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F-16 Dedication Ceremony to Recognize NM Air National Guard ‘TACOS’

November 13, 2014

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History held a Dedication Ceremony for the newly restored F-16 Fighting Falcon - an aircraft operated by the New Mexico Air National Guard 150th Fighter Wing ‘The TACOS’ - on Wednesday, November 5, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich and other dignitaries were present to publicly acknowledge the legacy and historical significance of the TACOS, as they are represented on the airplane’s trim and tail insignia.  

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History has completed the restoration of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, a full-bodied aircraft acquired by the Museum in March, 2014. This special initiative to recondition the F-16 to display the New Mexico Air National Guard 150th Fighter Wing, ‘The TACOS,’ tail insignia and trim, was part of “Operation Preservation” – a two-year campaign to restore the iconic aircraft in the Museum’s outdoor exhibit area known as Heritage Park.

The TACOS were honored in the restoration of this airplane because of their legacy and contributions to our country. This division of the New Mexico Air National Guard has flown combat operations in Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia and Iraq and was mobilized and flew combat air patrol sorties throughout the United States following the attacks on September 11, 2011. The 150th Fighter Wing TACOS operated the F-16 from 1992 to 2003.

Restoration of this iconic aircraft was supervised by Jerry Hanks, Project Manager, and was completed with the help of volunteers from Sandia National Laboratories, Kirtland Air Force Base, Museum volunteers and members of the CNM Aviation Maintenance Technology program and Service-Learning program.

Presidents Day Camp - February 19

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will host "Eureka: Simple Machines & Physics Edition" on February 19 for Presidents Day. In this one-day break from school, students 6-12 years old will build super structures using their own creativity, basic design principles and simple machines. They will also learn about the properties of building shapes and materials through hands-on experimentation.

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Discover STEM Day - Saturday, February 10

On Saturday, February 10, from 10 am to 3 pm, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will welcome families and Scouts for a day of engineering fun! Visitors will experience the finest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). All activities are kid-friendly, completely interactive and designed to spark interest in the scientific fields of science and engineering.

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Einstein Gala - Saturday, March 31

The Einstein Gala is New Mexico’s biggest science party of the year! This prestigious black-tie event is the Museum’s most important fundraising event and features a cocktail reception with an amazing silent auction filled with the most unique items in Albuquerque, a delicious dinner experience among some of the most brilliant minds in science and history and thrilling entertainment featuring science experiments that will knock your socks off!

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