News>RAFs Mildenhall, Lakenheath show appreciation for retirees
ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England - Airman 1st Class Nick Scheer, 48th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal, explains the capabilities of an EOD robot to Linda and Larry Budar during the Retiree Appreciation Day event at RAF Mildenhall June 22, 2012. Linda and Larry were part of a group of more than 170 people who attended the event and had the chance to see a static KC-135 Stratotanker, military working dog demonstration, and other units from around the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ethan Morgan)
ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England - Staff Sgt. Kaylon Pendleton, 100th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, attaches a leash to MWD Ferro, after the dog subdued Staff Sgt. Billy Lofton, 100th SFS MWD handler, as part of a demonstration during the Retiree Appreciation Day event at RAF Mildenhall June 22, 2012. More than 170 people attended the event and had the chance to see a static KC-135 Stratotanker, explosive ordinance disposal equipment display, and other units from around the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Ethan Morgan)
ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL - Retired U.S. Army Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Jack Klimp speaks to retirees in the Galaxy Club, RAF Mildenhall, at the Retiree Appreciation Day June 22, 2012. This year's event was combined with RAF Lakenheath, and is the 26th Annual RAD. More than 170 people attended and had the chance to see a static KC-135 Stratotanker, military working dog demonstration, and other units from around the base including the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department and Emergency Management. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Abeyasekere)
by Karen Abeyasekere
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
6/27/2012 - ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England -- The joint RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath Retiree Appreciation Day was held June 22, 2012, at RAF Mildenhall. More than 170 people - retirees and their spouses - visited the base and were honored at the event.
After a morning social at the chapel, the retirees were then given a mission briefing by Col. Christopher Kulas, 100th Air Refueling Wing commander, and Col. Daniel Gerke, 48th In-patient Operations Squadron commander.
The retirees and their spouses were then taken to Hangar 814, where they had the chance to see a static KC-135 Stratotanker, 100th Security Forces Military Working Dogs demonstration and vehicles, and displays from units including the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department, 100th CES Emergency Management flight and 48th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
"Events like this are important because it gives (retirees) a chance to come back to the base, provides them information and allows them to see what's currently going on," said Master Sgt. Charles Anderson, 100th Maintenance Squadron and committee member for the event.
He said the Retiree Appreciation Day is a chance for active-duty members and retirees alike to meet and greet each other.
Retiree Appreciation Day began at RAF Chicksands in 1986, and was sponsored by the U.K. Retiree Council, when it was known as the "annual barbecue." The event is hosted alternate years between RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath, and is an opportunity for retirees from all over the United Kingdom to get together. It also provides them information from different organizations, and they can ask questions and voice any concerns they may have.
This year's speaker was retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Jack Klimp, and current president of the National Association of Uniformed Services.
Larry Budar was one of the many retirees who visited RAF Mildenhall for the event.
Now living in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, Budar was formerly stationed at RAF Mildenhall, until he retired in 1991. He was a senior master sergeant in the command post, when the wing was formerly the 513th Air Command and Control Wing.
"I remember it was when we bombed Libya," he said, referring to Operation El Dorado Canyon, conducted in 1986.
"President (Ronald) Reagan decided to bomb Libya, and the F-111s that were stationed at RAF Lakenheath during that time, were flying all night," said Budar. "I'd worked all night, and I was just coming home and heard all the tankers taking off. I thought to myself, 'Oh, they're really going to go do it!' So I stayed up and watched it on the news."
He said he was enjoying the Retiree Appreciation Day, and this was the fourth he'd been to.
Anderson said he believes honoring the retirees in this way is important.
"They are keeping the legacy alive - we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them," Anderson said.
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