PACAF to celebrate Air Force birthday

Hookele staff

Airmen with Pacific Air Forces will be celebrating the U.S. Air Force’s 71st birthday at the 2018 Air Force Ball and Stand-up Gala. The ball will take place at the Royal Hawaiian Resort in Waikiki, Sept. 14 from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

“We are hoping to create an event that celebrates the birthday of the Air Force and encourages interactions that wouldn’t normally happen in a formal ball event,” said Maj. Anthony Dargush, pharmacy flight commander, 15th Medical Group, and president of this year’s ball committee.

“The Royal Hawaiian Resort or ‘Pink Palace’ has a lot of history with the military and is truly a great venue for this, right on Waikiki Beach. During

World War II, it was used solely as an R&R hotel, similar to Edelweiss in Germany or Dragonhill in Seoul.”

Special guests include retired Air Force Col. Jack DeTour, retired Air Force Col. Charles Rushforth and Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Case.

DeTour flew B-25s in the Pacific Theater during World War II from New Guinea to Okinawa and flew C-119s to Korea during the war. Rushforth flew numerous missions as an O-2A forward air controller (FAC) during the Vietnam War.

Case is a Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) specialist who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom earned him two Silver Stars, an honor only held by three Airmen in history.

The Air Force was officially established as its own branch Sept. 18, 1947. The Air Force began as a division of the Army, serving in World War I and World War II. The branch has gone by several names such as the Air Service, the Air Corps and the Army Air Forces.

People have different reasons for joining the Air Force. Staff Sgt. Louis V. Cubillas’ family was unable to send him to college, so he enlisted. Today, after seven years serving, he said he has grown more through the Air Force than through his first 18 years of life.

“The Air Force offered me tuition assistance to go to school, on-the-job training and experience, and medical benefits all while earning a paycheck,” said the contracting officer of the 766th Specialized Contracting Squadron.

“Even though I joined the Air Force for these reasons, I chose to stay in because of what it has done and continues to do for me.”

Regardless of the reason for joining or staying in the Air Force, it’s important to celebrate its birthday to give thanks and honor a branch that takes care of its members. I have friends and acquaintances from other branches of the (Department of Defense) and judging from their testimonies, no other branch invests in their people more than the Air Force,” Cubillas added.

“The Air Force means a lot to me and celebrating its birthday is honoring another year of caring for its members and executing the mission by providing them opportunities to be better people and effective leaders.”

Staff Sgt. Wilbert Glay, also a contracting officer at 766th SCON, said he joined the Air Force to gain independence, continue his education and travel the world.

“The Air Force has given me all three and so much more,” he said.

“I’ve traveled to Europe, Asia (and the) Middle East in the Air Force, I bought my first car in the Air Force, I met my wife in the Air Force, I’ve met friends for life in the Air Force.

Most importantly, I found my purpose in the Air Force by being a part of something bigger than myself and having a hand in defending our nation.”

Glay said it’s important to celebrate the birthday to honor the branch as well as former Airmen who’ve served.

“(The birthday) serves as a reminder to us to take care of our wingmen, and to strive daily to set a similar example for those who will come after we’re gone.”

Ticket prices are:

• E1-E4/cadets/GS1-GS4 are $25
• E5-E6/GS5-GS7 are $40
• E7-E9/O1-O3/W1-W2/GS8-GS11 are $70
• O4-O5/W3-W5/GS12-GS14 are $80
• O6/GO/GS15/SES/DVs are $95

Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite. com/e/2018-pacaf-71st-air-force-ball-tickets-47448921. For more information, email pacaf. or visit

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Category: News