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Remembrance, thanks and commitment

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, commander of 18th Air Force, poses with Airman 1st Class Christopher Sims, left, the youngest Airman in attendance, and Airman 1st Class David Brannum, Team Dover honor guard member, after cutting the birthday cake at the Air Force Ball Sep. 7, 2012, at Dover Downs in Dover, Del. The cutting of the cake was part of the celebration commemorating the Air Force’s 65th birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chuck Walker)

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, commander of 18th Air Force, poses with Airman 1st Class Christopher Sims, left, the youngest Airman in attendance, and Airman 1st Class David Brannum, Team Dover honor guard member, after cutting the birthday cake at the Air Force Ball Sep. 7, 2012, at Dover Downs in Dover, Del. The cutting of the cake was part of the celebration commemorating the Air Force’s 65th birthday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chuck Walker)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill -- To the Airmen of our great global air mobility enterprise: thank you!

Today, as every day, I am proud to be an American Airman. I have lived all but 13 years of our Air Force's history and as the son of a Master Sergeant, I developed a love for our Air Force early in my life. It is a love that has never faltered.

A short 65 years have passed since the National Security Act of 1947 established the Air Force as a separate branch of the armed services. Our service has seen many changes during that relatively short amount of time, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to excellence. Today, across the globe, 18th Air Force Airmen continue to embody that core value, ensuring the rapid global mobility that allows our command to provide the right effects, at the right place, and at the right time. Never forget that what we do underwrites our Air Force's ability to fly, fight, and win.

The Air Force's birthday is the ideal time to consider not only our heritage and the people who paved the way for us but it is also a time to renew our own commitment to excellence. It is also a time to honor the members of our larger Air Force team whose support makes that commitment possible. In that spirit, we offer thanks to our friends, family members, and the communities who stand beside us in the defense of our Nation.

We are an essential member of the joint team. Your service and our mission are the foundation of our national security. No one else can do what we do.

I invite you to celebrate the Air Force's proud history and its 65th birthday. I thank you for your continued service and dedication to our command, and I am honored to serve with you in the world's finest Air Force!