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News | Sept. 26, 2016

Air Force celebrates 69 years of flying high into the wild blue yonder

By Leon Moore DLA Aviation Public Affairs

In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the major league baseball color barrier, the United Nations voted in favor of the creation of an Independent Jewish State of Israel, the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union began, and President Harry S. Truman signed The National Security Act of 1947, creating both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of the Air Force.

The 69 years the Air Force has been in existence pales in comparison to the other military service components. The Army celebrated its 241st birthday this year, the Navy and Marines their 240th, and the Coast Guard its 226th. But in its close to seven decades of existence, the mission of the Air Force has been to fly, fight and win - in the air, space and now cyberspace - as part of this joint team.

A ceremony celebrating the Air Force’s birthday was held at the Lotts Center on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia Sept. 22. Event guest speakers were retired Air Force Col. Jeffrey Hood, a former pilot, and Bobby Tyler, a Richmond native who served as a sergeant in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Tyler drew plenty of laughs from the crowd when, after thanking those from the other military branches for attending the ceremony, made a point to give extra recognition to the Marines.

“I like the Navy and the Army. I like the Marines too, but I’m still trying to get them to talk so the rest of us can understand what they are saying,” said Tyler.

The celebration ended with the singing of the Air Force song and the cutting of the cake by the most senior Air Force member, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Commander Brig. Gen. Allan Day and Airman 1st Class Ezre Pennington from Langley Air Force Base, Hampton, Virginia, the most junior.

Since its inception, well-known celebrities such as Johnny Cash, Morgan Freeman and James Stewart have served in the Air Force, along with millions of other men and women.