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Fighter squadron for Montgomery has Tuskegee roots

MONTGOMERY (AP) — A fighter squadron assigned to Montgomery’s Maxwell Air Force Base has Tuskegee Airmen roots.

Gov. Bob Riley joined military officials in announcing that the 100th Fighter Squadron — a name used by the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II — will bring about 10 pilots and up to 140 other Air Force personnel to the city.

Until the move, the squadron had been a training unit at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. It’s back in Alabama for the first time since the end of WWII — complete with the distinctive red tails that were the squadron’s trademark.

Riley said bringing the red plane tails of the 100th Fighter Squadron back to Alabama solidified the historical impact of Maxwell and Alabama’s military.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley said the move is part of the military’s plan to blend the 700,000 members of the active, reserve and National Guard components of the Air Force.

Lt. Walter Palmer, a WWII pilot and one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, and another Tuskegee airman were special guests at Thursday’s ceremony.

Palmer said he loved to fly and used to build model planes before he joined the service. He said he was honored to have the squadron back in Montgomery.

“It’s nice to have recognition again,” he said.

In another consolidation move, Moseley said the Air Force Reserve Command commissioning will move to Maxwell and join the Officer Training School.

Air Force officials are also looking into holding officer training for the Guard at Maxwell, Moseley said.

Moseley also announced that the Eagle Vision 6 satellite system that was temporarily based in Montgomery is moving to a permanent station in Hunts-ville at Redstone Arsenal.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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