DEL CITY — Tinker Air Force Base has long been a part of Del City's identity, and the city will honor that heritage Saturday as it unveils the first AWACS replica.
The public dedication will be at 9 a.m. on Sooner Road, directly across from the Vance Gate at Tinker. A 5k fun run and walk will follow the dedication.
The project has been ongoing for several years, Chamber of Commerce Director Kay Bibens said. Tinker is home to a number of E-3 Sentry AWACS planes that have played significant roles in recent military conflicts. The 552nd Air Wing has been based at Tinker since 1955.
“This is a vision we've had for the last three or four years and we're happy to finally make it happen,” Bibens said. “It's to show our support for Tinker and the 552, which is our adopted air wing.”
The replicas have a 10-foot wingspan and were made by an Oklahoma firm. Bibens said the hope is to eventually have 10 replicas in the park across from the Vance Gate. The cost of the replica was funded by private donations.
“We will have three more that will be going up soon,” she said. “Now that the first one is there it will be easier to sell people on the concept. We think it will spark more interest and help us get to our goal of having 10 of them.”