Air Force Ball held at Laughlin

Col. Charles Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander and Airman Brittany Zipperian, 47th Force Support Squadron apprentice, cut the first slice of cake at the Air Force Ball at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 30, 2017.  Traditionally, the oldest and youngest attendants to the ball cut the first slice of cake.

Col. Charles Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander and Airman Brittany Zipperian, 47th Force Support Squadron apprentice, cut the first slice of cake at the Air Force Ball at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 30, 2017. Traditionally, the oldest and youngest attendants to the ball cut the first slice of cake.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Robert Mehaffey, recalls the highlights of his career as a guest speaker to attendees at the Air Force Ball on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 30, 2017.  The Air Force Ball is an observance of the U.S. Air Force transitioning into its own branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on Sept. 18, 1947.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Robert Mehaffey, recalls the highlights of his career as a guest speaker to attendees at the Air Force Ball on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 30, 2017. The Air Force Ball is an observance of the U.S. Air Force transitioning into its own branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on Sept. 18, 1947.

Members of the Laughlin Honor Guard set the POW/MIA dinner table at the Air Force Ball on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 30, 2017.  The POW/MIA table is an observance for the military’s brothers and sisters-in-arms who were prisoners of war or missing in action during any time of conflict.

Members of the Laughlin Honor Guard set the POW/MIA dinner table at the Air Force Ball on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 30, 2017. The POW/MIA table is an observance for the military’s brothers and sisters-in-arms who were prisoners of war or missing in action during any time of conflict.

Col. Charles Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, gives closing remarks attendees at the Air Force Ball on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 30, 2017.  The Air Force Ball is an observance of the U.S. Air Force transitioning into its own branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on Sept. 18, 1947.

Col. Charles Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, gives closing remarks attendees at the Air Force Ball on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Sept. 30, 2017. The Air Force Ball is an observance of the U.S. Air Force transitioning into its own branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on Sept. 18, 1947.

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Laughlin’s Airmen and their family members took to Club XL in mess dresses and evening dresses to celebrate the 2017 Air Force Ball, held Sept. 30.

The theme of the ball was the 1940s era, according to Capt. Donald Lewis, the event coordinator, which aimed capture the rich culture and history of airpower for the United States.

The ball was made possible with more than 20 Airmen and many volunteer hours, explained Capt. Donald Lewis, the ball’s event coordinator.

“I could not have asked for a better team to execute this challenging and rewarding event for the Airmen and civilians of Laughlin Air Force Base,” Lewis said.

Keeping with the theme, the ball was complete with a 40s makeover of the club with decorations, San Antonio-based Ray Coalo’s Big Band playing Frank Sinatra-inspired music, a speech from retired Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Mehaffey, and a red carpet rolled out all the way to a parked 1948 Air Force Blue coupe.

“Over 3 months of meticulous planning culminated in the resounding success of the 2017 Laughlin Air Force Ball,” said Lewis.

After the traditional cake cutting, Col. Charles Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, had some extremely wise words to close out the ceremony and kick off the dance party.

"I would like to thank committee members, volunteers, our guest speaker, Military Affairs Association, civic leaders and attendees for putting on an unforgettable experience," said Col. Charles Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander.  "It's truly been an amazing experience for our Airmen and families to not only celebrate 70 years of excellence, but 70 years of Airmen breaking barriers since 1947."