To celebrate the Air Force’s birthday, Ramstein held many Air Force Balls, but for the first time in two years the 86th Airlift Wing is hosting its event Sept. 26.
“A Night to Remember” is this year’s theme, and part of what will make the even
t memorable is the unveiling of a painting by artist Michael Kane from the Air Force Art Program.
“I think that is definitely going to be a highlight; it’s going to add a special touch to the night,” said Lt. Col. Phillip Tucker, 86th AW executive officer and 76th Airlift Squadron C-40 pilot.
The painting, which will later be on display in the wing headquarters’ Gateway Hall, is titled “Team Ramstein.”
“The painting is a trip dych, which consists of three panels that all coincide with each other,” said Mr. Kane, a Columbus College of Art and Design graduate. “This is the biggest painting for the Air Force I’ve done.”
This is the 16th painting Mr. Kane has accomplished for the Air Force. His other work is exhibited at the Pentagon and several Air Force bases.
As a part of the Air Force Art Program, Mr. Kane visited Ramstein earlier in the year to seek inspiration for his work.
“Ramstein to me is a unique air base because of all the various activities involved there: the wounded warrior mission, NATO interaction and more,” he said. “The Airmen I was able to interact with were all so professional and very friendly, open to questions and very helpful with giving information.”
The Air Force Art Program is an official program under the responsibility of the secretary of the Air Force, Office of Information Services. According to the Society of Illustrators, its purpose is to document the evolution from Signal Corps, Army Air Service and Army Air Corps into the U.S. Air Force.
The trips are issued from the secretary of the Air Force through the art program director at the Pentagon.
During these trips, the artist have all privileges as a GS-15 rank equal to a colonel to allow better access to restricted areas for photography. The paintings are then donated to the USAF.
About 900 works are in the Air Force Art Program today.
“All of our work is donated to the program and the artists do not receive any compensation for the paintings,” Mr. Kane said. “It’s strictly a volunteer program, which I’ve personally become addicted to. I still get people here saying they can’t believe we don’t get paid, but that isn’t the point of why we do this. It’s a way to give something back to a cause I truly believe in – our country, our military and especially the U.S. Air Force.”
The Air Force Ball will be hosted by Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon, 86th AW commander, and held in the Dual-Bay Hangar in Bldg. 2018.
There were 1,000 tickets available, 125 tickets were reserved for distinguished visitors and it only took 18 days for tickets to sell out.
“We sold out so fast because of the format. We are having it catered from a local restaurant and the entertainment, Tops in Blue, which worked out great because they were already working a European tour with stops in Germany during this time frame,” said Master Sgt. Rodney Brooker, 86th AW Plans Office.
Though it’s too late to get tickets, the committee still needs volunteers to help with the event. See your first sergeant for volunteer opportunities.
The Air Force officially celebrates its 62nd birthday Sept. 18.