A pilot’s last flight is always significant, but for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) the loss of Chief Warrant Officer 5 Gary Arne is especially poignant. This flight, and Arne’s subsequent retirement, marks the end of an era of aviation in Minnesota. The 34th CAB has benefited greatly from the wealth of experience provided by Arne, the last Vietnam combat pilot in the Minnesota Army National Guard. Arriving at Holman Field Arne’s Black Hawk was met by a truck from the St Paul’s fire department which sprayed a jet of water above the UH-60 as it taxied down the flightline April 23. Another short spray of water did not dampen Arne’s spirits as he walked to the crowd of family and friends gathered at the hangar. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ewer.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Gary Arne was awarded The Legion of Merit April 21 at Holman Field, St Paul, Minn. for exceptionally meritorious conduct during his career in the Minnesota Army National Guard which included multiple tours of Vietnam and Iraq. The award was presented by the Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Larry Shellito. Leading the ceremony was Col. Michael Huddleston (left), commander of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ewer.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Gary Arne was awarded a plaque commemorating his 40 year military career April 21 at Holman Field, St Paul, Minn. The award was presented by the St. Paul Army Aviation Support Facility Commander, Lt. Col. Greg Thingvold. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ewer.