Excellence Delivered!

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Over the past month, Team Dover rocked Delaware with two marquee events: our Thunder Over Dover Open House and Wings Over Dover Air Force Ball. These events helped tell the American Airpower story with our larger community, honored our heritage and demonstrated the incredible talents of our Airmen.

Eight years in the making, the open house showcased aircraft and Airmen alike. It was truly an “all-in” effort as Airmen and volunteers across Team Dover joined under the steady leadership of experts such as Lt. Cols. Ryan Orfe and Todd Walker; Majs. Kyle Bateman, Anthony Bombaci, and John Trombetta; Capts. Jaime Johnson and Mike Knapp; and Mrs. Dawne Nickerson-Banez. Together, our Airmen have firmly set the standard for future airshows!

On the airshow’s heels, the Wings Over Dover Air Force Ball celebrated the creation of our United States Air Force on September 18, 1947. Key contributors during World War II, American Airmen quickly developed into our nation’s sword and shield, crossing the skies of Korea, Vietnam and other lands amidst the Cold War. Airmen continued supporting the joint fight in the Middle East through Desert Storm and following the tragedy of 9/11.

Our Air Force Ball thus celebrated these traditions: the 70th year of our Air Force, the 75th year of DAFB and the 300th year of the city of Dover. Vignettes of yesteryear mingled with images of Airmen today, connecting eras through service and mission. Led by Capt. Andrew Beasley, 1st Lt. Taylor Cooksey, Staff Sgt. KeTeris Tucker, Tech. Sgt. Amin Haqani, Staff Sgt. Robert Ingham, Staff. Sgt. Heimy Lopez, and Senior Airman Cornell Jones (512th Airlift Wing), Wings Over Dover was a fabulous evening of heritage and fun for all involved!

Appreciating the unique heritage of Dover Air Force Base’s contribution to airpower requires a look back 300 years, before the founding of our nation. The city of Dover was originally a small settlement in the British Empire. After the colonies declared independence, Delaware’s “Fighting Blue Hen” militia marched from downtown’s “Green” to join General Washington’s Continental Army, earning distinction at Trenton, the crossing of the Delaware and more. The state of Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States Constitution at a tavern in downtown Dover named “The Golden Fleece.” Serving as the capital for the First State, our town has embraced its military base like no other Air Force town and vice versa. This is exemplified by our aircrafts’ tail flash that bears the city of Dover’s name and is flown each and every day around the world.

Our installation had its modest beginnings in 1941 as a community investment turned War Department following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Initially a coastal defense and fighter pilot training base, DAFB later developed into a vital transportation hub. Today, our installation continues its proud legacy of serving as the eastern seaboard’s gateway to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Our Airmen execute and lead innovation in global logistics each and every day.

As we move beyond these two events into autumn, take time to appreciate your role in our great team and the privileges we enjoy each day in a free nation. Regardless of your position, remember, you are a valued piece of the Dover story. How will you contribute to making us better tomorrow than we are today? Aim High…Dover Pride!