Posted by: Mark D. Jones | July 19, 2009

Photos – Officer Training School (OTS), Lackland AFB, TX – 1981

I’m going to walk down memory lane and show you some photos from my Air Force years.  Most of the aircraft that I flew are now retired to the “bone yard,” many of the squadrons I was in have been retired as well and a lot of the bases where I was once stationed are now closed.  Much of my Air Force experience is now distant history and needs to be recorded before it too may soon be long forgotten.  I often had my camera with me, especially in the early part of my career; so this will be like a travelogue through recent Air Force history.  I will only describe these photos in the most general terms in order to allow you to understand what you are looking at.

I joined the Air Force in 1981 and retired in 2001, and in between those years a lot of history was written.  Sixteen of those years were spent in Europe and split evenly between Germany and England.  It was an ideal time to be in Europe, and the opportunities to travel were tremendous.  My career in the Air Force was the most challenging experience of my entire life.  The demands of tactical aviation were considerable, and I had to work very hard at every single stage of my career to be successful – and at times I was working at the extreme limits of my talent.  I was surrounded by talented, brilliant and gifted people in both the tactical fighter community as well as the greater Air Force community in general.  Every aircrew member had his or her own story to tell in arriving where they were, and they were all very remarkable people – with talent that ran circles around mine.  In my case I simply worked as hard as I could, in order to be the best that I could be at the job that I was called to do at the time – and took it all one day at a time.

In these pictures, I will take you to a single base location at a time; and show you the patches, the “squadron art work” that I created, and allow the pictures of my travels to tell my story.  In two cases I was stationed at the same base twice – Mather AFB, CA, and Spangdahlem AB, Germany.  In many respects, I still define my life in “chapters” based on the base assignments that I had during my career.  That’s why my photographs will be grouped sequentially and defined by the base where I was stationed at the time.  So now I’ll leisurely take you to some of my favorite destinations in Europe and the States through my pictures.  Sit back, put your feet up, grab your popcorn…and enjoy the show!  :)

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Responses

  1. Like your flight’s picture in front of the T-38. I was in OTS Class 68-G and we did not have flight photos back then. You were stationed at several of the same bases as my husband and me. I am looking forward to this trip down “Memory Lane.” Thanks for sharing. ~Patricia B. H.

    • Patricia,

      It was a nice touch for OTS to set up a class photo for us, after all, many of the memories we have of our Air Force years are captured in the photos we have of those days! It was a great opportunity and experience to fly F-4E/Gs in USAFE in those years, ’83-’87, and my memories of those days are still as fresh as if it had been only yesterday!

      Cheers,

      Mark


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