Colorado Air Guard unveils F-16 paint scheme marking

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Colorado Air National Guard marked the 50th anniversary of the Minute Men aerial demonstration team Tuesday with the unveiling of an F-16 painted to resemble the team's F-86 paint scheme. 

The Minute Men is the only Air National Guard aerial demonstration team to receive federal recognition. While the team began performing in 1947, the federal recognition was not received until 1956. 

"The fact that we are standing here today is because we have a wing commander like (Brig. Gen. Michael) Edwards," said retired Maj. Gen. John France, former Adjutant General for Colorado and Minute Men pilot. "He gets things done." 

General France relayed the story of General Edwards, 140th Wing commander, walking through Hangar 801 one day when he saw an artist's rendition of an F-16, Fighting Falcon, with the Minute Men markings. This rendition, drawn by Staff Sgt. Paul Allen of the 140th Maintenance Squadron's structural repair shop, made the general stop and take notice. The general told Sergeant Allen, and others, that they were going to do that to one of their F-16s. 

The plane will remain painted this way until January 2007 when the plane is schedule to enter a maintenance phase. At that time, the plane will be re-painted gray.