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News > Summer fun with 168th family
Summer fun with 168th family

Posted 6/15/2012   Updated 6/15/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Janine Thibault
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/15/2012 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- More than 1,500 people gathered at the 168th Air Refueling Wing hangar eating, mingling and enjoying activities, booths and displays arranged for the 168th Air Refueling Wing's Family Day here June 9.

Family Day is not only an opportunity for servicemembers and their respective families to have fun, it is an event to be with other families and get to know others that share a common tie - the Air Force.

"We wanted people to bring their families out here, bring them closer to what we do and give them the opportunity to see the facilities and planes we work with," said Chief Master Sgt. Paul Nunemann, 168th Operations Group superintendent and chief boom operator.

The lively event featured multiple activities and opportunities for families to socialize, have fun and enjoy BBQ and other foods. Outside the hangar, games, bouncy castles and a petting zoo provided additional fun for children.

Static displays of a 168th ARW KC-135 tanker, 18th Aggressor Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon, and Ft. Wainwright and 210th Rescue Squadron UH-60 Black Hawk and Medivac helicopters were available for families to enjoy. Aircraft flown by RED FLAG-Alaska 12-2 participants from Germany, Poland and Japan were also on hand with representatives to talk with families and answer questions.

According to Nunemann, giving families a closer look at the responsibilities shouldered by their servicemembers gives them valuable insight.

"It is important for family members and children so they can say, 'This is what mom or dad is doing and this is why they are not here one weekend a month,'" said Nunemann. "It counts and matters."

It was also an opportunity for families to meet and become more connected to each other.

"When we are deployed, in the event something goes wrong or there's an emergency back home, it's not the first time wives and husbands are meeting under those circumstances," said Nunemann.

The opportunity allowed unit members and families to build camaraderie, forming friendships and bonds that may last far into their futures.

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