DISA and JFHQ-DODIN celebrate 70th Air Force birthday
the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and Joint Force Headquarters –
DOD Information Networks (JFHQ-DODIN) celebrated the Air Force’s 70 years
of service on Sept. 15.
The Air Force’s
official birthday is Sept. 18.
The event began
with a reading of the Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) recognition,
as Sept. 15 is designated as National
POW/MIA Recognition Day.
The theme of
this year’s celebration is “American Airmen: Breaking Barriers since 1947.” This
theme was chosen because the Air Force prides itself on its leadership in
breaking down physical, technological, and social barriers.
Director Navy RADM Nancy Norton introduced the event’s guest speaker, Air
Force Brig Gen Kevin B. Kennedy,
principal director to the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Command,
Control, Communications, and Computers and Information Infrastructure
Capabilities, Office of the Secretary of Defense Chief Information Officer.
“Our Air Force,
since its birth in 1947, has a rich heritage in defense of our nation,” said
Kennedy, who explained that a World War II (WWII) message written by Army Air
Corps GEN Henry “Hap” Arnold embodied the ethos and spirit of the Air Force.
“Destroy the enemy
air force wherever you find them – in the air; on the ground; and in the
factories,” wrote Arnold.
Kennedy spoke of
the importance of joint operations planning and innovation, and described the operational
challenges Army Air Corps LTC James H. Doolittle faced during his bombing raids
of Tokyo, Japan, during WWII.
Raid was an Army Air Corps and Navy operation designed to launch long-range
bombers off the deck of an aircraft carrier measuring approximately 400 feet in
length. Doolittle was given 91 days to select and modify an aircraft and train
a team of airmen to takeoff from an aircraft carrier.
aircraft were selected for the mission, and all successfully launched from the
flight deck of the USS Hornet (CV-8) on the day of the operation.
“If you want to
take off in a bomber loaded with both fuel and bombs and then go strike on
mainland Japan, that’s no small feat — even for a Cessna,” said Kennedy, who has
logged more than 700 hours piloting the Air Force’s B-1 Lancer.
spirit and warrior ethos embodied by [LTC] Doolittle and the 80 officers and
enlisted airmen became a part of the enduring foundation of our service,” said
Kennedy. “If you think about the Doolittle Raid, for me, it foreshadowed the
[importance] of joint operations. I consider it to be one of the first
joint-actions for the United States military. The first truly integrated
planning and execution across service components from the beginning to end.”
Kennedy called the
airmen who participated in the Doolittle Raid “giants,” because despite the
barriers associated with launching heavy aircraft from an aircraft carrier, they
successfully completed their mission in 91 days.
to the airmen in this room is to leverage the innovative spirit [of those
giants] because that [spirit] is in the fabric of our service,” he said.
“December 15 is
91 days from today. I challenge you on [December 15] to look back on today and
see what progress you’ve made in 91 days. We can go faster, we can think more
operationally, and I think that we can do more in 91 days, than I think we can
Kennedy’s remarks, attendees stood and recited the Airmen’s Creed and sang the Air
“The strength of
our Air Force comes not from the might of our [aircraft, satellites, weapons, or
scale of our nation’s wealth]. [It comes] from the enduring power of our
airmen, their innovative spirit, and their continued devotion to our core
values of integrity, service, and excellence,” said Kennedy.