Lawmakers to Air Force secretary: Let the Tacos fly again | KOB 4
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Lawmakers to Air Force secretary: Let the Tacos fly again

Justin Kreitz
December 05, 2017 10:26 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico Air National Guard Tacos are almost as much an institution as the ones served on countless dinner tables. Formed after World War II, they served in Vietnam. In the 90s, they flew missions over Iraq and Bosnia.

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While known as the 150th Fighter Wing, the Tacos operated F-16 Fighting Falcons. But they found themselves an endangered species of warbird about a decade ago as the military looked to phase out the aging aircraft. The unit was grounded in 2010.

About three years later, they became the 150th Special Operations Wing with a focus on training. Now there's a push to get the Tacos back in the air -- not on wings, but on rotors.

All five U.S. senators and representatives in New Mexico have written Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. They urge her to send Pave Hawk combat search-and-rescue choppers to Kirtland Air Force Base.

The Tacos would operate the Pave Hawks and provide resources as the air force transitions to a new generation of choppers.

Wilson, herself a former New Mexico congresswoman, is no stranger to the Tacos. Whether she's willing to serve them up a new mission is yet to be seen.

One place to learn more about the Tacos' legacy is the national museum of nuclear science and history in Albuquerque. A few years ago, they painstakingly restored an F-16 found abandoned on Kirtland Air Force Base. It comes complete with the tacos trim and tail insignia.

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Justin Kreitz

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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