The brave citizens who comprise the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base protect our state and the country at home and abroad. Here, we take an intimate look at these true hometown heroes. Photography by Tyler Stableford
Serve and Protect
Top: The Colorado Air National Guard fighter pilots are among the world's best aviators. They are trained for dangerous missions, skilled in dogfighting, and ready to serve at any time. Yet they are not above taking a little time to fly less critical missions: These pilots often man the stadium flyovers you'll see on the Fourth of July. Bottom: The "Mile High Militia"—a moniker emblazoned across each of the 120th's F-16s—also protects Colorado. At any given time, fighter pilots and maintainers from Buckley are on alert to run homeland defense missions. If issues arise on a commercial plane, for example, NORAD can direct Buckley to scramble jets to defend U.S. citizens and other potential targets.