DLA Land and Maritime celebrates 70th Air Force birthday

By Craig M. Rader DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Members of the federal community hosted a birthday celebration at the Defense Supply Center Columbus to honor the 70-year history of the U.S. Air Force. 

The Sept. 13 event brought together more than 200 current and former Airmen along with Department of Defense civilians and contractors in a ceremony at the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime operations center.

DLA Land and Maritime Chief of Staff Griff Warren said DLA Land and Maritime has had a rich history of Air Force logistics officers who’ve served in critical capacities that greatly contributed to the agency’s Warfighter support mission.

“As a retired military officer, I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with Air Force colleagues including officers, enlisted and civilians in a number of joint assignments,” Warren said. “This exposure has given me a deep respect for the institution and its Airmen.”

The ceremony kicked off with members of the Fort Hayes High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps presenting the colors as Lisa Griffin sang the National Anthem.

This year’s birthday theme of “Airmen Breaking Barriers since 1947” showed how the Air Force has lived up to its core values in a constantly challenging global climate. The audience watched a series of short videos showing the technical and social breakthroughs the youngest military service branch has overcome in less than a century. 

For keynote speaker Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew Harnly, the opportunity to share his thoughts on the birthday theme also gave him a chance to formally introduce himself to the federal community at DSCC. Harnly recently reported for duty at DLA Land and Maritime and joins the team as military deputy of Land Supplier Operations.

“Although I’m new to Land and Maritime, it’s not lost on me the amount of Air Force expertise that resides here in this room and across the DLA enterprise,” Harnly said. “This year’s birthday motto is well earned, and I’m happy to say each of those in attendance who’ve served made that possible.

“There’s no organization that’s stronger than its people – advances in technology are meaningless without trained and competent forces.”

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Suzannah Haley, a DLA Land and Maritime personnel support manager, recited the Airman’s Creed before the birthday cake was brought to the stage. Harnly sliced the cake along with Air Force Master Sgt. Ramesh Thapa, the senior enlisted Airman in attendance. The two carried on the longstanding military tradition of cutting the cake using only an officer’s saber.

The ceremony ended with acknowledgement of all DLA Land and Maritime Air Force veterans and the audience singing the Air Force Song. A video montage showed photos of employees who had previously worn the Air Force uniform.

On Sept. 18, 1947 President Harry Truman signed the National Security Act which established the U.S. Air Force as an independent service, equal to the U.S. Army and Navy.