Allen B. West

Happy Birthday to the Air Force: Cleared hot! [VIDEO]

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They began as the U.S. Army Air Corps but today we say happy birthday to the United States Air Force, 67 years of faithful service to our nation from the skies. As a former paratrooper I spent many an hour at Aviano AFB and Pope AFB boarding aircraft for jump missions and deployments. And as an artillery officer and fire support officer in combat, I’ll never forget that simple bzzzz sound of the A-10 “Warthog” Thunderbolt II 40mm Gatlin gun cannon as you can see here – the sweetest sound after giving the order “cleared hot.”

There is no doubt we have the most capable and powerful Air Force in the world — even though we have the smallest and oldest fleet ever in its 67 years. What makes our Air Force exceptional isn’t the aircraft of course, but the Airmen. It is not just the pilots, but the crews, the Air Force Special Operators, the maintenance personnel, the security police and the commitment of these exceptional men and women who uphold the highest standards of honor and integrity.

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In 1947 President Truman signed the National Security Act which established this new defense organization, and along with it, the creation of the U.S. Air Force as an independent service, equal to the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. The official birthday of the U.S. Air Force is 18 September, 1947 — today.

Happy Birthday fly boys, and a special happy birthday to the senior officer of our family — Mom’s side — my own cousin Major General Ed Bolton (USAF, Ret).

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
At ’em boys, Give ‘er the gun! (Give ‘er the gun now!)
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing’ll stop the U.S. Air Force!
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