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Alma receives momento from 188th Fighter Wing

Alma city officials received a memento Thursday of the A-10 planes that were previously flown by airmen at the 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith.

During the Alma City Council meeting Thursday night, Col. Brian Burger with the Arkansas Air National Guard 188th Fighter Wing presented Mayor John Ballentine with a photograph of one of the A-10 planes flown by the airmen before the planes were shipped out.

In the photograph, tail No. 616 of the A-10 Thunderbolt II “Warthog” bears the decal “City of Alma.”

The tail was so named in honor of the city and the support shown by its residents for the 188th when the airmen were fighting to keep the planes at their base, said Tech. Sgt. Timothy Booth, who attended the council meeting with Burger.

“We’re trying to make an effort,” Burger told council members, “that all the communities that have supported the 188th for so long really understand how much we appreciate it.”

Burger added that in all his years flying, he has never seen the level of support from the community as he has seen in this area of Arkansas.

Burger and Booth are both Alma residents. All of the A-10 tails were named for the cities in which the airmen live, and they are bringing the mementos each to their own residential communities, Booth said.

Also at the meeting, council members approved a $1,344,493.75 contract to go to Goodwin and Goodwin, Inc. out of Fort Smith to complete water and sewer improvements and existing sewer maintenance.

Council members also approved $25,000 to go to purchase a track of land as needed for the city’s Arkansas 162 bypass project.

Fire Chief Eddie Wakefield reported that there were no fire calls in the month of June. He said it was the first time in his years of working with the fire department that he remembers that ever happening.

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