News>Edwards celebrates 60th AF anniversary with glitz, glamour
The Edwards Blue Eagles Honor Guard prepare to present the colors during the opening ceremonies for the Air Force Ball at hangar 1600 here Sept. 21. Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Air Force, the night highlighted several distinguished visitors including the Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and retired Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager. (Photo by Edward Cannon)
Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne talks about the history of the Air Force and the importance of Edwards during his speech at the Air Force Ball at hangar 1600 on Sept. 21. (Photo by Edward Cannon)
Chief Master Sgt. Juan Lewis, 95th Air Base Wing command chief, stands at attention during the Blue Eagles Honor Guard drill performance at the Edwards Air Force Ball at hangar 1600 here Sept. 21. (Photo by Mike Cassidy)
by Airman 1st Class Mike Young
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
9/25/2007 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- More than 1,000 people from Edwards and the surrounding communities gathered to celebrate the Air Force's 60th anniversary Sept. 21 at hangar 1600.
Several months of planning and more than 100 Airmen, civilians and contractors on base united to create a night fit for kings, said Lt. Col. Terry Stotler, 95th Medical Operations Squadron commander.
Volunteers transformed a working hangar into an Air Force gala. An everyday work station for today's air power from the outside, Airmen entered the building filled with decorations conjuring the memories of the Air Force's past 60 years.
"It was a huge effort to make it appear seamless to the attendees," Colonel Stotler said. "It took many people working very hard to nail down as many details as possible."
Various types of aircraft, historical displays and specialized squadron table center pieces were among the different decorations accenting the event's historical ambiance.
"My wife and I had a wonderful evening," said Capt. Seth Deam, an attorney with the 95th Air Base Wing legal office. "We just arrived at Edwards in August, and this was a showcase of the best from our new community."
During the event, several distinguished visitors were honored. Among them were Maj. Gen. Joe Engle, Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager, Col. David Scott and Lt. Col. Fitz Fulton. These four distinguished visitors participated in a four-ship flyover where they produced a sonic boom to start the ball.
Another distinguished guest of the ball was the Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne who was the honorary guest speaker for the event. During his speech, he congratulated Edwards for being the cradle of Air Force technology. He also recognized General Yeager's infamous flight, which broke the sound barrier less than a month after the Air Force was born.
"This is a heritage of strategic air dominance that came at a cost of more than 40,000 brave Airmen's lives," Secretary Wynne said. "We celebrate the valor, courage and determination that went with that."
After the speeches and the ceremonial activities, the Airmen were treated to entertainment by various artists to including rising star Mylin, who performed her song, "American Girl."
"The setup of the entire night was amazing," said Senior Airman Daniel Edwards, 95th Air Base Wing command post controller. "The speakers were inspiring and the entertainment surpassed my expectations."
Highlighting the event's entertainment was "Five for Fighting" which performed the hit song "Superman."
"I really enjoyed the performance by Five for Fighting," Captain Deam said. "John Ondrasik is an extremely gifted singer and songwriter."
Capping off the night was the Air Force Band of the Golden West "Mobility". They provided attendees the opportunity to "shake it up," as they performed the evening's dance music.
"This was a great opportunity to socialize with other Airmen in a relaxed environment," Airman Edwards said. "It especially displayed our leadership's devotion to their Airmen."