WASHINGTON – The following is an Armed Forces Day message from Acting Secretary of the Air Force Michael L. Dominguez and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper:
“In the first presidential proclamation for Armed Forces Day in 1950, President Truman said the day ‘marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress … toward the goal of readiness for any eventuality.’
“The theme of that first Armed Forces Day was ‘Teamed for defense,’ expressing the new unification of all the military forces under a single department of the government – the Department of Defense.
“Through more than five decades our military members – Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines – have teamed with our civilian partners to build the greatest military in the world. This joint team is ‘Teamed for defense’ like never before and America’s Airmen are seamlessly integral to our joint force.
“More than 25,000 Airmen – active duty, Guard and Reserve – are deployed supporting operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world. On the ground, in the air and from space, Airmen bring overwhelming air and space power to bear for the joint team, for our nation, and for our allies in the war on terrorism.
“On the ground, our battlefield Airmen serve alongside infantry and special operations units, directly integrating air and space power. Airmen from 16 different combat support skills are driving trucks, providing convoy security, guarding prisoners and interrogating detainees. Airmen have refocused C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III airlift missions to reduce the number of convoys on Iraqi roads by nearly 350 trucks a day.
“In space, we’re maintaining the continuous flow of communications, surveillance, precision navigation and targeting for the joint team. At home, we continue flying more than 6,200 sorties annually, ensuring the security of our sky.
“Airmen are also providing security and stability operations on the Korean peninsula and counterterrorism support in the Horn of Africa. Following the tragic south Asian tsunami, Airmen flew more than 15 million pounds of food, supplies and equipment into the area.
“On this Armed Forces Day, America pays homage to our military men and women who have served and are serving our country so nobly on many fronts. Our Airmen and their families are extraordinarily committed to a cause much greater than themselves.
“If you wear the uniform of the (U.S) military, be proud – You have earned the respect of a grateful nation. Thank you for your sacrifice, devotion and courage.
“We are honored to serve with you. May God bless each of you, your families and our great nation.”
(Courtesy of Air Force Print News)