Bird's Eye View: Air Force celebrates 60th birthday

Col. Bryan Gallagher, 95th Air Base Wing commander, inspects his mask during the Edwards fire departments' training Monday. The training provided commanders with various fire fighting experience in the base's interior structural fire trainer. Base fire fighters use this training to maintain their proficiency and skills in fighting a structural fire. (Photo by Mike Cassidy)

Col. Bryan Gallagher, 95th Air Base Wing commander, inspects his mask during the Edwards fire departments' training Monday. The training provided commanders with various fire fighting experience in the base's interior structural fire trainer. Base fire fighters use this training to maintain their proficiency and skills in fighting a structural fire. (Photo by Mike Cassidy)

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Since its birth in 1947, the Air Force has seen the world change in almost unimaginable ways. We have fought wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, and we witnessed the end of the decades-long Cold War. The world is constantly changing and we are seeing democracy take root in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other nations around the globe. Air Force men and women continue to play vital roles in supporting our nation's interests worldwide.

Although the Air Force is celebrating its 60th birthday Tuesday, the service is relatively young compared to how long our base has been dedicated to flight test. For nearly 70 years, Edwards has led the way in testing new technologies for the warfighter. Not even a month after becoming a separate service, the Air Force heralded a new era in aviation as then-Capt. Chuck Yeager became the first pilot to break the sound barrier.

As we move into the next 60 years, we're going to continue testing new technologies while supporting our nation's interests around the world. We're proud to serve America.

Happy birthday, Air Force!

Hispanic Heritage Month luncheon Wednesday

Every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, America celebrates Hispanic culture and honors the contributions Hispanic Americans have made to the nation by observing National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Established in 1988 as a month-long event, National Hispanic Heritage Month is a Hispanic celebration that brings together people of Spanish, Caribbean, North American, Central American and South American descent to remember Hispanic cultural roots.

Many cities in the Los Angeles area are celebrating the month with various observances and festivals viewable at www.latinola.com/calendar.php. For more information on Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations in the Antelope Valley, visit the Web site www.avhispanicchamber.com.

On base, the Edwards Hispanic Heritage Committee for Hispanic Heritage Month is having a luncheon Wednesday at Club Muroc at 11:30 a.m. with guest speaker Al Diaz, vice chancellor for administration at UCLA Riverside. There will also be a Santana tribute by the musical group Festivo. To purchase tickets, call Gil Delgado at 277-0800, extension 2534.

I encourage you to attend this event and learn more about this fascinating culture.

Keep up the fire!