Chief Master Sgt. Tony Whitehead, the command chief of the Air National Guard Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md., addresses airmen during a ceremony recognizing the 66th birthday of the Air Force, Sept. 17, 2013. In 1947, the National Security Act turned what was then known as the Army Air Corps in the United States Department of the Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin R. Preston/RELEASED)
Techical Sgt. Kristin N. Shultz and Lt. Col. Michael A. Shirley, the youngest and oldest airmen assigned to the Air National Guard Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md., cut a cake to commemorate the 66th birthday of the Air Force, Sept. 17, 2013. In 1947, the National Security Act turned what was then known as the Army Air Corps in the United States Department of the Air Force. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin R. Preston/Released)
by Senior Master Sgt. Jerry R. Bynum
Air National Guard Readiness Center Public Affairs
9/23/2013 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Members of the Air National Guard celebrated the Air Force's 66th birthday Tuesday at the Air National Guard Readiness Center here.
"We are celebrating 66 years of excellence and outstanding service," said Col. Eric W. Mann, ANGRC vice commander. "For the last 66 years, America has had an able sentry called the U.S. Air Force to be her shield and sword in the air, in space and cyberspace, defending our nation against our enemies and adversaries."
President Harry S. Truman signed into law the National Security Act of 1947 on Sept. 18, 1947, separating the Air Force from the Army. During the course of the last 66 years, the Air Force has achieved an unpatrolled level of technological success in global air and space superiority. The Air Force has become a vital role in providing a strategic, tactical and defensive force for the skies.
"While thinking about today's event, it struck me how fast the Air Force has modernized and evolved into a technological powerhouse," said Chief Master Sgt. Tony L. Whitehead, ANGRC command chief. "The Air National Guard is proud to have played a critical part in the history of our Air Force."
Whitehead went on to discuss the heritage of the ANG and how it has contributed to building the greatest air force in the world. He discussed how the Air Guard has evolved since 1970 changing into a ready, capable, and value-added resource for the Total Force.
Airmen are the most valuable resource leading to the Air Force's 66 years of success. The nation has maintained an asymmetric airpower advantage because Airmen continue to lead the way in integrating military capabilities across air, space, and cyberspace.
"In the face of an unknown and unpredictable future, the American military's ability to conduct successful joint operations is enhanced by the power of Airmen," said Mann. "Our Air Guard Airmen are our most valuable resource."
Mann discussed the contributions Airmen have made to the Air Force from the Berlin Airlift more than 65 years ago to Operation Desert Storm to operations going on today. He highlighted the sacrifices of our Airmen.
"Whether on America's main streets or the mountains of Afghanistan, our ANG Airmen are engaged and effective ... without fail," said Mann. "That is because of the people in this room, no matter what our nation requires, we are there ... I appreciate the opportunity to be here today and to celebrate the Air Force's birthday with the Air Force's most valuable resource."