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Charleston AF Ball
Airmen dance the night away while enjoying the music by Plane Jane at the annual Air Force Ball held at the Embassy Suites North Charleston Saturday. More than 1,000 Team Charleston members came together to celebrate the Air Force's 60th anniversary. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Cynthia Spalding)
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Airmen celebrate 60th anniversary at Air Force ball

Posted 9/12/2007   Updated 9/12/2007 Email story   Print story


by Airman Melissa White
437th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

9/12/2007 - CHARLESTON AIR FORCE BASE, S.C -- More than 1,000 Charleston Airmen from the 315th and 437th Airlift Wings, Department of Defense civilians and family members came together for the Air Force Ball Sept. 8 at the Embassy Suites North Charleston.

The Air Force ball is an annual Air Force-wide tradition to celebrate the heritage and history of the Air Force. This year celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Air Force.

Of the more than 1,000 attendees, 140 Airmen were able to attend free because of contributions made through a golf-tournament fundraiser and donations from different organizations in Charleston.

Two Airmen were also recognized during the time-honored cake cutting ceremony. It is an Air Force tradition to have the youngest and most senior ranking Airmen cut the Air Force birthday cake. Airman Theresa Davis, 437th Logistics Readiness Squadron storage and issue apprentice, was the youngest Airman in attendance at 18 years. Senior Airman Myles Alexander, 315th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace maintenance apprentice, helped cut the cake as the most senior ranking Airman; he has been in the Air Force since March 11, 2006.

The theme for this year's ball was "On the wings of change."

"That was this year's theme because we wanted to recognize how all the different types of aircraft have come through Charleston AFB," said Senior Master Sgt. Brenda Royal-Johnson, 437th Communications Squadron Plans and Implementation Flight superintendent. "It also symbolizes how we and the entire Air Force have gone through and are still going through changes."

The ball included a three-course meal with violin music during dessert.

The violinist was Daniel Davis, 19, son of Chief Master Sgt. Reginald Davis from the 437th Medical Group. He is a graduate of the Charleston County School of Arts as a concert master and was also the opening act for the Tops in Blue and winner of the Air Force-wide talent contest.

"I think the best part was the violinist," said Sergeant Royal-Johnson. "He kept things really upbeat and lively during the ball."

Another presentation made was the Spirits of the Past, which was also displayed at the senior NCO induction ceremony in August. Five members of Team Charleston gave this historical presentation highlighting the accomplishments of NCOs from the Air Force's beginnings during World War I to today's war-fighting Airmen as a result of Sept. 11.

I had a great time at the ball and getting to mingle with everyone," said Capt. Matthew Sullivan, 437 CS Plans and Implementation Flight commander, who attended the ball with his wife, Sara. "The Spirits of the Past was great. I never saw that before and I thought it was very interesting."

Planning for this year's ball began in March. The committee that planned and prepared everything for the ball included Sergeant Royal-Johnson, Master Sgt. Sue Grasty, 437 CS, Master Sgt. Jackie Pryor, 437 MDG, Tech. Sgt. Idia Cotton, 437 MDG, Tech. Sgt. Karl Robles, 315th Maintenance Squadron, Staff Sgt. Carletta James, 437 MDG, Kathy Knichel, 437th Airlift Wing Protocol, and Debbie Baldwin, 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs.

"There was a lot of planning, but I think we pulled it off pretty well," said Sergeant Royal-Johnson. "It was a great opportunity to bring the two wings together; there was great camaraderie."

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