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Football game flyover symbolizes partnership, promise

  • Published
  • By Maj. John T. Stamm
  • 908th Airlift Wing

The rains ceased and the clouds abated just enough, and just in time, for a 908th Airlift Wing C-130 “Hercules” cargo aircraft to appear above the crowd at Alabama State University football stadium Saturday, April 10.

Several months in the making, the flyover was part of the pre-game festivities of the ASU – Mississippi Valley State football game.

This particular C-130 featured the ASU “Hornets” logo painted on the aircraft’s nosecone which was unveiled at a ceremony here on October 29, 2020.  “Nose art” on aircraft is a tradition that dates back to the earliest days of aviation, and the 908th has several aircraft with the logos of Alabama universities. 

“This nose art is a symbol of the community partnership between the wing and the university,” said 908th AW commander, Col. Craig W. Drescher. “What we’ve learned in the past few months of our teams working together is that our organizations have a lot in common and are facing the same challenges …  we’re finding that we can be mutually beneficial.”

ASU president, Dr. Quinton Ross, was noticeably emotional when he spoke of the significance of the event and what it meant to himself and the university.

“When the 908th dedicated this aircraft to ASU with our logo on it I had chills run down my spine,” Ross said. “Today, I had those same chills when it flew over our stadium. To know that it’s being flown all over the country, and the world, representing our university, our students, and our alumni is a great honor.”

The ASU-logoed aircraft also serves as memorial to Senior Airman Jarvise Gibson, a maintainer with the 908th Maintenance Squadron and ASU alumnus, who passed away in July 2020. There are several other members of the wing who are also ASU alumni. 357th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, Master Sgt. Christopher T. Adams, graduated from ASU in 2017 with a degree in Communications; he was also a participant in the flyover.

“The opportunity to participate in a flyover of your alma mater is such a jubilant feeling,” Adams said. “I was ecstatic!”

The Alabama State University “Hornets” defeated the Mississippi Valley State “Delta Devils” by a score of 42-17.