1st Fighter Wing Centennial Celebration Wrap-Up, 26-28 Oct 2017
The 1st Fighter Wing’s recently celebrated their 100-year anniversary by honoring the 27th Aero Squadron, America’s oldest fighter unit; the 94th Aero Squadron, which led all American WWI units in enemy kills; and the 1st Pursuit Group. Our 1st Fighter Association co-sponsored the events in partnership with the Langley Air Force Association Chapter. We raised over $50K to fund multiple events during the three-day celebration.
The Centennial festivities kicked off Thursday, 26 Oct with a formal Dining Out at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Over 500 1st FW Airmen, past and present, plus several DVs participated in the event. General Larry D. Welch, 12th Air Force Chief of Staff gave an insightful historical perspective during the keynote address. General T. Michael ”Buzz” Moseley, 18th Air Force Chief of Staff presented the Wing with an impressive, full-sized stuffed lion named “Whiskey 2” in honor of their Lafayette Escadrille lineage. General Bill “Tunes” Looney served as the Senior Mr. Vice and entertained the crowd with his renowned levity throughout the evening. Four additional active/retired 4-stars and other GOs; multiple current/former commanders; over 100 Wing alumni; and several other DVs were also present with their guests. Thanks to generous donations by over 25 sponsors, we were able to give away free tickets to 180 Airmen (E-2s thru E-6s) and their guests. Also, several E7s and E-8s were offered reduced rate tickets. Overall, the 1st Wing’s Centennial Dining Out turned out to be a memorable, historic evening for all who attended.
Friday’s Centennial events included an early morning golf tournament; Wing-sponsored Open House tours for non-golfers; a Combat Awards and 9-foot granite Monument Dedication ceremony officiated by the Commander of Air Combat Command, General Mike “Mobile” Holmes. Of course, we’re very proud the current COMACC is another senior AF leader from a long line of notable 1st Fighter Association alumni. Following the Monument Dedication, we convened in the 94th Squadron hangar for BBQ, cold beverages and a live band. Later the group gathered for a Roll Call in the 94th FS Heritage Room. All present heard multiple war stories, sang fighter pilot songs, and enjoyed an unmatched spirit of camaraderie.
On Saturday, the Wing hosted a Family Festival that kicked off with an Air Force Association Wounded Airmen Kids Fun Run and 5K fundraiser. We were also treated to an awesome Team Langley F-22 Demonstration--what an amazing jet!! Many 1st Fighter Wing members and their families enjoyed fun-filled activities throughout the afternoon. In summary, we can all be very proud that our Association co-sponsored such a significant “once-in-a-lifetime” celebration for all current and past 1st Fighter Wing Airmen plus their families.