The acquisition of a T-45 by NAS Meridian will complete the base's static aircraft collection, which also includes a TA-4J Skyhawk and a T-2 Buckeye.
The jet was presented by Boeing Aerospace, the company that makes the jet, as a token of appreciation.
"This is an old airplane that's been retired for many years," said Bob Feldmann, general manager of the T-45 program. "It's been refurbished and remodeled to show here as a display. There are two bases that fly the T-45. NAS Meridian is a very important part of the T-45 community."
"There are almost 400 Boeing employees at NAS Meridian," said Feldmann. "This is a real big program for us."
Over a year's worth of effort by Boeing volunteers went into restoring the aircraft.
"This was a shell of an aircraft when it arrived here," said Mark Kinnane of NAS Meridian. "Their volunteer man hours over a 14 month period have taken an aircraft that didn't have a wing on it, didn't have landing gear and didn't have a canopy and turned it into the pristine aircraft you see standing behind me."
The placing of the decommissioned T-45 aircraft at the base will serve as a monument with a very special meaning. It will stand as a symbol for years to come of the mission, to train the finest pilots in the world for the Navy and the Marine Corps.
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