EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Airmen, civilians, and family members attended a picnic event to celebrate the Air Force's 74th birthday at Wings Field on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. On Sept. 17.
President Harry Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947, establishing the Air Force on Sept. 18, 1947, as an independent service from the U.S. Army.
"We're at 74 years, from our inception right after World War II, through Korea and Vietnam, and Desert Storm,” said Col. Randel Gordon, the 412th Test Wing Vice Commander. "I get to put on this uniform, it is deeply, profoundly honoring; it's a boyhood dream come true. We should always be happy and proud of that."
Gordon explained that Airmen should be proud to be a member of a group that has participated in numerous world-changing events, including the most recent non-combatant evacuation operations in Afghanistan.
“The different conflicts that we've been engaged in along the way; to say that ‘hey, those are Airmen…that's my tribe, those are my people’ is special and kind of cool and unique," Gordon said.
The picnic allowed Team Edwards to celebrate and socialize in an outdoor manner, and for some, this was the first event they could attend to do so.
"I’ve been at Edwards for a couple months, this is my first event to go to and it’s been most memorable," said Senior Airman Jakela Dewey, 412th Medical Group.
During the celebration, she contemplated on the fact that before 1947, there was no Air Force, just a corps within the Army.
"We’re celebrating the Air Force; the beginning to now and the history of it and being able to celebrate something that didn't even exist back then," she said.
The Blue Mountain Tribe performed provided the musical entertainment for the picnic accompanied by games and food vendors. The Blue Mountain Tribe is an award-winning Native American Blues rock band who are also all Edwards AFB employees.