Home Local News REMEMBERING 185TH COLONEL DENNIS SWANSTROM

REMEMBERING 185TH COLONEL DENNIS SWANSTROM

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A FORMER COMMANDER OF SIOUX CITY’S 185TH AIR NATIONAL GUARD HAS PASSED AWAY AFTER A LONG BATTLE WITH CANCER.

RETIRED COLONEL DENNIS SWANSTROM DIED SATURDAY NIGHT IN OMAHA AT THE AGE OF 78.

SWANSTROM LED THE 185TH FROM OCTOBER OF 1987 THROUGH DECEMBER OF 1998.

HE WAS THE COMMANDER WHEN THE UNIT CONVERTED FROM FLYING THE A-7 CORSAIR TO F-16 FIGHTERS IN 1991.

WHILE FLYING THE A-7S, THE 185TH WON THE SPAATZ TROPHY IN 1990, RECOGNIZING THEM AS THE BEST AIR GUARD UNIT IN THE COUNTRY.

BRIGADIER GENERAL LARRY CHRISTENSEN SERVED UNDER SWANSTROM AT THE 185TH:

SWANNY1 OC….A GREAT LEADER. :14

UNDER SWANSTROM, THE 185TH PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN 1989 IN THE RESCUE EFFORT AFTER THE CRASH OF UNITED AIRLINES FLIGHT 232 AT SIOUX GATEWAY AIRPORT.

SWANSTROM ALSO OBTAINED FUNDING FOR THE CREATION OF THE 185TH’S PAINT FACILITY HERE IN SIOUX CITY.

HE PAINTED AN F-16 FIGHTER JET GOLD, AND CHRISTENSEN REMEMBERS THE IMPACT THAT JET HAD:

SWANNY2 OC……….THERE TODAY. :21

CHRISTENSEN SAYS SWANSTROM WAS A GREAT COMMUNITY LEADER, GIVING HIS TIME TO HELP WITH MANY LOCAL EFFORTS.

AFTER RETIRING FROM THE GUARD IN 1998, SWANSTROM HIKED THE LENGTH OF THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL.

HE AND HIS WIFE LYNN RELOCATED TO OMAHA TO BE CLOSER TO FAMILY.

FUNERAL SERVICES ARE SET FOR SATURDAY AT 10:30AM IN OMAHA AT ST. STEPHEN THE MARTYR CATHOLIC CHURCH.

A VISITATION WILL BE HELD THERE FRIDAY FROM 4PM-7PM WITH A ROSARY AT 7PM.

B/W Photos by George Lindblade

Past and present commanders of the 185th Air Refueling Wing get together after a ceremony in the main hangar at the base in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday, June 7, 2014. Pictured are (Left to Right) retired Col. Warren G. “Bud” Nelson (April 1976-May 1980), retired Col. Dennis B. Swanstrom (October 1987-December 1998), retired Col. John P. Jansen (October 2001-August 2007), Retired Col. Brian A. Miller (August 2007-June 2014) and Current Commander Col. Lawrence L. Christensen (June 2014-Present). (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Technical Sgt. Bill Wiseman/Released)