Hensel, R., SMSgt

Aircraft Maintenance
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USAF Retired
Current/Last Rank
Senior Master Sergeant
Current/Last Primary AFSC/MOS
423X4-Aircraft Pneudraulic Systems Mechanic
Current/Last AFSC Group
Aircraft Maintenance
Primary Unit
2005-Present, 119th Fighter Squadron - Jersey Devils
Previously Held AFSC/MOS
99000-Basic Airman
2A3X3-Tactical Aircraft Maintenance
43191-Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent
Service Years
1966 - 2005
Voice Edition
Enlisted Collar Insignia
Senior Master Sergeant

 Official Badges 

Air Force Retired

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA)Post 158, Emilio Marandino PostAir Force Association (AFA)Patriot Guard Riders
  1990, Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) - Assoc. Page
  1992, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 158, Emilio Marandino Post (Landisville, New Jersey)8 - Chap. Page
  1998, Air Force Association (AFA) - Assoc. Page
  2010, Patriot Guard Riders2

 Additional Information
What are you doing now:

  Keeping busy with my wife Donna, whom I will be married to forty years in July 2009.  We've traveled quite alot having gone to Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria in March 2006.  March 2007 we drove my inlaws to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesotta.  What a snow storm we ran into in Madison Wisconsin!  January 2008 we drove to Florida.  Visited some of the old TDY bases Tyndall and  McDill.  I always enjoyed TDY's, and it brings back good memories to go their.  July 2008 we drove to Albuquerque New Mexico for a wedding, then up to Colorado Spings and Denver.  As you can see I enjoy driving, so I took a part time job driving.  One of my "FOX HOLE BUDDIES" Joe Fenton, convinced me to look into parts delivery.  I work three days a week for an auto dealership and have a four day weekend.  WOW,  if I knew it would be that good, I would have done it forty years ago!! 

    When our children were young, it opened up an avenue to our social lives, so do our five grand children.  In many ways re-aquainting us with people we lost touch with.  Its true, you really get to enjoy them so much more than the hectic pace of raising your own.  I finally have two sons!  both are really nice guys and thank God, both marriages seem to be very sound.


Other Comments:

     I graduated from Cape May Vocational Technical Institute in 1966 and went to work for Weaton Plastic Co. in Mayslanding as a design draftsman.  I had a technical deferment from them to avoid the draft and one from my parents' family farm but felt an obligation to serve in the military.  As a child who played soldier with my cousins and admired my uncles in uniform I was inspired to join the military.  The Vietnam War was going on and everyone was saying "don't join", this didn't persuade me .  I joined the New Jersey Air National Guard in August and left for basic in October 1966.  After graduation from Chanute AFB as a hydraulic repairman, I was hired full time by the NJANG as a technician.  From that day on I knew I made the right decision about joining the military.  On January 26, 1968 the 177th TFG was activated for the Pueblo Incident and we were sent to Phu Cat, Vietnam for a one year tour.  After 14 years as a hydraulic technician, I cross trained to flight line and was a crew chief certified on F-106s, T-33s and F-16s.  I retired from my technician job with NJANG on my 55th birthday, December 27, 2000 and stayed on as a triditional Guardsman working in the Maintenance Control section (MOCC).  The first plane flew into the World Trade building at 0910 and by 0925 hours I received a phone call saying we were activated and to report to base ASAP.  I stayed on active duty for two years doing Noble Eagle missions and retired from NJANG military on December 27, 2005 at age 60. 

     From my first day as a technician until my last day as a traditional guardsman, I knew I had a job that was the envy of my family and friends.  Exotic travel to places they only heard about and TDYs to warm climates in January and Feburary always seemed like greener pastures to them and for the most part, they were correct.  I couldn't imagine working any other job and being any happier than with what I was doing in the Air National Guard. 


