Mile High Guarding, Worldwide
Colorado’s State Capitol Denver, elevation 5280 feet, lays at exactly one mile above sea level. This makes Denver one of the highest major cities in the United States. Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado, home of the Air National Guard’s 140th Wing, lays in fact even higher at the elevation of 5662 feet above sea level. This justifies the wing’s nickname ‘Mile High Militia’ on the block 30 F-16C/D models of the 120th Fighter Squadron.
But the range of the 120th ‘Cougars’ goes way beyond one mile high. It reaches world wide, from the United States to Europe and from the Middle East to Asia. And that in many different roles: air-to-air and air-to-ground, including Offensive Counter-Air (OCA), Defensive Counter-Air (DCA), OCA Interdiction, Close Air Support (CAS) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions. The other flying unit of the wing, the C-21A Learjet equipped 200th Airlift Squadron, also leaves the cold Rocky Mountain environment regularly to change to desert conditions.
This article was published in the July 2013 issue of Air Forces Monthly, in the July 2013 issue of Full Stop Magazine and in the November 2013 issue of AIM Magazine.