FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. --
After 70 years of its establishment, Airmen form the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, and Fort George G. Meade, Md. gathered on September 15, 2017 at College Park, Md. to celebrate the Air Force’s birthday.
70th ISRW Command Chief Master Sgt. Chad Houck said the event was “A memorable evening, celebrating our history and heritage.”
This year’s celebration was hosted by the 70th ISRW with the theme Breaking Barriers: Sound, Cyber and Beyond. Setting the stage for this year’s ball. With over 450 attendees, it was a night to remember.
“A traditional occasion, enjoyed by everyone whether it was their first or 20th ball!” Col. Erica Flannigan, 70th ISRW vice commander said.
Although the theme was focusing on the future of our Airmen, the bigger picture was where the ceremony took place. Because of the mission set of the 70th ISRW, it only made sense to celebrate at the birth place of U.S. military aviation. In 1912 Congress voted for funds to be made available to buy five planes and create aeronautical activities, creating a flying school at College Park.
This year’s guest speaker, Major Kenyatta Ruffin, an F-16 fighter pilot, currently an Airpower Strategist at Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon. He talked about his journey as a young boy to where he is now, his heroes and mentors along the way. Ruffin was selected because of his accomplishments on shaping the future of the Air Force, aviation and innovators.
During his speech, Ruffin talked about understanding and celebrating our Air Force history, his hero’s, honoring those who came before him and the Airmen of the future. He challenged the guest to find a way to make the Air Force better and keep innovating.
"It was fitting that we celebrated the 70th Wing on the Air Force's 70th birthday,” Col. Matteo Martemucci, 70th ISRW commander mentioned. “What a fantastic opportunity to reflect on our tradition of innovation and also look forward to the exciting future that we Airmen get to shape."