Happier in Homestead

Maintainers and local volunteers earlier this month hoisted an F-4 Phantom II from its display plinth in the city of Homestead, Fla., and transported the jet to nearby Homestead Air Reserve Base for refurbishment. Members of Air Force Reserve Command’s 482nd Fighter Wing folded the aircraft’s wingtips for the four-hour over-road journey to the base on Aug. 4 on a flatbed truck, according to an Aug. 12 Homestead release. The Air Force still owns the fighter and thus handles its maintenance. Homestead airmen will repaint the faded airframe, which currently dons 482nd FW markings and a Vietnam War-era camouflage scheme. The fighter’s last paint job was some eight years ago; due to airframe corrosion, it is expected to take approximately three months and 2,000 man-hours to complete this work, reported Homestead’s South Dade News Leader. The Phantom will then return to its perch at the intersection of US Highway 1 and Southwest 304th St. (Homestead report by SSgt. Lou Burton)