Fifty-eight years ago on Sept. 18, 1947, W. Stuart Symington was sworn
in as the first Secretary of the Air Force; at that moment the Air
Force became a distinct and separate U.S. military service. Just one
year later, U. S. Air Forces in Europe would play a vital role in
Operation Vittles, later known as the Berlin Airlift, by airlifting
more than 2.3 million tons of food, fuel and medical supplies to the
blockaded city of Berlin.
Today, USAFE Airmen are engaged in a wide range of U.S. and NATO
real-world contingencies and exercises across the globe. We are
furthering democracy in places such as Iraq and the former Eastern Bloc
nations as USAFE people engage in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring
Freedom, partnership for peace exercises,
military-to-military contact programs and other activities.
To all of the members of the Air Force – Active Duty, Guard, Reserve,
civilian, retired and families – thank you for your dedication and
commitment. Because of your effort and determination, we continue
to be the most respected and feared air and space force in the world.
We salute you for bringing your courage every day – thanks for all you