Military News

Monday, January 25, 2016

Golden years: Host wing hits half-century mark

by Senior Airman Charles Rivezzo
60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affaris

1/22/2016 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- The base chapel's 65-year-old bell rang out five distinct times, one for each of the 60th Air Mobility Wing's five decades. With each toll, cause for celebration was paused for a moment - a moment to honor the Airmen who died in service to their country.

On Jan. 8, 1966, the 1501st Air Transport Wing furled its colors and the new 60th Military Airlift Wing was born.

Fifty years later, Travis Airmen and community partners gathered Jan. 19 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the installation's host wing, now redesignated the 60th Air Mobility Wing.

"A half-century ago, the space race was heating up and the Cold War was freezing over," said Col. Joel Jackson, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander. "Civil rights activist won hard-earned victories, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth and U.S. involvement in Vietnam escalated rapidly with Operation Rolling Thunder. This is what the world looked like in 1966."

The commander added that while a lot has changed over the last fifty years; one thing has remained constant: "Our mission to provide rapid global mobility to all corners of the earth."

Jackson was joined by Fairfield Mayor Harry Price, Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine and U.S. Rep. John Garamendi to honor the wing's 50th anniversary celebration.

Garamendi praised the wing for its exemplary service through the years.

"When you have a problem ... you call Travis," he said. "It is a significant honor to represent this base, the men and women who work here and all the history."

The congressman also presented a certificate citing the wing's anniversary being added to the congressional Record.

While addressing the crowd of Airmen and community partners, Jackson spoke on the highlights of the wing from its early beginning to present day.

"From the early years of the Vietnam War, to Operation Desert Shield and Storm, to today's efforts fighting against extremist organizations, for half a century, the men and women of the 60th Air Mobility Wing have left their mark on the pages of history," he said.

The ceremony concluded with the sealing of a time capsule. Within it were coins, unit patches and letters from base leadership for the future generation of Airmen of the wing.

The capsule is slated to be buried in front of the wing headquarters building and will remain unopened until January 2041.

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