The Rock Lajes Field Newsletter

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The Rock Lajes Field Newsletter
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Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office
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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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THE ROCK Lajes Field Newsletter Youtube Lajes Field DOD Air Force Facebook USAFE May 22, 2015 US Embassy, Portugal Air Force leaders Memorial Day message Patriot Files: a rainy day in June Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Sta Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day mes sage to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance of the more than one million Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guards men who gave their lives to secure our freedoms. American ags will be lowered to half-sta in town squares, on military bases, private homes, and American government facilities around the world in everlasting tribute to those who gave their all in our Nations defense. is year is particularly poignant as it marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. With each passing day, the memories of war, the faces of the fallen, and the stories of heroism in battle fade as the surviving members of the Greatest Generation become fewer. eir spirit of sacrice and devotion to duty, however, remain steadfast. Americas debt to its brave servicemen and women is one that can only be repaid by continuing their legacy of patriotism and valor. To the families of all who have served and who serve today, we oer our humble gratitude on behalf of a grateful nation. At noon on Memorial Day, ags will once again be raised to full sta a symbol of the resilience of America and those who serve her even today in countless areas around the globe. To those who are currently defending our Nation, we say thank you! We are privileged to stand with you in service to the United States of America. e light rain began to soak through his uniform. It was nearly 4 a.m. and Tech. Sgt. Bill Toombs stood outside his barracks, waiting for a ride to the chow hall, when he heard something strange o in the distance. Listen to the thunder, a friend said, as both he and Toombs heard the resounding crashes. Toombs paused and listened again to the rolling, almost rhythmic, barrage that seemed to oat into RAF Debach, England from across the nearby water. at doesnt sound like thun der, Toombs said as he boarded the truck to breakfast. Nearly 71 years later, Toombs recalled his very rst mission, as a ight engineer and gunner with the 493rd Bombardment Group, during a visit to RAF Alconbury, May 18, 2015. Ipswich was pretty close to the [English] Channel, and we could hear the guns from the battleships across the water, the 91-year-old veteran said. We knew there was going to be an invasion, didnt know when. No one had any idea. Every day for nearly ve weeks, Toombs and his crew had been ying around England in a B-24 Liberator, getting the lay of the land and learning to maintain aerial formations. On that particular morn ing, he had just nished eating when everyone was called for a mission brieng. Sitting in the cramped room, Toombs said he was prepared for an ordinary training mission. He wasnt ready for what the executive ocer said when he began the brieng. Gentlemen, the executive o cer began, pulling back a curtain to reveal a map of Normandy, France. is morning were go ing to invade the continent. As the brieng ended, the 19-year-old from Little Rock, Ark. sat in complete shock as the minutes before the invasion ticked away, June 6, 1944. My rst mission was D-Day, Toombs said. [We] didnt have time to think about the invasion or anything. For more on Patriot Files see page 2 By Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs


Lajes Field Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate (DAVA) Services e Air Force Credentialing Opportunities Online (AF COOL) Program: Base Honor Guard Eagle Eyes GTC Payment Options Expanded Inuenza Vaccine Available New housing website All members PCSing from Lajes Field with Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) TMO Information Civilian Personnel Newsletter Non-command sponsored dependents memorandum BAH Revalidation Required for All Airmen 65th Medical Group Closed for Training 2nd Tuesday of Each Month MSP Career Development/Customer Service Closed Every Wednesday TMO walk-in customer service hours: 0800-1400 M-, 09001400 F Wing Promotion Ceremony 29 May Non-command sponsored dependents memorandum available on Lajes Link Aireld Driving Training Reminder Community Events Base Announcements Commanders Action Line Produced by 2015 65th Air Base Wing Public Aairs Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal Island Events Photo Perspective Island Bullghts Angra Chamber of Commerce Food Festival 24 April 17 May Movies: Angra eater (Located at Angra Cultural Center) Praia eater Click to read for more Base Announcements Click to read for more Community Events Click to read for more Island Events Maj. Tina Dauzat, 65th Force Support Squadron commander, assumes com mand from Col. Stephen Carson, 65th Mission Support Group commander, at the Top of the Rock Club on Lajes Field, May 19. (U.S. Air Force photo/Guido Melo) Technical Sgt. Andrew Williams with the 65th Security Forces Squadron carries at Lajes Field, May 15. (U.S. Air Force photo/Guido Melo) Scrambling for his B-24, aectionately named Baby Doll, Toombs had no idea what to expect having never experienced actual combat. e pilot, Lt. William Bowden, guided the aircra into the sky, where it joined 39 other bombardment groups which comprised the 8th Air Forces role in what would become one of the most signicant mo ments of World War II. e rst lesson is that you cant lose a war if you have command of the air, said Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, 8th AF commander during DDay. And you cant win a war if you havent. Doolittles reections on the necessity of airpower proved accurate, as the bomb runs made by groups like the Fighting 493rd obliterated the Nazi fortications along the Atlantic Wall. Despite dense cloud coverage, Toombs and the crew of Baby Doll aided 628 bombers in destroying 74 of the 92 enemy radar stations along the Normandy coasts. at was the easiest mission I ever ew, Toombs said. No encoun ter with the enemy whatsoever no ghters, no anti-aircra re, nothing. When the dust settled and the largest single-day amphibious assault in history was over, Toombs said his perspective on war was quite dif ferent from his battle-hardened compatriots. It gave you a false impression of war, he said. I thought, well, man, this is nothing. is is going to be easy until [I ew] the next mis sion. CLICK TO READ MORE Patriot Files from page 1