Story by SSgt Michael Charles on 09/18/2019It's the time of year where Team Seymour celebrates a special day that connects all those who have or currently call themselves Airmen.
On September 18, 2019, the Air Force turns 72. On this date in 1947, President Harry Truman signed the National Security Act into law, establishing it as an independent service under the Department of Defense. As the youngest military service, the Air Force maintains control of all units primarily fulfilling the role of protecting America's skies and its assets abroad.
The 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, has roots that trace back to the Royal Air Force Eagles Squadron, prior to America entering World War II and the U.S. Army Air Corps soon afterward, it has been an integral part of the Air Force since its inception and continues to serve as such to this very day.
Over the years, the 4 FW has participated in every major U.S. conflict, from the Korean War to Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. During this time, the 4 FW's role in the operational Air Force has evolved to meet the needs of the U.S. national security interests. It is for that very reason, the Airmen and family members who live on Seymour Johnson AFB, take great pride in being connected to this celebrated organization.
Recently, members across the 4 FW took time to reflect on their journey in the Air Force amidst its 72nd birthday.
At a recent all-call, Col. Donn Yates, the 4 FW commander, spoke to the 5,000 members of the Wing to reflect on the last year of success of the wing and how it is helping move the Air Force forward.
"The things we have accomplished in the last year, have fundamentally helped lay the groundwork for how the Air Force will operate long term, Col Yates said. "You should take pride in all the things we have accomplished together and how we have moved the Air Force toward the future."
Col Yates would go on to elaborate about how the 4 FW members are crucial in accomplishing the Air Force mission.
"The members of Team Seymour have helped mold the U.S. Air Force into the most dominant and capable air power in history," he added. "Now, the Airmen from right here, are deployed to units around the world and are helping accomplish our global objectives, as we have for decades. We will also lead the Air Force into the future through our creation of effective leaders and innovative practices."
Airmen from the 4 FW were also selected to attend the Air Force Association's Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor near Washington D.C. While there, members were able to see first-hand how the successes from the wing helped meet the overall National Defense Strategy.
"Attending the AFA puts my job and the 4FW's mission into perspective, said Swinton. As a Financial Technician, I got to see the mission we support here at the 4FW in action with the mission of the Air Force. Taking care of members at base level with pay issues, reimbursing entitlements from PCS's/deployments and allocating money to different squadrons all come together to enable our Wing to plays its role in the Air Force."
The conference, which is always held near the Air Force's birthday, was an opportunity to hear from senior leaders, including the Air Force Chief of Staff General Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright, about the future of the Air Force beyond its 72nd year.
"It feels good to be a part of something that has grown so much in 72 years," added Swinton. "Thinking about what the Air Force use to be, what it currently is, and what it will become makes me proud to be included in the history."
Team Seymour's celebration of the year and the Air Force's birthday won't end on Sept 18. The installation has several events planned in the coming weeks including a carnival and the Seymour Johnson Air Force Ball scheduled to take place October 5, 2019, at the Maxwell Regional Agricultural and Convention Center. This year's theme is "Forging the Fourth," and is named as such to honor the past and present Airmen who have served in the distinguished wing.
While Team Seymour has a lot to be proud of, none is more special than being part of the legacy of honor and tradition of valor that comes with being an American Airman. The 4 FW will continue to lead the Air Force into the future.