Tag Archives: birthday

Military memories

By Senior Airman Sarah Hall-Kirchner
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Twenty-five B-24 Liberators were lost during his last mission during World War II.

His airplane had been among those that went down when his crew had to ditch their plane over the North Sea. Luckily, he was rescued from the waters by an English air-sea rescue ship.

Dale VanBlair sat and told me about his experiences during the war and beyond in a busy restaurant on his 93rd birthday.

Continue reading Military memories

Senior leaders send Airmen, families birthday best

The Air Force celebrates 66 years.Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody issued the following message to the Airmen of the United States Air Force:

On the 66th birthday of the United States Air Force, we salute the dedicated Airmen who provide airpower for America.

From 1947 to today, Airmen have accomplished our Service’s core missions – air and space superiority; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; rapid global mobility; global strike; and command and control. We have evolved into a Service that carries out missions through air, space and cyberspace, but our core missions have remained constant. Advances in technology now allow us to fly faster, farther and higher than ever before. We use aircraft and spacecraft that no one could have imagined at our Service’s creation, and we continue to provide an asymmetric advantage for America.

Airmen have been and continue to be the strength of our Service. The U.S. Air Force was forged by airpower legends with names like Sijan, Levitow, Jones and Day. These heroes and many others made history, and their legacy continues as today’s Airmen write the history of this generation. Decades from now, the names of Airmen among us today will be as familiar as the names of the earlier heroes we celebrate.

America depends on the Airmen who provide Global Vigilance, Global Reach and Global Power, and our remarkable Total Force of Active Duty, Guard, Reserve and Civilian Airmen has never failed to answer the Nation’s call. Please join us in proudly celebrating the 66th birthday of the U.S. Air Force. As always, we sincerely thank you and your families for all that you do.

Happy Birthday, Air Force!

Sixty-Three, and Still Flexible

By Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, U.S. Army, Commanding General of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan

On the 63rd birthday of the Air Force as an independent service, I am reminded of one word – flexibility.  The Airmen serving in Afghanistan as a part of the NATO Training Mission prove this concept.  Air Force personnel are providing a critical capability for their Afghan partners– performing administration for the Coalition and Joint force, being advisors to the Ministries of Interior and Defense, and being instructors for English, airframe maintenance, and flight operations.

The efforts and impacts of this incredible service by our Airmen have created dividends that can be seen not only inside Afghanistan, but throughout the region as well.  As adverse weather caused the rivers to rise, flooding Southern Afghanistan, it was the Afghan Air Force that provided search and rescue and humanitarian support.  When the waters rose in Pakistan to kill thousands and displace millions, the Afghan Air Force sent four helicopters to support their brothers and sisters to the East.  Completely independent of Coalition personnel, they planned and executed 377 sorties, transported 1,904 passengers to safety, rescued 120 flood victims, and transported 188.5 tons of relief supplies.  All together, their support saved thousands of lives, feeding 200,000 families for a week. NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan Change of Command Ceremony
As professional and dedicated professionals, our Airmen are serving as an example for leadership and mission accomplishment.  These efforts show that the U.S. Air Force is more than merely about traditional air power.  This evolution was identified by the father of the modern Air Force, General Billy Mitchell, 86 years ago.  He said that “In the development of air power, one has to look ahead and not backward and figure out what is going to happen, not too much of what has happened.”  The future that we see today in Afghanistan is the development of the Afghan National Security Force.  Only when they are a professional force that can serve and protect the Afghan people will our mission be accomplished. 

The tip of the spear in this effort are trainers like those Airmen developing the Afghan Air Force – as the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said recently, “no trainers, no transition.”  Our Airmen are critical to this effort, adding to the distinguished history of their Service.  This is truly the mission of our generation, and the Airmen of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan are rising to the occasion.  Happy Birthday Air Force, and well done.

PHOTO: Brig. Gen. David W. Allvin, Commanding General, Incoming Commander, NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan, left; Brig. Gen. Michael Boera, Outgoing Commander, NATO Air Training
Command-Afghanistan; Lt. Gen. Gilmary Hostage, Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command; and Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, Commanding General, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan. NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan Change of Command Ceremony, Sep 7, 2010, US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Quillen.

Happy Birthday, Air Force!

Gen. Billy Mitchell believed that “in the development of airpower, one needs to look ahead” – a fitting charge as we celebrate the United States Air Force’s 63rd birthday tomorrow.

Born in an era of incredible innovation and change following World War II, the United States Air Force has lived up to its promise, changing how our armed forces have both protected the peace and secured victory.

From the Berlin Airlift during some of the toughest days of the Cold War to Operation Everest outside Bagram, Afghanistan, this year, from embracing new technologies to supporting counterinsurgency efforts in two wars, the men and women of the United States Air Force represent one of the fastest and most flexible ways we exercise our national will.

And there is every reason to believe Airmen – and the families who support them as they soar to great heights – will be ready to deter aggression … fight and win when necessary … and rapidly deliver aid to those in need as we press ahead well into the 21st century.

That’s because Airmen are always looking ahead. It is in their DNA. It is who they are. The Joint Chiefs and I salute America’s Airmen and wish you Happy Birthday. Fly, fight and win!

– Adm. Mike Mullen