Celebrating the Air Force, Friendliest Place on Earth

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. David Goldfein
  • 49th Fighter Wing commander
As we approach the U.S. Air Force birthday this month, it is worth reflecting on how far we have come in the past 60 years. Team Holloman has played an integral role throughout this history, beginning with the flyover of the USS Missouri during the surrender ceremony which officially ended World War II. From Korea to Thailand to Bagdad - the Fightin' 49ers have brought our nation's airpower to bear. At the same time, engineers and test pilots have developed and fielded some of our nation's finest technology right here at Holloman Air Force Base. As our Air Force logo states, we truly have a proud heritage and a limitless horizon. 

To celebrate this legacy, we will kick off a week of activities on Friday, Sept. 21 with a Holloman Entertainment, Arts and Travel Expo from 12 - 7 p.m. in front of our community center. Our Services Squadron has gone all out to get business leaders from across the region to display activities available in our local area which we all know is the Friendliest Place on Earth. During the fair, there will be an unprecedented opportunity to gather information and sign up for activities unique to southern New Mexico and the region. While all military members of the 49 FW are required to attend, I highly encourage all members of Team Holloman (i.e. military/civilian/families) to participate. You will leave with a year's worth of information and flyers. Plus -- you won't leave hungry because ... 

The Alamogordo Committee of 50 is hosting their annual "Thanks Team Holloman" celebration that begins at 5 p.m. that afternoon. This year we are moving the location to the dormitory mall area in keeping with our overall focus on bringing activities to Airmen versus Airmen to activities. Everyone from Team Holloman is invited to attend this event where the Committee of 50 cooks up the world's best burgers and hot dogs plus entertainment. This year our theme is celebrating our 60th anniversary at the Friendliest Place on Earth. 

But wait ... we aren't anywhere near done! The following evening, starting at 3 p.m., our German Air Force partners will host their annual Oktoberfest at Hanger 286. If you've never experienced our GAF's Oktoberfest at Holloman, you have missed an incredible cultural and social experience only available at the Friendliest Place on Earth. On behalf of our host, Col. Klaus-Peter Klements, we look forward to seeing you there! 

This would normally be enough for any community but not Team Holloman ... there is more fun to be had! Each squadron commander is being given the authority to issue two times two-day passes during the following week in order to allow as many as possible to get out and explore the Friendliest Place on Earth. We have partnered with local community leaders and Services to roll out the red carpet across the region for Team Holloman members and families to get out and engage with the community on Sept. 24-25 and Sept. 27-28. On Sept. 26, we will gather together back at Holloman for a sports day and an opportunity to compare notes on the activities we have experienced. 

This is not the week to sit in your dorm room or sit in front of the computer. Some services across the base will be curtailed - a complete list will be published. Let's get out and truly explore our local area where there are so many unique activities available. Let's reconnect with our families ... our friends ... our community ... and enjoy this special time when we are able to serve our nation when we are needed most. Let's recharge our batteries for the exciting road ahead as we retire the F-117 Nighthawk and bring on the F-22 Raptor. Supervisors - let's make sure the Airmen entrusted to our care are taking advantage of this opportunity. Commanders - let's make sure the families of our deployed Airmen are taken care of and honored throughout the week. And for all - lets return at the end of the week recharged, refreshed, reinvigorated, and code 1 ... because we were safe. 

Congratulations Team Holloman on an incredibly successful year. We are the most respected and feared Air Force on the planet for one reason ... our people. Team Holloman enjoys the admiration and respect of a grateful nation. Allow Dawn and me to thank each of you for your service. Take advantage of and enjoy the activities we have laid out at the end of the month. You've earned it!