Thanks for a great weekend!

  • Published
  • By Col. David J. Hornyak
  • 377th Air Base Wing vice commander
The 2011 Kirtland Air Force Base Open House on Sunday was a huge success! An estimated 50,000 of our friends and neighbors visited the base to take in a series of awe-inspiring displays of American airpower.

The Air Force Academy's "Wings of Blue" parachute team delivered the American flag during the national anthem for the opening ceremony; Kirtland's own 58th Special Operations Wing conducted a combat rescue demonstration with the pararescuemen of Detachment 1, 342nd Training Squadron; the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit bombers wowed the crowd with spectacular flyovers; the T-33 Shooting Star "Ace Maker" put on an aerobatics showcase; and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds thrilled the audience with their precision flying of six F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Successfully executing an event of this magnitude was only possible because of months of careful planning and hard work by all of Team Kirtland, including our neighbors at the Albuquerque International Sunport, the Albuquerque Police Department and our donors, Goodrich ISR Systems, Kirtland Federal Credit Union and Sandia Federal Credit Union.

As significant as the Open House was for people on and off base, this event did not occur in a vacuum. Over the course of 12 days in mid-September, Team Kirtland underwent nine highly successful inspections by the Air Force Materiel Command Inspector General, a first in the command. 

On Sept. 29, we welcomed the first HC-130J "Combat King II" personnel recovery aircraft to the 58 SOW's fleet. Then on Oct. 7, we celebrated 70 years of military aviation in Albuquerque and 40 years since the merger of three bases into what we know today as "Kirtland AFB" with the Anniversary Gala at the Sandia Resort & Hotel, where New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez delivered an exceptional keynote address.

Those special events were in addition to the daily missions that are entrusted to our care.
Here at home and while deployed to operations overseas, the high ops tempo continues. As always, Team Kirtland rises to the challenge and exceeds expectations.

To the Tigers of the 377th Air Base Wing and our 100+ mission partners, I salute you for a job exceptionally well done. I am proud to serve alongside you. Thank you for this outstanding effort and for what you do for our nation every day.