Meet Roland Wright Air National Guard Base

The Utah Air National Guard christened its long-time operating location east of Salt Lake City Airport the Roland Wright Air National Guard Base in honor of the state’s first Air Guard chief of staff. The renaming ceremony took place on Nov. 18. “Roland Wright is truly a giant, and it’s only fitting that this air base where he so faithfully served our state and our nation be named in his honor,” said Army Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton, Utah’s adjutant general, in a release. Wright logged 200 hours as a P-51 pilot in Europe during World War II, and joined the nascent Utah Air Guard as one of the 191st Fighter Squadron’s first pilots in 1946, according to the release. He served as a squadron and group commander and eventually Utah’s chief of staff for air from 1969 to 1972, in addition to flying combat missions in Vietnam. “He was an aviation pioneer here in Utah providing tremendous leadership,” said Burton. Wright, now 95, who retired as a brigadier general in 1976, was at the ceremony, reported the Salt Lake Tribune.