Friday, November 9, 2018

A Tug Drive Down Memory Lane

"Red 8, Red 2."

"Red 8, go Red 2."

"Red 8, deliver a -70 to Sierra Oscar Niner, Over."

"Red 8, copy."

In my days of being an Airman stationed at Cannon AFB New Mexico which was flying F111D's at the time.
One bad ass plane.
Working in the 27th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, that's how a typical radio conversation would go for me. I delivered Aerospace Ground Equipment  to all and any aircraft that needed it. Breaking it down for you civilians goes like this.

The color denotes the Squadron. We had red, blue and yellow.
The number represents who is calling you. The lower the number the more important that person is. 2 being an expediter and 8 being me the A.G.E. driver.
-70 (dash 70) means they need a -60 (dash 60) gas turbine generator and a -10 (dash 10) air conditioner delivered to spot 09 (Sierra Oscar niner).
Copy means that I understand the directions and will carry them out.

Conversations where short and to the point because of the number of people on the channels and it keeps the airwaves open.

The reason I am sharing this bit of info is two fold. One being Veterans Day is around the corner and two out of the blue, Mike and Robin who run the Polar Express here in Texas just happened to buy a warehouse tug which brought back some good old Air Force memories.

This baby has seen some hard use and many years of neglect. As they would say in the old westerns. "It was ridden hard and put up wet." The plan for this little beauty was that it was going to get painted and then sold off with some tram cars to make a complete set. So a sanding I will go.
There was a lot of rust on it and took a day to just sand it down.
Here I am driving it back into the shop and hoping the brakes work. They did.
All prepped, Mike did the painting on it.
All finished and it looks great. Breathing life into this old girl.

Back in the day we used these tugs to move equipment around the maintenance yard. Out on the flight line we used tow tractors and Bobtails.
Dodge Bobtail
If you got to drive the bobtail that meant the boss liked you because there were only 2. Most of the time we drove small tractors from Ford, Case and the dreaded International Harvesters. 
It was very hard to find any photos of the tow tractors but here is a Case tow tractor. They were all fun to drive and I really enjoyed my tour in the Air Force.

I thought I would just share some of my experiences and I would like to say Happy Veterans Day to all military members of all the branches. Remember, freedom isn't free.


  1. Nice job on the tug! just a few more weeks and you will be pulling lots of screaming kids around!

  2. Thank you for your service Dino!🇺🇸

    1. Thank you. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

  3. Very cool! Bring some spiked Eggnog!