Alternate uniforms are now commonplace in college football, but this situation is far from common.
The uniforms Air Force will wear this week feature C-17s — the latest aircraft highlighted as part of the Air Power Legacy Series. Those uniforms, equipment and some of the team managers will arrive in Hawaii on board a C-17, a large military transport aircraft.
“It’s cool that we get to honor people around the country flying C-17s,” receiver Ben Waters said. “It’s definitely a cool uniform.
“These helmets are sick.”
Air Force football players are unlikely to be given the flexibility to explore Hawaii's beaches this weekend, but in encountering heat, humidity and the run-and-shoot offense they'll get a taste of a unique environment all the same.
Air Force has made a national splash with its Air Power Legacy Series, which started in 2016 with a design replicating the Tiger Shark nose-art that dates back to World War II. Each year it has won or found itself in the running for various uniform awards.
But there’s another aspect to it — the Falcons have been really good in the uniforms.
They wore the shark-teeth uniforms three times that season and won all three. They were followed by going 2-0 in 2017 while featuring F-35s, and then 2-0 last year while giving a nod to the AC-130.
In total, the team is 7-0 in the alternate uniforms worn as part of the ongoing series.
“That’s obviously something people have in the back of their head, but it doesn’t mean much,” senior tight end Kade Waguespack said. “You’ve got to go out there and play.
“They look cool. Some people say you look good, you play good.”
This will be the first time Air Force has worn an Airpower Legacy uniform in a road game, though it did wear them away from Falcon Stadium in the 2016 Arizona Bowl.
This year’s gray uniforms will have black lettering with the nine active C-17 Air Force base’s tail flashes in place of the nameplate on the back of the jersey.
Count coach Troy Calhoun among those who support the look and meaning behind the series.
“It just honors the heritage of the Air Force. And not only the history, but those who are currently in the Air Force,” Calhoun said. “I’ve been on a C-17. They’re flat awesome. I’ve traveled probably 8,000 miles to the Middle East on one. They’re just extraordinary aircraft, and it’s neat to see all the various bases where they’re primarily stationed and be able recognize each one of those, too.”
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