Air National Guard Base Begins Construction on Historical Park

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Justin Goeden
  • 122 FW

Baer Field Heritage Park is now under construction after a groundbreaking ceremony was held on July 21, 2011. The park will showcase all of the aircraft flown at the 122nd Fighter Wing from 1947 to the present. There were many distinguished guests who spoke and helped break ground during the ceremony. In attendance was Maj. Gen. Martin R. Umbarger, The Adjutant General of Indiana, retired Maj. Gen. Richard Chastain, Indiana State Armory Board President, Col. David Augustine, 122nd Fighter Wing Commander, Senior Master Sgt. John Furge, original project officer for the park, Pat Sullivan, Chairman of the Board for the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, Bruce Menshy, Chairman of the North East Indiana Defense Cluster, Robert Legacy, Vice President of USO Indiana, and Rob Young, President of the Fort Wayne Base Community Council.

Pictures and artist renditions of the park were on display for people to view during the ceremony in order to visualize the attractiveness that the park will possess. "We live in a great community that offers our military members tremendous support, and Baer Field Heritage Park is a way that we can thank our community members for standing behind us," said Augustine.

The Indiana State Armory Board presented the park with a $4,000 check to aid in starting the project.  "Had it not been for their care, dedication, and devotion in giving us $4,000, we wouldn't have been able to start this project as aggressively as we would have liked," said Augustine about Umbarger and Chastain.

Military history and heritage play an important role in continuing traditions and remembering legacies. "We should never forget about our heritage, and for this wing to be out here on this main gate, trying to be able to show the rich history of Baer Air Field is a great thing," said Umbarger. He also went on to thank the local community and elected officials for their tremendous support of the Air National Guard.

The park is scheduled be to open in the fall of 2012 and some of the aircraft that will be on display are the F-100 Super Sabre, the F-4 Phantom, the F-84F Thunderstreak, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the current aircraft flown here, the A-10 Thunderbolt II. Upon completion the park will be open for the public to visit and learn about the rich history of the base they so strongly support.