BroncoFest IV started with guests arriving early on Thursday (October 9) and our annual Board of Directors meeting. We started in earnest on Friday morning with registration and the opening of the PX.
That afternoon we went to Lockheed for a tour of the plant. That trip was a big hit. Following that was an open Board meeting and the opening of the hooch. The evening flight suit party was a lot of fun. There were a surprising number of flight suits present too.
Saturday morning started slow for some. The breakfast briefings included Floyd Stillwell talking about Marsh Aviation's SLEP program for the Colombian Air Force. Two State Department pilots briefed us on their operation "down range" and Chuck Burin briefed worldwide OV operations.
Following the briefings, we boarded a bus for the ride to the Fort Worth Stockyards area and finally the Vintage Flying Museum. At the museum, we toured the B-17, took rides in an O-2 and were briefed about the mockup restoration efforts. After a few words by Ron Fix, Roy Pitt and Jim Hodgson cut the ribbon and opened the door on the Ready Room. Everyone filed in out of the heat into our cool, air conditioned space. The looks on everyone's faces were like kids on Christmas. Everyone quickly gravitated to their specific area of interest or service. After a period of discovery, Garry Goff began the Memorial Wall dedication. Garry ended his briefing calling out the names of the 61 individuals on our wall. Following that, he guided Angela Bennett and Debbi Briggs Lambert to the wall for the unveiling. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
We all stayed in the area discovering items on exhibit and enjoying the refreshments or talking with the press and each other. Numerous group and individual pictures were taken, including a group shot of all the NAILS present with their "table cloth" from NKP.
Later in the day we gathered for dinner and the awards ceremony. LtGen Lanny Trapp (USAF) gave the keynote address. Ron Fix did the "Hail and Farewell" of officers and Directors. Following that, he announced the President's Award winner Eric Raymond, for his work of finding previous OV community members and his ongoing work of maintaining that list. Garry Goff was recognized with the Chairman's Award for his research and display of the Memorial Wall. The Bronco Buster Award went to Roy Pitt for his leadership and service in leading the build out of the Ready Room. Reuben Best, former Project Manager for the OV-10A and D with North American was honored as the first person inducted into the Bronco Hall of Fame.
The evening concluded with dancing, OV videos and hooch activities.
Sunday was get away day for most, following breakfast.
I wish I could share pictures with you, but my camera got misplaced after dinner Saturday. So, if you took pictures and I know a lot of you did, please send them along. I also want to thank those of you who traveled a long way to join us, namely Ken Semmler from Australia and the Venezuelan Team from Maricaibo.
Thank you one and all for making this another great Broncofest.
PS - Those who attended will be receiving a questionnaire soon. Please return it as soon as possible. We start planning BF V in six months.