Monday, September 19, 2011

Air Force Association members gather at Lakewood Ranch

Three generations of Air Force experience gathered to celebrate the Air Force's 64th Anniversary: (left to right) retired Senior Master Sgt. Hal Millett, who was a ball turret gunner in B-17s during WW II, retired Col. Mike Richardson, a Vietnam-era weapons system officer in the B-57G and OV-10A, and Col. Dave Pavey, a veteran of the Iraqi campaign who flys KC-135s as the commander of the 927th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill AFB. (provided photo)
Mike Richardson reports that the Air Force Association met at Lakewood Ranch on Sunday at the Polo Grill and Bar to celebrate the 64th anniversary of the United States Air Force. 

It was the initial gathering of members of a proposed Sarasota – Manatee chapter of the Air Force Association. 

 “The Air Force Association has over 330 members in the two-county area.  Today’s event was our first attempt to bring them together to organize a local chapter and the turnout was more than I had hoped,”  Richardson said in a press release.

Col. David Pavey, commander of the 927 Air Refueling Wing – a unit of the Air Force Reserve at MacDill Air Force Base -- dropped in to the meeting after completing his unit’s training weekend to show his support for the start up chapter. 

In response to a request from the group, he discussed the mission of his organization, the increasingly important role the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard play in Air Force operations and emphasized how local support from groups like the AFA is critical to the Air Force. 

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