White Sands Missile Range celebrated the United States Air Force’s 67th birthday during a ceremony hosted by Detachment 1, 586th Flight Test Squadron at the J.W. Cox Range Control Center Sept. 18.
The celebration welcomed guest speaker WSMR Executive Director Paul Mann.
“The Air Force is supporting operations whether or not there’s air-to-air combat. There (are) tons of things going on that could not be done without the United States Air Force,” Mann said.
Mann, the father of an Airman, said he feels like part of the team. He praised the Airmen for their selfless service to the country and spoke about the Air Force presence at WSMR.
“This is an Army installation, but it’s truly a joint mission. And virtually everything we do on any given day requires the best of all of us, not just the Air Force by itself,” Mann said. “Together we find a way to bring a national capability that is basically unparallel.”
The celebration included a brief history of military use of air power leading up to the recognition of the U.S. Air Force as a separate organization from other armed forces.
The Army created the first antecedent of the Air Force, known as the Aeronautical Division U.S. Signal Corps in 1907. The U.S. Air Force was formally recognized as a defense organization on Sept. 18, 1947 when President Harry Truman signed the National Security Act. The act established the Department of Defense composed of the Navy, Army, and Air Force. Sixty-seven years later, the Air Force is now the largest and most technologically advanced in the world.
In the traditional birthday cake cutting celebration, Airman 1st Class Daniele Schmig, the youngest enlisted Airman in the detachment, and Mann cut the birthday cake at the end of the ceremony.