The Checkerboard Returns

The eight KC-135s of the Air National Guard’s 127th Air Refueling Group at Selfridge ANGB, Mich., will sport the distinctive checkerboard design long associated with military aircraft at the base, but absent since the group began flying KC-135s in 2008. The group’s commander’s aircraft already features the slanted checkerboard stripe—in a black and yellow paint scheme—on its fuselage at the forward edge of its wings. This design also features the group’s logo, and the KC-135 also has a distinctive marking on its tail as part of this transformation. “This [artwork] not only represents our heritage, it also tells people that we are proud of the work our airmen are doing today, representing Michigan around the world in today’s Air Force,” said Lt. Col. David Brooks, 127th ARG commander. The checkerboard design dates back to Selfridge’s days as a Strategic Air Command installation prior to transferring to Air Guard control in 1971, according to group officials. The group’s other KC-135s are expected to get the checkerboard over the next year or so—albeit in a more subdued black and gray paint scheme. (Selfridge report by TSgt. Dan Heaton)