SOARING SPIRIT: Trojan Warrior Spirit C-130 unveiled

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2018

“If you’re a Trojan you know the motto … We educate the mind to think, the heart to feel and the body to act,” Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. told a crowd gathered at the Troy Municipal Airport Tuesday. “But recently there was an addition – the spirit to soar. Today, that new motto takes on even more meaning as we look at this logo on this beautiful aircraft.”

Behind Hawkins was a massive C-130 Hercules aircraft from the 908th Airlift Wing stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. It had not yet been revealed, but the Troy University logo had been added to the plane as nose art designating the aircraft as the “Trojan Warrior Spirit.”

“This is one of the most famous and venerable aircraft in the storied history of the Air Force,” said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Walter Givhan, senior vice chancellor for advancement and economic development and a former command pilot. “We are certainly honored to have this aircraft at Troy Municipal Airport on the ramp with the opportunity to dedicate it as the Trojan Warrior Spirit.”

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The C-130 is the longest continuously produced military aircraft at more than 60 years, and is used for tactical airlifts among other missions. It has been used as a gunship, for airborne assault, search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol and firefighting.

The C-130 also played a prominent role in the Vietnam War, and Troy University will highlight the service of Vietnam War veterans during its upcoming Military Appreciation Day game on Saturday.

“My father was a Vietnam vet, and when he came back from Vietnam in late 1960s, military appreciation wasn’t something those veterans got to experience,” said Col. Don Richey, commander of the 908th Operations Group. “Things have gotten a lot better. For the University to recognize us for the contributions we’ve made is really fantastic, and we’re more than happy to provide any service we can, on and off the field.”

Mayor Jason Reeves said the artwork provides a tangible example of the strong relationship between the college and the Air Force.

“All of my life, and longer than I’ve been alive, Troy University and the Air Force have had a special relationship,” Reeves said. “I think the opportunity we have today to see a tangible rendering of that relationship is something special.”

The Trojan Warrior Spirit C-130 will highlight pre-game festivities at The Vet on Saturday as it performs a flyover for Military Appreciation Day.