Air Force celebrates 68 years

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 10:21

Nearly 700 military members, families and other distinguished guests dressed in their finest attire to honor the Air Force’s legacy at the Dena’ina Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 19 for a ball and celebration.

U.S. Air Force installations across the globe celebrated the 68th Air Force birthday in some fashion, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson threw a party to remember a proud past and promising future.

While it was a night of celebration, the Air Force birthday and POW/MIA Recognition day are on the same day - so there was also a solemn moment to honor America’s prisoners of war and those missing in action, with a missing-man table and honors ceremony.

The evening’s guest speaker, the Hon. Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senator for Alaska and U.S. Marine Reservist, spoke about family, service and sacrifice. He included several anecdotes of Air Force and other military leaders who began this journey more than 68 years ago to construct today’s U.S. Air Force.

“I feel that the warriors of the sky are all toasting along with you tonight to celebrate one of the greatest services that they helped to create,” Sullivan said. “Trust and take pride in your service, sacrifice and dedication in protecting this country.”

From the Air Force Ball Committee’s production of JBER historical and present-day photos to the youngest and oldest Airman in the room cutting the cake and the singing of the Air Force song, the night showcased the esprit de corps and pride of the Air Force.

Before the birthday celebration ended, there was a round of applause for all Airmen and their families in the room.

“Thank you for everything you do, day in and day out, to make our Air Force the very best in the world,” said Col. Brian R. Bruckbauer, JBER and 673d Air Base Wing commander, during closing comments. “As we walk out these doors, let’s continue to make history.”

To learn more about the missing man ceremony, visit

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