Vince Mankowski


Vince Mankowski grew up outside of Omaha, Nebraska, in the shadow of Offut Air Force Base and the Arrows to Aerospace Museum where he developed a love for all things related to military aviation.  His family moved to Northern Virginia while he was in high school, and he entered the U. S. Marine Corps there in 1983 where Vince was designated an Intermediate Maintenance Activity Avionics Specialist supporting A-4M/OA-4M, AV-8B, UH-1N, AH-1W, CH-46E, CH-53D/E, KC-130F/R/T, and Presidential Helicopters during a twenty year career.
Vince enjoyed his first duty station supporting retiring A-4M Skyhawks and OA-4M FastFAC aircraft.  The Marine Air Group included AV-8A/C Harriers, and after transitioning to the AV-8B in the mid 80’s, he deployed with the group to Norway, Iwakuni, Japan, and all over CONUS.  Vince spent the eight months of Desert Shield/Storm aboard USS NASSAU with VMA-331 “Bumblebees.” Transferring to Quantico, Virginia, in late 1991, he began Presidential and Special Mission support with HMX-1 at the Marine Corps Air Facility, supporting President George H. W. Bush (41) and President William J. Clinton (42) on worldwide missions.  Another transfer to Okinawa, Japan, in 1996 found him with the 1st Marine Air Wing supporting four rotary wing squadrons and the KC-130F/R/T refueling aircraft at Futenma Air Station.  He also served as the Class Desk, managing modifications on all five type/model/series aircraft to support them until transitioning to more modern airframes.  His ability and reputation in this position garnered a ‘by name’ request for transfer to a Program Office in an acquisition billet.  His final duty was with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) in Patuxent River Naval Air Station as the Configuration Manager for the H-1 Helicopter Program Office.  Vince managed modifications programs for extant UN-1N and AH-1W light utility and attack helicopters as well as the intake and production configuration of the remanufactured UH-1Y and AH-1Z Venom and Viper aircraft.
Vince retired from the Marine Corps in November 2003 after twenty years of service.  Since retirement he has worked at NAVAIR, with a couple of short exceptions, as a Program Analyst and Configuration Manager on multiple aircraft and weapon systems.  Currently Vince is the Assistant Program Manager, Configuration and Data Systems for all Training Systems, where he manages the configuration of over 1,600 fielded training systems and devices for Marine Corps trainers, Navy trainers, General Training, and the Training Ranges.
Vince began modeling control line flying models with his father in the mid 1970’s.  He built static plastic models along the way as well.  When he was in the Marine Corps, the space requirements (and lack of hobby related funds!) meant Vince only kept building scale plastic models throughout his adult life, and transferring his growing materials and stash around the world was a challenge unto itself.  While stationed at Quantico, Vince became a member of IPMS/USA and the IPMS/Northern Virginia Modelers where he has served as the vice president, president, and regional contest director.  He has maintained his membership in IPMS/USA continuously since 1993 and builds models to this day focusing on aircraft (his first love), with side projects in autos, submarines, the occasional figure and dinosaurs thrown in to break the rhythm of aircraft from time to time.
Vince has developed a passion for promoting the scale modeling hobby through social media where he is an administrator/moderator for several scale modeling groups, including Scale Aircraft Modeling with Detail & Scale.  He has developed and published tips and techniques videos, airbrushing tutorials, weathering techniques, and conducts many Facebook Live! Events including group builds and model show videos.  He brings this passion to Detail & Scale to help build member interaction, expand the group build energy, and promote the D&S brand as the ‘go to’ source for everyone seeking top shelf military aviation reference materials.
Vince lives in Lexington Park, Maryland, with his wife and near six of their ten children and sixteen of their eighteen grandchildren.