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The Defense Threat Reduction Agency celebrates the 72nd Birthday of the U.S. Air Force

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency celebrates the 72nd Birthday of the U.S. Air Force

Story by Melissa Tune on 09/13/2019

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency celebrates the 72nd Birthday of the U.S. Air Force
By: Melissa Tune, Defense Threat Reduction Agency Public Affairs

FORT BELVOIR, Virginia The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) hosted the U.S. Air Force’s 72nd birthday celebration in the McNamara Headquarters Complex September 12 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

The event was an opportunity for DTRA and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Airmen to honor their service and heritage of the U.S. Air Force. The event was supported by civilians and contractors from both agencies along with fellow service members from other military branches of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Vayl S. Oxford, director of DTRA and a U.S. Air Force veteran, introduced the guest speaker and shared his thoughts on the overall contributions of the service.

“It is a privilege and personal obligation for me to host today’s event,” said Oxford. “As we celebrate the Air Force birthday, we should be proud that since the end of the Cold War, we have not only had air supremacy, but air dominance thanks to the men and women of the U.S. Air Force.”

Major General Ricky Rupp, Commander of the Air Force District of Washington served as the guest speaker. Rupp focused on the strength and values of the U.S. Air Force coupled with the relationship the service has with the other military branches.

“Connections enable everything we do,” said Major General Rupp. “The core values of the Air Force happen everywhere, not just at the dinner table with the family,” said Major General Ricky Rupp. “Our values carry a tremendous amount of weight.”

Since 1947, millions of Americans have worn the Air Force uniform, and have established a superb record of valor, sacrifice and distinguished service during and after the Cold War, from the Korean conflict to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of the highlights of the event was the U.S. Air Force traditional cutting of the cake by the most senior and junior Airmen present.

As the youngest of the four branches of the Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force was born out of the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1947 – under the National Security Act of 1947 – with a mission set that has expanded significantly over the course of its existence. The U.S. Air Force is the largest and one of the world’s most technologically advanced air forces.

“No other country has the ability to protect and sustain combat power,” Rupp added. “Now is the time to celebrate who we are as Airmen, what we do to support the warfighter and how tomorrow brings a new competitive edge that people expect from the USAF.”

The 2019 Air Force Birthday presents the opportunity to continue strengthening esprit de corps, building brand awareness, connecting America with Airmen, and fostering partnerships. The Air Force’s 2019 Birthday theme is “Frontiers of BlueThis is 72!” with the focus on celebrating heritage over 72 years, the present-day warfighting strength and the Air Force’s promise to deliver the competitive edge through innovation. In 2019, the Air Force will continue highlighting stories of Airmen (past and present), while celebrating the present day warfighting ability and commitment to strengthening our competitive edge of tomorrow.


The Defense Threat Reduction Agency enables DoD, the U.S. Government, and international partners to counter and deter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threats networks.

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