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  1972-1998, 423X4, 177th Fighter-Interceptor Group

Technical Sergeant
From Month/Year
- / 1972
To Month/Year
- / 1998
177th Fighter-Interceptor Group Unit Page
Technical Sergeant
423X4-Aircraft Pneudraulic Systems Mechanic
Base, Station or City
Atlantic City N.J.
United States
 177th Fighter-Interceptor Group Details

177th Fighter-Interceptor Group

On 15 October 1962, the New Jersey Air National Guard 119th Tactical Fighter Squadron was authorized to expand to a group level, and the 177th Tactical Fighter Group was established by the National Guard Bureau. The 119th TFS became the group's flying squadron. Other squadrons assigned into the group were the 177th Headquarters, 177th Material Squadron (Maintenance), 177th Combat Support Squadron, and the 177th USAF Dispensary.

In January 1968, a new crisis, the seizure of the American ship USS Pueblo by North Korean forces, and the 119th was called to active duty. In May 1968, the 119th TFS was assigned to the113th Tactical Fighter WingDistrict of Columbia Air National Guard and stationed at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina when the active-duty 354th TFW was deployed to South Korea. Group personnel were spread throughout the United States, Taiwan, South Korea, and South Vietnam. The 177th TFW was placed in non-operational status. The 177th TFG was reformed at Atlantic City airport in June 1969, and returned to New Jersey State control. The 119th TFS transitioned into the F-105 "Thunderchief" in 1970.

Air Defense mission[edit]

F-106s of the 119th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 1984

In 1972, the National Guard Bureau announced that the 177 TFG would be assigned to the Aerospace Defense Command (ADCOM) and be responsible for protecting the United States from airborne attacks, and so was re-designted as the 177th Fighter-Interceptor Group and 119th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. In 1973, the unit transitioned to the F-106 "Delta Dart" all-weather interceptor and assumed alert status the following year. In 1979 Aerospace Defense Command was inactivated and the group was reassigned to Air Defense Tactical Air Command (ADTAC), and then again changed to a numbered Air Force, First Air Force in 1985.

October 1984, the 177th FIG participated in the air defense community's Worldwide Weapons Meet, known as "William Tell", at Tyndall AFB, Florida. The unit captured the Special Achievement Award for Professionalism and Team Spirit, Overall Best Looking Aircraft, Best F-106 Team, Major Richard I. Bong Fighter Interceptor Award, Top Gun Award, F-106 Category Best Looking Aircraft Award, the Pratt and Whitney Award, the Sperry Corporation Award, and the General Dynamics Corporation Award.

In July 1988 the 177th started receiving their first F-16A/B, "Fighting Falcon"s. These were of the block 15 type, replacing the aging F-106 in the air defense role. Since this was the primary role of the unit, it was decided to upgrade these airframes with the Air Defense Fighter (ADF) option. To that date the unit also flew some F-106s aside the F-16. The 119th FS was the last USAF unit to withdraw the F-106 from operational duty. In 1994 the squadron started trading in their ADF version of the Falcon for the more advanced block 25 version.

During Operation Desert Shield/Storm, 73 members of the 177 FIG were called to active duty, and others served as volunteers. Fire fighters and Food Services personnel from the 177th Civil Engineering Squadron, elements of the 177th USAF Clinic, members of the Transportation section of the 177th Resource Management Squadron, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel from the Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron provided backfill at various bases whose members had been deployed to Saudi Arabia. Those activated from the 177th Security Police Flight served at home station. And the 177th Chaplain's Assistant completed a five-month tour of active duty in Saudi Arabia. All members were returned to normal Guard status at home base by July 1991.

Last F-106 59-0031 of the 119th FIS with a newly-assigned F-16C 81-739 of the squadron flying over the Atlantic City Beach, 1988

From 18–26 January and 14–21 March 1998, the wing provided Operational Readiness Inspection support for 125th FW, based in Jacksonville, Florida. This included six aircraft and 35 support personnel deployed to the Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC) at Savannah, Georgia. The deployment lasted from 18 through 26 January. 177th personnel also provided support for the 108th ARW’s Operational Readiness Exercise from 14 through 21 March, also held at the CRTC. The 177th participated in a live missile firing exercise - COMBAT ARCHER - at Tyndall AFB, Florida. 12 pilots and 60 maintenance personnel deployed to support this exercise from 1 through 14 February.

