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Air Force Week comes to a close

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Daniel Owen
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Team Andersen members joined with the local community from Sept 4th through 9th, to celebrate the inaugural Air Force Week and the Air Force's 60th anniversary.

Guam Air Force Week's purpose was to raise public awareness of the service's operations and capabilities, showcase its Airmen and thank local citizens for their heartfelt support of its men and women throughout the Air Force's and Andersen's 60-year history. 

Air Force members displayed the service in a variety of venues throughout the week. Andersen Airmen visited four of the island's high schools; conducted radio, television and newspaper interviews; and hosted an exhibition of Air Force resources at Ypao Beach Park in Tumon. Additionally, the Air Force Band of the Pacific flew in from Alaska to perform at a number of locations across the island. 

The celebration kicked off when Acting Governor of Guam Michael W. Cruz signed a proclamation designating Air Force Week. 

"As a country, we're lucky to have you protecting our freedoms over the world and on Guam," the governor told the Airmen in attendance during the signing. 

Andersen's Airmen took time out from their busy schedules to take part in the School Outreach Program, which educated the island's students about the Air Force. 

"It gave Guam's youth a sense of pride in the greatest Air Force the world has ever known," said Staff Sgt. Patrick Mitchell, 36th Wing Public Affairs. "The advancements of Air Power since the Wright brothers and their first flight of only 120 feet in 12 seconds in 1903, to the Korean War where the first jet fighter was introduced in 1950. That was only 47 years where we went from a propeller plane to jet. I think that's pretty amazing." 

The School Outreach Program not only benefited Guam's students, it also helped Airmen new to the island. 

"I've only been here for about a month, and I live close to George Washington High School," said Second Lt. Sarah Mutter, 36th Mission Support Squadron, a recent Air Force Academy graduate. "I need to get involved in the community and get to know more people. The kids are the future of the Air Force. 

"The majority of the kids I spoke with were in the [Army Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps], so they only knew the Army side of everything. I felt it was important to inform them about Air Force, as well." 

The lieutenant said after her briefing she asked how many students were interested in joining the Air Force and about twice as many people raised their hands than they did when she started. 

To continue educating the Air Force mission and its capabilities, Airmen conducted several demonstrations at Ypao Beach Park Sept. 8. 

Base officials estimate more than 1,000 people attended the demonstration which, featured Airmen from Andersen's K9 section, 36th RED HORSE Squadron, 36th Contingency Response Group, 36th Medical Group and the explosive ordnance disposal flight participated in the event. 

While Andersen Airmen were educating Guam's youth, the Air Force Band of the Pacific's Alaskan Express were entertaining people throughout the island.
The band performed at Chamorro Village, the Hagatna Shopping Center, Micronesia Mall, Ypao Beach Park and the Air Force Ball. 

Capping off Air Force Week was Andersen's 60th Anniversary Ball. Among the distinguished list of guests was Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Lt. Gen. David Deptula. 

General Deptula gave the key note address during the ball, and he spoke about the future of not only Andersen but Guam. 

"The strategic value of Guam and Andersen is not only pivotal historically, but the magnitude of your contribution to the U.S. global power is only going to grow," he said. "Andersen is at the core of not only allowing but enforcing and offering joint and allied partnership opportunities."

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