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Around the globe in one night

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ashley Perdue
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

With over 37 nations that make up U.S. Central Command Coalition, notably one of the largest military coalitions in U.S. history, it can be difficult to set time aside to celebrate the partnerships and unity that exists at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, and within the Tampa Bay community.

Their contributions alongside the U.S., help promote peace not only within CENTCOM’s area of responsibility, but globally, and to maintain that unity is of upmost importance and the best way to do that is to bring the globe under one roof.   

On Dec. 5, 2019, CENTCOM’s Coalition hosted its 16th annual International Night in Hangar 5 at MacDill, where coalition members celebrated their culture and comradery by sharing with guests some of their countries favorite delicacies, photos, clothing, crafts and books.

“This annual event provides representatives from each coalition nation the opportunity to express gratitude for the support and hospitality they receive from USCENTCOM, MacDill AFB and local community,” said Royal Danish Air Force Brig. Gen. Henrick Larsen, coalition chairman. “This event brings a large portion of the world under one roof, giving visitors the opportunity to travel around the globe in a couple of hours to learn more about different cultures.”

What originally started as a winter holiday party for coalition members and their families in 2004 has evolved into a base-wide event. This year, members from 37 coalition countries invited over 1,700 guests on a journey around the world for a first-hand experience of their cultures.

“On behalf of Team MacDill, thank you to our international communities for allowing us the opportunity to share and experience a part of your cultures,” said Col. Steven Snelson, 6th Air Refueling Wing commander. “These relationships allow us to strengthen international partnerships and enhance global capabilities to deter our adversaries any day, any time.”

Currently, many coalition members reside off-base and enjoy the support they receive from the local community. The USCENTCOM Coalition at MacDill formed after the 9/11 attacks and continues to expand.