On Oct. 19, 2021 US Air Force (USAF) Tech. Sgt. Johnathen Guzik and his fiancée Angela married in the cargo hold of a C-17 Globemaster III airlifter parked on the ramp of the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
As explained by Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle, 167th Airlift Wing, in the article Couple ties the knot in C-17 Globemaster aircraft, Guzik, an aircraft metals technician for the 167th Maintenance Group, initially dismissed the idea of getting married on base thinking there would be too many obstacles to coordinate the ceremony, especially on an aircraft. Angela (who originally suggested they get married in a C-17) on the other hand, a Navy brat who grew up on military bases, was excited and optimistic about the idea from the beginning.
Both agreed that the biggest challenge was limiting the number of people on their guest list.
Angela was escorted by her son down the aisle, or rather through the cargo bay, as the couples’ parents and Guzik’s children stood by the sidewall passenger seats near the front of the cargo area.
Staff Sgt. Justin Watson was the best man and Watson’s son was the ring bearer.
With sunlight streaming in from the open cargo doors in the rear of the aircraft, Tech Sgt. Corey Chaney, an aircraft electrician for the 167th Maintenance Group, officiated the wedding in front of the cockpit access stairs. Chaney said he had never considered being a wedding officiant but got ordained when the couple asked him to marry them.
“I was excited to help some friends of mine out,” said Chaney, who is neighbors with the Guziks.
Chaney’s previous military instructor training came in handy for his new gig.
“I leaned on my training that I received at McGhee Tyson during the instructor certification course, and some instructor training while I was in aircrew flight equipment, to help me prepare for how I would present and keep the flow of the wedding,” Chaney said. “I was truly honored that I could be part of their big day.”
A military base without a chapel isn’t a likely place to have a wedding. Though the Guzik’s wedding was a small, private occasion, it was an historic one nonetheless for the 167th AW.
“Everything went off without a hitch. It went great and we’re super happy,” said Angela.
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. It was developed for the USAF from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries forward the name of two previous piston-engined military cargo aircraft, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster and the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II. The C-17, that recently gained the headlines thanks to crucial role it played in Operation Allies Refuge in Afghanistan, commonly performs strategic airlift missions, transporting troops and cargo throughout the world; additional roles include tactical airlift, medical evacuation and airdrop duties.
The C-17 is nicknamed “The Moose” by it’s military aviation end users. The name came from the sound it makes during refueling, the wing vent ports make a distinct moose call sound. Also, it’s fitting because it’s a giant workhorse with antlers (winglets).
Photo credit: Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle / U.S. Air Force
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