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Arizona Air Guard base named after Goldwater

December 15, 2016

“He was a great advocate for air power in the Senate Arms Services Committee, who did great things that should energize all of us to affect change”

The Arizona Air National Guard renamed Phoenix Sky Harbor ANG Base on December 9, 2016. The base will now be known as Goldwater ANG Base in honor of the late Senator Barry M. Goldwater who died in 1998.

barry-goldwaterIn 1946, Goldwater was one of the original members of the state’s first Air Guard squadron, 197th Fighter Squadron at Luke Field. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, Goldwater returned to Arizona and became the first federally recognized National Guard pilot in the state.

The unit moved to the Sky Harbor base in 1952. The unit began their tanker mission in 1972. The 161st Air Refueling Wing currently flies KC-135R Stratotankers. The Wing has earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award five times – 1968, 1972, 1977, 2012, and 2016.

He dedicated 37 years of his life to military service in the Army, Air Force Reserves and Arizona Air National Guard; eventually retiring as a major general.

Goldwater was a five-term Republican United States Senator who suffered a landslide loss in the 1964 presidential election against Lyndon Johnson. In his later years, the conservative icon was a self-professed libertarian. He retired from the Senate in 1987 after 30 years service.

From → History

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