(From left) Col. David Geyer, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Surgeon General, Brig. Gen. John Dolan, 451st AEW commander, and Airman 1st Class Adam Piguet, join together to slice the first piece of cake on the Air Force's 66th birthday celebration Sept. 18, 2013 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. It is tradition for the oldest Airman, youngest Airman and wing commander to cut the first slices of cake at the Air Force birthday celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jack Sanders)
Staff Sgt. Robert Lysholm, 451st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, renders a salute after setting the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action table at the ceremony commemorating the Air Force’s 66th Birthday at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Sept. 18, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jack Sanders)
American, British and Belgian airmen, and Romanian soldiers, stand at attention as the Honor Guard presents the colors at the start of a ceremony celebrating the Air Force’s 66th birthday at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. During his remarks, Brig. Gen. John Dolan, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing and Kandahar Airfield commander, noted how important the month of September is to many different Airmen, as the British recently commemorated the height of the Battle of Britain and the Airmen named the Few after Churchill’s words “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many, to so few.” (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jack Sanders)
Airmen from across Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, play Ultimate Frisbee at the boardwalk as part of celebrations for the Air Force birthday here Sept. 18, 2013. Airman at Kandahar celebrated the Air Force's 66th birthday, with a sports day and ceremony. During the events of the day, Airmen still accomplished the mission, as F16s launched and patrolled to provide close air support, C-130J Hercules' delivered cargo to far-flung forward operating bases and patients to higher levels of care, and MC-12, E-11, MQ-1 and MQ-9 aircraft provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communication support to ISAF and Afghan forces throughout Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jack Sanders)
by Capt. Brian Maguire
451st Air Expeditionary Wing
9/19/2013 - KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Airmen from across Kandahar Airfield gathered at Camp Davis here to celebrate the 66th birthday of the United States Air Force.
Following several sporting events at the Kandahar Boardwalk, the Airmen gathered to remember and honor the great strides taken since the founding of the Air Force.
"If you take a look at where we started from 66 years ago, to where we are now, it's incredible and you've all been a part of it," said. Brig. Gen. John Dolan, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing commander. "We can walk into any operation across this globe, and we can get the job done."
Following the opening comments and a moment to remember the prisoners of war and missing in action, two Airmen recited notable moments in Air Force history. The commander picked up on the history theme by highlighting the Airmen that tied those events together.
"We do all of this through our Airmen, not only through active duty, but our Guard and Reserve Airmen - our Total Force," Dolan said. "While speaking with a Guard Airmen this morning, I asked him what it was like to work with so many active duty. His response was 'it's no different.' That is a testament to how we grew up as Airmen."
Following Dolan's comments, the youngest and oldest Airmen at KAF cut a birthday cake, along with Dolan. Col. (Dr.) David Geyer, 451st AEW Surgeon General and deployed from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Airman 1st Class Adam Piguet, 451st Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and deployed from the 138th Fighter Wing, Oklahoma Air National Guard, were responsible for cutting the cake.
When asked why he joined the Air National Guard, the Claremore, Okla., native Piguet said "All the different benefits available, and I've always wanted to serve since my family's also served."
Following the cake cutting, the assembled Airmen recited the Airmen's Creed and sang the Air Force song before enjoying some snacks and checking out the different equipment Airmen use to accomplish the mission in Afghanistan.
"You take a look at all the technology, some it's with pure elements of steel and iron to protect, and some of it relies on things we can't see: ones and zeros, frequencies, UHF, VHF, FM..." Dolan said. "But it takes people to run that technology - there is no value in that technology without the Airmen."