Thunderbolts gathered Nov. 8 at venues across Luke Air Force Base to enjoy a day of fun, teamwork and camaraderie during the annual sports day and base picnic.
The morning began with sexual assault prevention and resiliency training and transitioned into sporting events, which continued the integration of resiliency, team-building and wingmanship throughout the day.
“The sports day portion of this event is designed to bring the base populace together to engage in friendly competition as part of the overall development of the wingman concept, resiliency and esprit de corp,” said Capt. Aubrie Jones, 56th Force Support Squadron operations officer and event coordinator. “The base picnic is a way for leadership to say thank you for all you do to contribute to the amazing mission we have here at Luke.”
The sports day events included volleyball, basketball, one-pitch softball, combat football, a Humvee pull and other sporting events with members from each squadron represented. Points were given to the winning teams of each event and at the end of the day the team with the most points was awarded the championship trophy.
“It was a great opportunity to socialize with other squadrons during these competitions, but more importantly hang out with other members of the 607th who don’t interact on an everyday basis” said Tech. Sgt. Henry Habon, 607th Air Control Squadron radio frequency transmission systems NCO in charge. “These activities also gave our squadron the opportunity to grow closer by working to accomplish a common goal.”
Food was prepared for an expected 2,000 participants. The food consisted of hamburgers, polish sausages, chili and other items.
The majority of the funds for the event came from the revenue generated by the 56th FSS nonappropriated funds and the rest through local sponsorship. Essentially the money the Airmen spend at places around base turns into NAF money and goes back to them through free base-wide events such as this, according to Jones.
The 607th ACS took home the trophy with a total of 30 points. They placed first in one-pitch softball, basketball and combat football. The 56th Security Forces Squadron placed second with a total of 15 points and the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron, the 309th Fighter Squadron and the 56th Operation Support Squadron all tied for third with five points.
“It was an awesome morale booster when our squadron won the overall championship,” Habon said. “It felt great to see the time and energy our team put into the games pay off.”
While the 607th might have taken home the trophy, all participants gained something from their involvement in the sports day and picnic.
“Sports day was a great event and was an awesome chance to come together to enjoy some competition in the wing,” said Lt. Col. Charles Jones, 607th ACS commander. “I’m proud of the 607th and was impressed by the spirit and enthusiasm shown; we were all in. The competition was tough and we had a blast matching skills across such a wide range of events.”Jones said.
The 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron team, left, pushes the ball toward the goal line as the 56th Security Forces Squadron team pushes back Nov. 8 during a combat football game. SFS fought back and defeated LRS.
Maj. David Lemery, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron commander, blocks a spike Nov. 8 from Senior Airman James Braitman, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, during a volleyball game at Silver Wings Park during the annual sports day and base picnic. The 56th Security Forces Squadron took first place in the volleyball portion of the sporting day events.
Lt. Col. Stephane Wolfgeher, 309th Fighter Squadron commander, knocks down Maj. Raymond Chester Jr., 56th Communications Squadron commander, during the sumo wrestling sports day competition. The 309th FS placed first in the sumo wrestling competition.
Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Greensage, 56th Force Support Squadron sustainment services flight superintendent, works the grill during the base picnic. Hamburgers, polish sausages, chili and potato salad were just a few of the items served during the base-wide picnic.
Airman 1st Class Alec Potter, 56th Fighter Wing Legal Office military justice paralegal, pulls the rope alongside other members of fighter wing staff agencies at the softball fields during the annual sports day and base picnic. The 56th Component Maintenance Squadron placed first in the tug-of-war competition.