2017 Air Force Ball
A special moment for guests of the annual Air Force Ball at the Broadmoor each year is the announcement of the birth date of the most junior ranking airman from all of the surrounding Air Force units. This year Airman Basic Rachel Fox was recognized as the junior ranking airman with a birth date in 1997 and entry into the Air Force in August of 2016. She spent the evening sitting at the head table with General Lori Robinson, NORAD/NORTHCOM Commander, undoubtedly an event that AB Fox will remember for a lifetime. And what could have been more appropriate than to recognize the newest generation of the Air Force at the same time as commemorating the 70th birthday of the Air Force and “A Salute to 70 Years of Air, Space and Cyberspace Superiority!” In her remarks, Gen Robinson acknowledged the contributions of the Air Force Association to advocating for and supporting the Air Force families for so many years.
Again this year the black tie event was emceed by Lauren Ferrara of Fox 21 News, a returning favorite for the crowd, who introduced Airman First Class Jamie Teachenor from the Air Force Academy’s Band, Wild Blue Yonder, to sing the National Anthem. She also introduced and thanked the Mitchell High School Junior ROTC Cadet Honor Guard who so professionally presented the colors and conducted the POW/MIA table recognition.
Another returning guest was Sharon O’Malley Burg, who attended with her husband, Maj Gen (Ret) Roger Burg, to honor her father, General Jerome F. O’Malley and present the 2016 General O’Malley Distinguished Space Leader Award. The Sijan Chapter established the O’Malley Award to recognize the contributions of leaders in achieving General O’Malley’s vision of “…providing an intensified space focus and reorienting USAF philosophy toward and operational approach by advocating the operations use of space systems at the highest levels of the Air Force.” A distinguished panel comprised of space and AFA leadership to include Maj Gen (Ret) Wes Clark, Gayle White, Bob Wright, and Lamberth Blalock reviewed a slate of highly deserving nominees to ultimately select Colonel Deanna Burt, Commander of the 50th Space Wing as this year’s distinguished recipient. Col Burt leads the Nation’s largest space operations wing enabling the operations of over 175 spacecraft and associated cyber networks to deliver global combat effects.
After enjoying the gourmet four-course dinner, presentation of the O’Malley award, remarks by Gen Robinson and entertainment by “The Martini Shot,” a pop-rock band based out of southern Colorado, the approximately 800 guests adjourned to Colorado Hall for an evening of dancing with Colorado Springs’ favorite DJ form “Gentle Rain, Chief Master Sergeant Marcia Hureau.
The Lance P. Sijan Chapter extends a huge thank you to the corporate sponsors who make this event possible each year.