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Col. Harvey Van Wie Retires after 41 Years

U.S. Air Force Col. Harvey Van Wie (right) receives the Air Force Legion of Merit citation from Col. Kevin Bradley on 5 November 2011 during a retirement ceremony held at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY. Col. Van Wie enlisted in the Air Force in 1970 and was the last member of the 174th Fighter Wing to have served in the Vietnam War.

U.S. Air Force Col. Harvey Van Wie (right) receives the Air Force Legion of Merit citation from Col. Kevin Bradley on 5 November 2011 during a retirement ceremony held at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY. Col. Van Wie enlisted in the Air Force in 1970 and was the last member of the 174th Fighter Wing to have served in the Vietnam War.

U.S. Air Force Col. Harvey Van Wie (left) holds a U.S. flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol in honor of his retirement from the 174th Fighter Wing, New York Air National Guard.  Col. Van Wie was honored during a ceremony held on 5 November 2011 at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY.

U.S. Air Force Col. Harvey Van Wie (left) holds a U.S. flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol in honor of his retirement from the 174th Fighter Wing, New York Air National Guard. Col. Van Wie was honored during a ceremony held on 5 November 2011 at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Judy Van Wie (retired) and Col. Harvey Van Wie Col. Harvey (retired) are all smiles during a retirement ceremony held for Col. Van Wie on 5 November 2011 at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY. Col. Van Wie enlisted in the Air Force in 1970 and was the last member of the 174th Fighter Wing to have served in the Vietnam War.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Judy Van Wie (retired) and Col. Harvey Van Wie Col. Harvey (retired) are all smiles during a retirement ceremony held for Col. Van Wie on 5 November 2011 at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY. Col. Van Wie enlisted in the Air Force in 1970 and was the last member of the 174th Fighter Wing to have served in the Vietnam War.

U.S. Air Force Col. Charles Dorsey (front left) and Col. Greg Semmel, both graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy, lead the singing of the Air Force Song during the retirement ceremony for Col. Harvey Van Wie (back right) held 5 November 2011 at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY.  Col. Van Wie reached the rank of Senior Master Sgt. in the 174th Fighter Wing before becoming a commissioned officer. His last job with the wing was as Mission Support Group commander.

U.S. Air Force Col. Charles Dorsey (front left) and Col. Greg Semmel, both graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy, lead the singing of the Air Force Song during the retirement ceremony for Col. Harvey Van Wie (back right) held 5 November 2011 at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY. Col. Van Wie reached the rank of Senior Master Sgt. in the 174th Fighter Wing before becoming a commissioned officer. His last job with the wing was as Mission Support Group commander.

Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY -- The 174th Fighter Wing said farewell to Col. Harvey M. Van Wie Jr. during a retirement ceremony held here on November 5, 2011. Colonel Van Wie was joined by family and friends as he celebrated 41 years of service in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard.

Col. Van Wie completed a distinguished military career as Special Projects Officer for the 174th Fighter Wing, New York Air National Guard. Notably, he previously served as the Mission Support Group Commander for over eight years, and held numerous positions in logistics and aircraft maintenance including Logistics Squadron Commander and Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander. He assumed his first command of the 174th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (CAMSQ) in September 1991. Prior to receiving his commission on 3 April 1986, Col. Van Wie served 15 years in the enlisted ranks, attaining the grade of Senior Master Sergeant.

Col. Van Wie was born in 1951 in Fulton, NY. He graduated from Red Creek Central High School in 1970, entering the United States Air Force on 23 October 1970. After completion of basic training and Aircraft Avionics Defensive Fire Control Systems technical school, he was assigned to Luke AFB, Arizona. While in the active Air Force, Col Van Wie deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan; Kunson Air Force Base, Korea; and Ching Chang Chong Air Base, Republic of Taiwan, in support of Vietnam combat operations. He earned the Vietnam Service Medal while stationed at Korat Air Base, Thailand, where he maintained F-4 fire control and missile guidance systems. In September of 1975, Col. Van Wie, then Sergeant Van Wie, joined the 174th Tactical Fighter Wing, New York Air National Guard in Syracuse, NY.

In December 1990, the 174th Fighter Wing was called up by presidential authority and shortly thereafter left for Saudi Arabia in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD. Col. Van Wie served as an Aircraft Maintenance/Munitions officer throughout Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM until returning home on 15 June 1991. He has deployed numerous times on training deployments as well as combat deployments to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia and Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Col. Van Wie's aircraft maintenance experience includes F-4, A-37, A-10, and F-16 aircraft.