American Airmen: Breaking barriers since 1947


The U.S. Air Force celebrated 70 years of service on Monday, Sept. 18. It’s a celebration of the proud history and heritage of American Airmen, the service’s longstanding culture of innovation, and the unique global aspects of air power and the Air Force’s enduring contribution to national security.

Born from U.S. Army aviation, the Air Force became its own branch of the military in 1947 during the global conflict of World War II. In the past seven decades, during times of conflict and peace, the Air Force has vigilantly protected our skies.

The Ohio Air National Guard, the second largest Air National Guard in the United States, has an outstanding record of service to the community, state and nation. With roots in celebrated World War I units and pioneering members like Lt. Col. Addison Baker, Eddie Rickenbacker, Frank Lahm and Women Airforce Service Pilots, Ohio’s Air National Guard has a rich aviation history.

Nearly 5,000 Ohio Citizen-Airmen fulfill aerial refueling missions, provide air superiority capabilities, air trans portation, cyber security, communications, engineering and security requirements worldwide. Ohio Air National Guard units flew more than 25,000 hours in support of missions around the globe last year and have deployed Airmen to all seven continents since 9/11. Recently, many of our Airmen responded to the call to support relief efforts after two massive hurricanes left behind flooding and devastation.

As we prepare to respond to the next call for assistance, whether you wear the Air Force uniform or not, we all celebrate 70 years of courageous service of the men and women of the U.S. Air Force.

By Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman

Guest columnist

The writer is the Ohio adjutant general of the Ohio National Guard and is a member of the governor’s cabinet, responsible for the command of the Ohio National Guard and the military readiness of the Ohio Militia.

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