Fiesta 2017: Community and Airmen come together
By Senior Airman Chip Pons , Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
/ Published April 28, 2017
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - RANDOLPH, Texas -- This year marks the 126th anniversary of the colorful Fiesta festivity, honoring traditions deeply rooted throughout the area and celebrating the historic partnerships between the Airmen of Joint Base San Antonio and the local community. The Air Force’s ties to the San Antonio celebration date back to 1921 when, according to historical records from Kelly Field, a formation flew each day over the Alamo Plaza.
Today, the 11-day celebration draws millions of visitors for celebrations throughout San Antonio. Air Force representatives are featured during many of the events, and several events are hosted by Air Force senior leaders across Joint Base San Antonio locations.
The first Air Force event was hosted April 19 by Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, commander of Air Education and Training Command. The reception brought together Fiesta royalty, military ambassadors and civic leaders from throughout San Antonio.
Roberson then was the presiding officer for the Basic Military Training graduation parade April 21 at JBSA-Lackland. He conducted the oath of enlistment and officially welcomed the Air Force’s newest Airmen.
Turning to address the Fiesta royalty, distinguished visitors and community members during the event, Roberson expressed his sincere appreciation for the partnership felt by all members of JBSA.
“Thank you for supporting your United States military because we truly couldn’t do what we do without you,” said Roberson. “There is a reason that San Antonio is called ‘Military City U.S.A;’ the support you show our military members and their families is second to none and we are beyond grateful to you for it.”
Col. Roy Collins, 37th Training Wing commander, presented this year’s Fiesta royalty with medals of appreciation before the crowd of thousands of parents and local dignitaries. Specially honored were: King Antonio Michael Casillas, El Rey Feyo Fred Reyes and Fiesta Commission President Erwin De Luna, Fiesta San Antonio Commission president.
DeLuna recently was hosted by members of the 12th Flying Training Wing at JBSA-Lackland, where he was able to take part in a T-38 orientation flight as part of the city and military’s partnership.
“General Roberson invited us to ride in a T-38 jet and it was an experience I will never forget,” De Luna said. “We are very appreciative to come out here [to the BMT graduation] to see the men and women who are supporting us 365 days of the year. These Airmen are truly the heart of San Antonio and we are honored to have this year’s festivities at JBSA-Lackland.”
Members of the Air Force also highlight various missions such as explosive ordnance disposal, military working dogs, security forces, BMT Drum and Bugle Corps and Band of the West during Air Force at the Alamo. The Fiesta in Blue Concert is also executed by JBSA-Lackland’s Band of the West each year.
Representing individual military services as military ambassadors for 2017 are: ARMY - Sgt. 1st Class Lee M. Wright and Spc. Catherine L. Trisch; MARINES - Gunnery Sgt. Tajanna Draher and Sgt. Keven D. Beasley; NAVY - Petty Officer 1st Class Cindy Gallego and Petty Officer 2nd Class Adonis M. Lowery; COAST GUARD - Petty Officer 1st Class Ernesto Campos and Petty Officer 3rd Class Christine Mesta; and AIR FORCE - Tech. Sgt. Marie Sarabia and Staff Sgt. Nicholas J. Gooden-Bustamante.