HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The 18th of September marks 71 years since the U.S. Air Force became an independent armed service. Each year, our Air Force birthday provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our storied heritage. This includes honoring the men and women who serve today, as well as the Airmen who served before us.

Since becoming an independent service in 1947, our history has been characterized by innovation. From Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in 1947 in his Bell X-1, to the Berlin Airlift that transported food, water and medical aid to West Berlin post-World War II, our Air Force has been characterized by the continuous pursuit of innovation and excellence by Airmen.

In 2018, our service’s drive towards innovation and excellence remains. Our nation is depending on us to continue to leverage innovation to increase our levels of excellence in readiness and combat capability.

Each of us plays a vital role in enabling the Air Force mission to fly, fight, and win… in air, space and cyberspace. Thanks for what each of you do every day, and thank you for your commitment to Hill AFB, the Air Force and our nation. Happy 71st birthday, U.S. Air Force!