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820th IS Airmen clean SR-71

Airmen from the 820th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, clean an SR-71 Blackbird Oct. 3, 2017 on display at the Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska. The original pilot of the aircraft recently passed away and the museum no longer has anyone to manage the cleaning schedule. The 820th IS Airmen stepped up to volunteer to clean the aircraft and some other aircraft on display on a quarterly basis.

Airmen from the 820th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, clean an SR-71 Blackbird Oct. 3, 2017 on display at the Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska. The original pilot of the aircraft recently passed away and the museum no longer has anyone to manage the cleaning schedule. The 820th IS Airmen stepped up to volunteer to clean the aircraft and some other aircraft on display on a quarterly basis. (Courtesy photo)

Airmen from the 820th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, clean an SR-71 Blackbird Oct. 3, 2017 on display at the Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska.

Airmen from the 820th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, clean an SR-71 Blackbird Oct. 3, 2017 on display at the Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska. The original pilot of the aircraft recently passed away and the museum no longer has anyone to manage the cleaning schedule. The 820th IS Airmen stepped up to volunteer to clean the aircraft and some other aircraft on display on a quarterly basis. (Courtesy photo)

Airmen from the 820th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, clean an SR-71 Blackbird Oct. 3, 2017 on display at the Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska.

Airmen from the 820th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, clean an SR-71 Blackbird Oct. 3, 2017 on display at the Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska. The original pilot of the aircraft recently passed away and the museum no longer has anyone to manage the cleaning schedule. The 820th IS Airmen stepped up to volunteer to clean the aircraft and some other aircraft on display on a quarterly basis. (Courtesy photo)

Airmen from the 820th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, clean an SR-71 Blackbird Oct. 3, 2017 on display at the Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska.

Airmen from the 820th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, clean an SR-71 Blackbird Oct. 3, 2017 on display at the Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum, Ashland, Nebraska. The original pilot of the aircraft recently passed away and the museum no longer has anyone to manage the cleaning schedule. The 820th IS Airmen stepped up to volunteer to clean the aircraft and some other aircraft on display on a quarterly basis. (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 820th Intelligence Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, cleaned an SR-71 Blackbird Oct. 3, on display at the Strategic Air Command Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Nebraska. 

 

The original pilot of the aircraft recently passed away and the museum no longer has anyone to manage the cleaning schedule. The 820th IS Airmen stepped up to volunteer to clean the aircraft and some other aircraft on display on a quarterly basis. A chaplain from the 20th Intelligence Squadron also helped with the cleaning.

 

Throughout its nearly 24-year career, the Air Force's SR-71 remained the world's fastest and highest-flying operational aircraft. The fleet of SR-71s was retired Jan. 26, 1990, because of a decreasing defense budget and high costs of operation.