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Happy Birthday! Air Force turns 57

by Senior Airman Andrea Thacker
6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
Photos by Airman 1st Class Jason Robertson

Florene Miller Watson, one of the first Air Force service pilots, speaks about the role she played during her time as a pilot.

Brig. Gen. Tanker Snyder, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, and Airman 1st Class Glorian Camacho, 6th Security Forces Squadron, cut the birthday cake at the dining out.

Members of MacDill's Honor Guard ceremoniously prepare to set a table for prisoners of war and those still missing in action. This is a time honored tradition to remember servicemembers who gave their all in support of this country's ideals.

Tech. Sgt.Denni's Fontenot, and 2nd. Lt. Tiffany Arnold, dip their cups in the grog bowl, another tradition observed at this year's birthday ball.

As part of the evening's entertainment, Master Sgt. David Roth, 6th Medical Group first sergeant, and Col. Kevin O'Shea, 6th MDG commander, perform an "emergency" procedure on a life-size dummy.

Ms. Watson and several women who participated in the Women's Symposium savor the moment for a group photo. The Air Force Birthday Ball committee designed the symposium to emphasize the challenges women in today's military have to face.

This year's Air Force Birthday Ball Sept. 17 celebrated the 57th birthday of the service and provided reflection on women's progress in today's Air Force.

“The theme, 'Women in Aviation.' was selected after Secretary of the Air Force James Roche recently spoke and recognized the role of women in aviation,” according to Maj. Jay Kent, planning committee chair. “To compliment the theme, Florene Miller Watson was chosen to be the guest speaker for the ball. She was one of the first Women Air Service Pilots.”

The Air Force Dining-out format began in the United States Army Air Corps with Gen. "Hap" Arnold's "Wing-dings," which were celebrations for members of the wing personnel. The Air Corps' association with the British in World War II increased its popularity. Since that time it has grown into its present form.

A dining-out is a social event where members in commands or units can socialize and is designed to promote high morale and esprit de corps. The purpose of MacDill's dining-out is to celebrate its birthday and women in aviation.

The event featured a social hour at 6 p.m. in the Davis Conference Center. More than 500 people attended this year's dining-out.




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