USAF celebrates 70th birthday with military tattoo

JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA BOLLING, Md. --

The U.S. Air Force celebrated its 70th birthday with a multi-demonstration Air Force Tattoo Sept. 14, 2017 at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling's Ceremonial Lawn, Washington D.C.

The tattoo, an exhibition of military pomp and ceremony, provided a venue for the Air Force to showcase its array of warfighting capabilities in flying, fighting and protecting the U.S. homeland and its interests abroad.

In attendance were hundreds of military and civilian members of the Department of Defense, including Airmen assigned to Joint Base Andrews, JBAB and their families. Distinguished members of the audience were Congressional Air Force Caucus members, senior Air Force leaders, civic leaders and international air reserve delegates.

The event was hosted by the Secretary of the Air Force, Heather A. Wilson, and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, David L. Goldfein.

In his remarks, Goldfein thanked Wilson and her husband for answering the call of duty when she accepted becoming the nation’s 24th Secretary of the Air Force. He welcomed all the other distinguished guests of the event, in particular the Gold Star families of two Air Force members whose lives were lost on the battlefield.

“Your loss can never be replaced, but the Air Force holds you dear to our hearts now and forever,” he said to the Gold Star families. “You are and always will be a part of our Air Force family.”

Goldfein called to mind several significant milestones throughout the Air Force’s history and boundary-pushing Airmen upon whose shoulders he said all present and future Airmen stand on.

“Tonight, while we celebrate a history of firsts, we’re reminded of what’s at the heart of breaking barriers: courage, determination, empowerment and having the audacity to turn challenge into opportunity when so many others see a reason to stop,” he said.

The evening event featured musical performances by several flights of the U.S. Air Force Band  and drill routines performed by members of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard and Drill Team. These organizations’ missions are to inspire their audiences to a heightened sense of American patriotism and to represent all Airmen of the U.S. Air Force by demonstrating military excellence, precision and discipline.

For Honor Guardsman Airman 1st Class Jared Mauldin, the purpose of the military exhibition was an opportunity to learn more about the U.S. military’s youngest branch.

“The AF Tattoo showed us what heritage and legacies have been built over the last 70 years, and how we continue to grow as an Air Force every day,” he said.

A B-1B Lancer long range bomber, an F-22 and P-51 Heritage Flight, several vintage Warbirds aircraft and a team of U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performed fly bys over a cheering crowd. The event concluded with a rousing rendition of the Air Force song.

U.S. Air Force was founded as a military service independent from the Army on Sept. 18, 1947 when President Truman signed the National Security Act.

View the entire event here on AFTV.