The Edward Air Force Base Civilian-Military ìCiv-Milî Support Group celebrated their 24th annual barbecue at the beautiful Hacienda Lane Ranch in Palmdale, Calif., July 25 with approximately 160 members and guests.
Aida OíConnor formed the organization with the purpose of establishing and friendly benevolent association of civic leaders and military personnel at Edwards Air Force Base.
Each year, the group considers a project that benefits Edwards AFB. Last year they purchased four sets of 56 flags to replace those tattered and worn at Flag Park. A family, an individual or a business originally purchased each flagpole and plaque 22 years ago. This year’s project was to restore the plaques at the base of the flagpoles to their original condition.
I want to give a special thanks to Pacific Coast Powder Coating who gave us a price that was ridiculously low,î said Civ-Mil President Danny Bazzell. ìBecause of their generosity, the Flag Park looks as it did in 1991.î Bazzell also thanked Tech. Sgt. Brodie Anderson and his people for helping to install the refurbished plaques.
Bazzell started the informal and relaxed event with introductions of special guests including: Maj. Gen Arnold Bunch, Air Force Test Center commander; Col. Daniel Daetz, 412th Test Wing vice commander; Wing Cmdr. Glen “LJ” Littlejohns, commanding officer of the United Kingdom contingent of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter test program; Squadron Commander, David Bapte; Jack Connell, chairman, China Lake Alliance; California City Manager Tom Weil; Palmdale City Manager David Childs; as well as representatives from Congressman Howard ìBuckî McKeon’s, Congressman Kevein McCarthy’s and Sen. Jean Fullers’ office.
Staying with tradition, guests recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Robert ìBobî Munden gave the invocation.
Civ-Mil gatherings are one of the few events where one can save their spot at a table with their purse or wallet and American and allied soldiers are blessed and prayed for ìIn the name of Christ.
I think this is absolutely wonderful, sort of like it was in the 1940s,î said a first time guest.
State Sen. Steve Knight, longtime supporter of Civ-Mil, spoke about the newly formed Governorís Military Advisory Council and the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. When Gov. Jerry Brown asked Knight for his input on whom should be on the council, Knight advocated for Thomas Berard. ìTom knows Edwards inside and out and is a pillar of the community, Knight said.
The main mission for the council is BRAC. If we have anymore base closures, what do we do to protect California? Edwards is a unique place and I think everyone here would agree. We also have Plant 42, said Knight, ìbut things are changing.
Knight said that the newly formed council is only one month old while other states have had them for years. Whether it is a base, camp or factory, when BRAC comes around, Knight said everyone must be informed and protect their interests.
He also spoke of the largest contract in Air Force history, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program that will hopefully last 30-40 years and employ thousands of people, not just in California but also around the country.
Along with Bazzell, Community Queens Vanessa Banford and Tiny Miss Antelope Valley, Madison Dicob, helped with the raffle.
Dicobís eyes lit up when an ice cream maker was up for raffle and she showed great poise when her ticket was not picked. At the end of the evening, lucky winner, Aerotech News and Review Publisher Lisa Kinison gave Tiny Miss the coveted prize.
On behalf of Civ-Mil, Frances Lane was presented a gift from Dr. George ìBudî Reams and Aida OíConnor for graciously donating her property as the venue for the barbecue for the past 24 years. ìI donít expect anything, but I certainly do appreciate the gifts,î said Frances.
Bunch wrapped up the evening by leading the group in the Air Force Song.
While Bunch was cleaning off tables and stacking chairs he whispered, Hurry and take my picture; nobody ever thinks that we generals do any work!î
For more information on the Edwards AFB Civ-Mil Support Group, please visit http//www.eafbcivmil.org.