69 years and counting: Team MacDill celebrates AF birthday

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Vernon L. Fowler Jr.
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The sound of joyous laughter and clinking glasses rang out in the upper level of the Hilton Downtown Tampa. The reason for these echoes of merriment? None other than the 2016 Air Force Ball.

Members of Team MacDill gathered at the 69th Air Force Ball, themed “Standing Together, Standing Strong: Celebrating MacDill’s 75th Anniversary” on Sept. 9, 2016, in Tampa, Florida.

“Putting on this event was a seven-month planning process,” said Staff Sgt. Adam Borgman, the Air Force Ball community outreach coordinator. “We had dedicated and hardworking team members. Without them, the event’s success wouldn’t have been possible.”

As a result of the committee’s hard work, attendees enjoyed a social hour filled with camaraderie, a free photo booth, dinner, music and dancing.

The ball commenced with a presentation of the colors, the singing of the national anthem and invocation. Col. April Vogel, commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing (AMW), and Col. Randall Bright, commander of the 927th Air Refueling Wing, proceeded in front of the audience’s watchful eyes to issue their opening remarks.

“We’re here tonight to celebrate the Air Force’s 69th birthday, MacDill’s 75th anniversary and the relationship between the 6th AMW and the 927th ARW,” said Bright. “The Air Force has been involved in combat operations for the last 25 years and we’re unable to do what we do without the partnership between the active duty, guard and reserve.”

Following the traditional toasts by MacDill leadership, the audience solemnly observed the POW/MIA presentation to honor prisoners of war and missing comrades. An Air Force cadet ceremoniously performed the honors to a narration explaining the symbolism of each table item.

Shortly after, the ball paused for an intermission, followed by dinner and finally the keynote speaker.

Prior to the closing remarks, it was time to cut the Air Force birthday cake. As is customary at each Air Force ball, the youngest Airman and the most senior-ranking Airman in attendance proceeded to the front to perform the honor.

To the delight of the audience, the event then adjourned to music and dancing.

“The Air Force Ball was an amazing event,” said Airman 1st Class Jan Nirza, a public health technician with the 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron. “Besides singing the national anthem, my favorite part was the POW/MIA presentation. It inspired me and made me realize how important it is serving this country.”


When asked about the success of the event, Col. Jennifer Crossman, vice commander of the 6th AMW, had only positive things to say.


“One of the best I have been to,” said Crossman. “This was a great representation of our partnerships at MacDill.”