War, and was instrumental in enforcing the initial no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993. This aircraft (tail number 74-0085) was retired from operational inventory in 1992. (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eydie Sakura)

The undisputed champion of the skies, the F-15 accounted for 36 of 41 aerial victories in the Persian Gulf War while sustaining no losses. Designed to gain and maintain air superiority, the F-15 patrolled the skies over Iraq in the years following the Gulf War, and was instrumental in enforcing the initial no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993. This aircraft (tail number 74-0085) was retired from operational inventory in 1992. (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eydie Sakura)

The workhorse of the Persian Gulf War, the F-16 flew 13,500 sorties -- more than any other aircraft. Designed as a multi-role aircraft, the F-16 was used extensively in subsequent contingency operations. This jet (tail number 78-0057) which rests peacefully against the setting sun, was gained by the U.S. Air Force in February 1980. It was retired from the operational inventory in 1990. (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eydie Sakura)

The workhorse of the Persian Gulf War, the F-16 flew 13,500 sorties -- more than any other aircraft. Designed as a multi-role aircraft, the F-16 was used extensively in subsequent contingency operations. This jet (tail number 78-0057) which rests peacefully against the setting sun, was gained by the U.S. Air Force in February 1980. It was retired from the operational inventory in 1990. (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eydie Sakura)

The king of “Thud Ridge,” a F-105 destroyed countless enemy anti-aircraft batteries and surface-to-air missile sites during the Vietnam conflict. It achieved 27 aerial victories -- 25 with the Vulcan 20mm cannon. Designed as a successor to the F-84 series of fighter-bombers, the F-105 has the distinction of being the largest single-engine aircraft ever built. The F-105 was the first fighter used in the “Wild Weasel” configuration and lessons learned during the Vietnam era formed the foundation for suppression of enemy air defense tactics used by the 52nd Fighter Wing today. The U.S. Air Force gained the aircraft in February 1964 and this jet (tail number 62-4446) was kept at the Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base before being retired in 1985. (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eydie Sakura)

The king of “Thud Ridge,” a F-105 destroyed countless enemy anti-aircraft batteries and surface-to-air missile sites during the Vietnam conflict. It achieved 27 aerial victories -- 25 with the Vulcan 20mm cannon. Designed as a successor to the F-84 series of fighter-bombers, the F-105 has the distinction of being the largest single-engine aircraft ever built. The F-105 was the first fighter used in the “Wild Weasel” configuration and lessons learned during the Vietnam era formed the foundation for suppression of enemy air defense tactics used by the 52nd Fighter Wing today. The U.S. Air Force gained the aircraft in February 1964 and this jet (tail number 62-4446) was kept at the Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base before being retired in 1985. (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eydie Sakura)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- People drive by the air park daily, but few stop to look and admire the aircraft that sit atop concrete pedestals and learn the history that swarms around these metal works of art.

The air park, located near the security forces building on Perimeter Road, was opened September 1997. Its purpose was to let base personnel reflect on the history, honor and the missions of past Saber team members.

"It was an all-volunteer effort to refurbish the aircraft that are displayed," said Master Sgt. Rick Carrillo, 52nd Maintenance Group readiness NCO and air park custodian. "The Aircraft are actually property of the Air Force museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio."

Sergeant Carrillo, his staff of volunteers and the fire department, wash the jets twice a year. He said the biggest concern is that most of the dirt and grime is on top of the aircraft and it is difficult to reach that area for safety reasons.

"We cannot wash during the months of April through August either, because of bird migration," Sergeant Carrillo said. "Birds usually nest in the aircraft, and we cannot use solvents due to environmental issues as well."

History of the jets:
* F-16 on display is actually aircraft 78-0057 but painted and marked to depict aircraft 85-1552, assigned to the 52nd Tactical Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base during 1990;
* A-10/OA-10 tail number 77-0264 this aircraft retired from the 10th Tactical Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force Alconbury, United Kingdom;
* F-15A tail number 74-0085 retired from the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing at Bitburg Air Base after gaining the aircraft in 1989 as a maintenance trainer;
* F-4E tail number 66-308 retired from the 52nd TFW at Spangdahlem AB; and
* F-105G tail number 62-4446 retired from the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, George Air Force Base, Calif.