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The Department of Defense has designated April as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community. To celebrate this year, the 173rd Fighter Wing Airman and Family Readiness Center has created a ‘Jet Nose Art’ contest.

“This contest is open to all of Oregon military children 17 years old and under,” said Cecily Gaudinski, 173rd FW Airman and Family Readiness Center coordinator. “We are excited to open this up to all of our military dependents, regardless of branch of service.”

Using the provided design template, children are asked to pick a theme for their design and create an image they would want to see displayed on the nose of a Kingsley Field F-15 Eagle.

“Some examples of themes could be freedom, patriotism, or whatever comes to mind when you think about what it means to be a military child,” said Gaudinski.

For inspiration, the 173rd FW structural shop shared examples of previous nose art designs and gave a few tips for design success.

“First identify a theme, and then choose the animals, people, or objects you think best represents your theme,” said Master Sgt. Paul Allen, 173rd FW aircraft structural maintenance. “These are the first two simple steps we use when designing our large and elaborate paint schemes as well.”

The young artist will need to keep in mind a few rules when creating their designs. All nose art must: Be distinctive, symbolic, and designed in good taste, enhance unit pride, be gender neutral and must not use copyrighted material

All designs must be submitted by April 25 to 173.fw.afrc.org@us.af.mil.

Two winning designs will be selected by a committee and announced the following month. Those images will then be displayed on the nose of one of the Kingsley F-15 Eagles as well as one of the 142nd Wing’s F-15 Eagles.