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162nd Wing members commit to service of state and country

New Airmen embarking on the journey of becoming members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing and members renewing their commitment to service recite the oath of enlistment at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” March 12. Airmen of the Air National Guard are indistinguishable from their Active Duty counterparts, training to the same standards and deploying to defend this nation, but with the added mission of supporting and defending their state. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira/Released)

New Airmen embarking on the journey of becoming members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing and members renewing their commitment to service recite the oath of enlistment at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” March 12. Airmen of the Air National Guard are indistinguishable from their Active Duty counterparts, training to the same standards and deploying to defend this nation, but with the added mission of supporting and defending their state. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira/Released)

Brig. Gen. Phil Purcell commander of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing administered the oath of enlistment for new Airmen and wing members renewing their commitment to the state of Arizona and our nation at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” March 12.  The Airmen re-enlisting represent more than 215 years of service to this great nation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira/Released)

Brig. Gen. Phil Purcell commander of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing administered the oath of enlistment for new Airmen and wing members renewing their commitment to the state of Arizona and our nation at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” March 12. The Airmen re-enlisting represent more than 215 years of service to this great nation. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira/Released)

Honor Guard members from the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base stood proudly displaying the colors of our great nation and the state of Arizona during an enlistment ceremony at D-M’s “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” March 12.  Guard members are proud to highlight the outstanding relationship between D-M, the United States Air Force and the Tucson community at this year’s event. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira/Released)

Honor Guard members from the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base stood proudly displaying the colors of our great nation and the state of Arizona during an enlistment ceremony at D-M’s “Thunder and Lightning over Arizona” March 12. Guard members are proud to highlight the outstanding relationship between D-M, the United States Air Force and the Tucson community at this year’s event. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Ferreira/Released)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- New Airmen embarking on the journey of becoming members of the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Wing and members renewing their commitment to service recited the oath of enlistment at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base "Thunder and Lightning over Arizona" March 12.

In front of hundreds of D-M open house air show guests 18 guardsmen swore to defend the constitution of the United States and the state of Arizona during a ceremony led by Brig. Gen. Phil Purcell, commander of the 162nd Wing.

"I am proud of each Airman's dedication to the wing and their country," said Purcell.

The air show presented the perfect occasion to celebrate the wing's 60 years of dedicated service to the military and the Tucson community.

"The 162nd family has deep ties to Tucson; many of our Airmen grew up right down the street," said Purcell.  "We are proud to be a part of this great event and proud of our service to the community and nation."

During the ceremony Honor Guard members from the 162nd teamed up with members from D-M to display the colors of our great nation and the state of Arizona.

"It's a nice day to represent the Air National Guard," said Master Sgt. Virgil Mendivil head of the 162nd Honor Guard. "I am glad to be out here representing the 162nd Wing and posting colors for the men and women who support our country."

The members re-enlisting represented over 215 years of service to the nation.

"I feel very privileged and honored to re-dedicate myself to the service of our country," said broadcaster Staff Sgt. Micah Hill. "I swore my allegiance and dedication to my country for the fourth time and this time it was extra special."

In addition to the enlistment ceremony the 162nd had an F-16 Fighting Falcon, MQ-1 Predator and Mobile Emergency Operation Center static display as well as a recruiting booth.

Recruiter Tech. Sgt. Valerie Fortin said this is the first year that she can remember setting up a booth at the D-M air show.

"It's a great way to meet the community and have a great time," said Fortin. "From kids to veterans, it is great to speak with everyone about what they enjoy at the show."

The air show also gave Fortin and her colleges the opportunity to spread the word about employment opportunities at the wing.  Airmen taking the oath of enlistment were both full and part-time members of the wing.