From 1 May through 13 June 1998, the wing deployed five F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft and 46 personnel to Howard AFB, Panama, in support of OPERATION CORONET NIGHTHAWK. 130 personnel rotated on a two-week basis during the six-week deployment. Operating as part of a joint interagency task force, the wing’s role was to detect and identify suspected drug smuggling aircraft. Once identified, the suspected aircraft are turned over to law enforcement agencies for apprehension.

The 177th FW deployed from November to December 2000 to Saudi Arabia, as part of Aerospace Expeditionary Force 9 in support of Operation Southern Watch. The 177th has previously deployed personnel in support of both Operations Northern and Southern Watch.

As a result of the attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 the Wing found itself in a key position. Located between New York and Washington DC, the 119th FS was immediately tasked with providing combat air patrols over cities in its region. In fact three aircraft were scrambled to intercept the aircraft that impacted the pentagon, but were too late. They were then vectored to intercept flight 93 which eventually crashed in Pennsylvania. Although these three pilots did not know it at the time they would have been given authorization to down the airliners once intercepted. Following the attacks on that fateful day, the 119th FS began flying missions for Operation Noble Eagle. On 12 July 2002 the squadron flew its 1000 mission for Operation Nobel Eagle. From that year they also started to contribute in other overseas contingency operations.

In September 2007 the first USAF F-16Cs to be retired to AMARG were from the 119th FS who sent two to the desert boneyard. In replacement for the ageing block 25s were the not much newer block 30s. During this transition the mission of the squadron remained. This being a double task as an air defense squadron in the northern section of the US and as a multirole squadron to carry out contingency operations abroad.

The 177th Medical Group earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award in 2009.

Parent Unit
Fighter-Interceptor Units
Created/Owned By
423 Hensel, R. (Bob / Ole Buck), SMSgt 148

Last Updated: May 14, 2020
Memories For This Unit

Best Moment
Unit flew F-106s until 1988, Aircraft was really great to work on and alot of pride went into them. Won the William Tell Awards in 1984 for Best Load Crew, Best Looking Aircraft and Top Gun ( Lt. Col. Robinson). Converted to F-16s in 1988 and also a great plane to work on.

Other Memories
Everyone in unit is required to attend an in resident NCO school in order to be eligable for promotion to MSgt. I got stubborn and since I did the ECI course 5, in 1984 I felt I filled the square. As you can see I have as much time in grade as some people have a career in the Air Force. I eventually went to McGee Tyson NCO Academy in Knoxville Tenn in 1998 and was promoted after graduation. The Guard really bottle necks at the top but I was happy to go as far as I did. Their are alot of really good aircraft mechanics that deserve to be promoted but no openings for them. Thats one bad thing about the Air Guard.

My Photos For This Unit
738 over Atlantic City
12 Members Also There at Same Time
177th Fighter-Interceptor Group

Trout, Robert, TSgt, (1968-1989) 423 42372 Technical Sergeant
Glasser, Jack, MSgt, (1973-1997) 3P 3P0X1 Master Sergeant
Smith, Henry, MSgt, (1972-2007) 2A 2A0X1 Master Sergeant
Fenwick, Scott, SMSgt, (1968-1990) 901 90170 Technical Sergeant
Trout, Robert, TSgt, (1968-1989) 462 46270 Technical Sergeant
Aviles, Miguel, SSgt, (1980-1986) 434 43450 Staff Sergeant
Bright, Carrie, TSgt, (1986-2009) 2W 2W0X1 Staff Sergeant
Clayton, Walter, MSgt, (1976-2017) 462 46270 Staff Sergeant
Morse, Christopher, TSgt, (1988-2009) 2A 2A3X3 Staff Sergeant
Swain, Michael, SSgt, (1980-1990) 571 57130 Staff Sergeant
Tarquinio, Stanley, A1C, (1972-1978) 424 42450 Airman 1st Class
Murray, Ronald, TSgt, (1967-2007) Technical Sergeant
Somers, David, SSgt, (1981-2001) Staff Sergeant

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