HAW Celebrates 3rd Anniversary In Style
The Heavy Airlift Wing celebrated its 3rd Anniversary on 27 July 2012. Events of the day were joined by HAW members and their families, HAW mission partners, Ambassadors, and other dignitaries from Budapest.
Distinguished Visitors participate in an Orientation Flight on SAC 2 on the 3rd Anniversary of the HAW
On 27 July, 2012, the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) celebrated the third anniversary of its standup in Pápa, Hungary. The wing flew one of its three C-17 aircraft to Budapest and provided an orientation flight to representatives of the 12 member nations of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC). On board were Ambassadors to Hungary from Finland, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, and the United States, other senior diplomats in Budapest, the Hungarian Ambassador to NATO, representatives of the Hungarian Ministry of Defence, the Mayor of Pápa, and the Heavy Airlift Wing Commander and his spouse. Upon arrival at Pápa AB, the visiting party was welcomed by the Base Commander, Lt Col Zsolt Magasy, leaders from SAC partner organizations, and the HAW’s Senior National Representatives.
Following a SAC mission briefing by HAW Commander Colonel Keith Boone (USAF), the base witnessed a cake-cutting ceremony where the spouses of the HAW Senior National Representatives, symbolizing the support of all HAW families, assisted Colonel Boone in cutting the anniversary cake.
Next, the distinguished visitors and HAW leaders and spouses were treated to a celebratory lunch in grand style at the Esterházy Castle of Pápa, enhanced by baroque era decor, music, and dance. The lunch, hosted by Mayor Dr. Tamás Áldozó on behalf of the town of Pápa, characterized the bond that has solidified between the HAW and the local community over the past three years.
The distinguished guests were returned to Budapest by C-17, all with a deeper understanding of the HAW’s mission on behalf of their nations, the quality of life of their citizens in Pápa, and the vision for the future expressed by the HAW Commander. Colonel Boone remarked of the event, “This was a great day for the SAC program and the HAW. We are very proud of all we have achieved in such a short time. We are thankful for the active participation of our representatives in Budapest and for the time they invested in traveling to Pápa to celebrate this anniversary with us. We are happy to have the embrace of our town and community, because we might be guests of Hungary, but we are citizens of Pápa. We are appreciative of the cooperation of the host base and partner organizations. And most of all, we are proud of the men and women of the HAW for all the operational successes, and for the families that support the mission – without them, it would fail. We celebrate a milestone today, but we are not looking backwards… we are focused on the future. Twelve nations, one team, one mission, one vision.”
Additional media coverage may be found at the following links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL7EF56D02C16324FC&feature=player_embedded&v=ZDxgq5gxnYY#! (beginning at 0:40)