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Happy birthday, USAF!

Retired Col. Steven Lamb, former 72nd Medical Group, makes the first slice of the cake at the Sept. 15 ceremony commemorating the Air Force’s 69th birthday as the oldest active duty member. Airman Allison Lay, with the 552nd Maintenance Squadron, was the youngest attending member and made the second slice. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

Retired Col. Steven Lamb, former 72nd Medical Group, makes the first slice of the cake at the Sept. 15 ceremony commemorating the Air Force’s 69th birthday as the oldest active duty member. Airman Allison Lay, with the 552nd Maintenance Squadron, was the youngest attending member and made the second slice. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

America’s Wing Band, a band comprised of active duty officers from the 552nd Air Control Wing, entertained the crowd at the Tinker Club Sept. 15 to help celebrate the Air Force’s 69th birthday. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

America’s Wing Band, a band comprised of active duty officers from the 552nd Air Control Wing, entertained the crowd at the Tinker Club Sept. 15 to help celebrate the Air Force’s 69th birthday. (Air Force photo by Kelly White)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Team Tinker hosted the annual birthday bash at the Tinker Club to celebrate 69 years of the United States Air Force.

 

As the nation’s 9-1-1 response call for the last 69 years, Col. Stephanie Wilson said the Air Force’s core mission — “Fly, Fight, Win” — has remained steady, but the execution of said mission changes daily.

 

“The same ingenuity that birthed our service remains the source of air power, with Tinker Air Force Base at the center of that power, ensuring combat readiness to provide global reach, global vigilance and global power for America,” the colonel expressed.

 

The secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force have identified “agility” as the watchword for the next 20 years, in an increasingly dynamic environment. This year’s festivities emphasized the advancements of the branch since its inception, as well as the generations of innovation to come. Young Airmen, too, were celebrated, as it is the hope that their eagerness to learn and modernize the Force never wavers.  Colonel Wilson praised Airmen for their efforts and abilities to project global military power on a scale that cannot be matched by our adversaries.

 

Howard “Hooch” Halvorsen, Tinker’s base historian, was featured as the guest speaker for the event. He, too, spoke of the service then and now. Additionally, Mr. Halvorsen touched on how the Air Force, fielding 5,032 aircraft, is the most dominant military force in the world. Since its founding in 1947, the Air Force immediately has proven its global reach through the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War and Berlin Airlift.

 

The U.S. Air Force has been changing constantly in its 69 years. The mission has grown, and Tinker AFB has grown, but the support has remained and the excellence has remained. And that, Mr. Halverson said, is the reason [the United States] keeps winning wars.

 

The National Security Act of 1947 established the Air Force as the third military branch of the United States Department of Defense.