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Aircraft History

P-51s flying

P-51s flying

P-51 Mustang 1948-1955
The unit's first Mustangs were assigned in 1948 while the unit was at the Reno Army Air Base. This later became the Stead National Guard Air Base and later Stead Air Force Base. The single seat P-51 was recognized as the world's fastest single engine, propeller driven aircraft and could exceed 400 miles per hour. A liquid cooled V-12 engine powered it. The aircraft was armed with six .50 caliber machine guns, six 2.75-inch rockets, and a complement of bombs.

F-86 Sabre Jet 1956-1961
Less than a decade after the Nevada Air National Guard's humble beginnings, the unit entered another new era, the jet age. Like the P-51, the F-86 Sabre Jet had its beginnings under fire. During the Korean conflict the Sabre Jet tangled with the Soviet made MIG-15s the first all-jet combat. With a distinguished record under its belt, the F-86 s found a new home in Nevada. Faster and sleeker than the P-51, the 192nd Tactical Fighter Group put the silver birds through the paces under the watchful eye of the Air Defense Command.

RB-57 Canberra 1961-1965
The Nevada Air National Guard made a major mission conversion from a fighter-bomber aircraft to a tactical reconnaissance aircraft, which meant Guard members had to learn aerial photography skills. The RB-57 was a two-seat aircraft. The front seat was reserved for the pilot and the back seat occasionally housed a passenger. The B-57 aircraft were manufactured by the Martin Company and were all metal, mid-wing, twin engine, turbo jet propelled, full cantilever monoplanes with retractable landing gear. The aircraft was totally self contained and was started by means of a black powder cartridge.

RF 101- Voodoo 1965-1975
The Nevada "One-O-One Wonders" learned a few lessons with the arrival of the F-101 Voodoos in 1965. The F-101 was the first supersonic fighter for Nevada, one of the famous Century Series fighters developed during the 1950s. Fast and efficient, the Nevada Air Guardsmen liked this graceful bird and they quickly adapted to its supersonic characteristics. The Nevada Air Guard also received an alphabet lesson with the F-101. While assigned to Air Guard, the aircraft went through three iterations. The first models were F-101s and modified to RF-101G/H. The final version was the RF-101B, a one of a kind model equipped as a photo-recon version found nowhere except Nevada.

RF-Phantom II 1975-1995
On July 10,1975, the Nevada Air National Guard would be converting to the more sophisticated RF-4C Phantom II, replacing the RF-101 Voodoo. For the first time in the unit's history, the NVANG had a jet aircraft that required a crew of two, an aircraft commander and a weapons systems officer. The aircraft flew at speeds of Mach 2, twice the speed of sound. It was also versatile, capable of flying in all types of weather, high or low altitudes and for day or night tactical reconnaissance missions. It was the first factory built plane assigned to the Nevada Air National Guard designed for taking pictures. It was during this time that a new name appeared on the tail of the planes. Now famous, the High Rollers of Nevada became renown for exceptional tactical reconnaissance.

C-130 Hercules 1995-Present
The early summer of 1995 brought an official press release of the C-130 coming to Reno. The 152nd Reconnaissance Group was leaving the fighter business. The final decision had been reached and the challenge set forth. The base conversion to the C-130 officially began October 1995. The mission of the High Rollers changed dramatically with the introduction of the highly versatile Hercules. The current mission now encompasses several support functions including airlift and airdrop capability for cargo and personnel during wartime and peacetime, and, using the C-130 as a tactical reconnaissance platform, timely, accurate intelligence in support of national security.