Boxing trio visits Hurlburt Field Airmen

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Kelly Ogden
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Boxing promoter Don King and two world champion boxers talked to Airmen and signed autographs during a meet-and-greet session Dec. 5 at Hurlburt Field, Fla. 

Five-time boxing world champion Felix Trinidad and eight-time boxing world champion Roy Jones Jr., on their "We Care" tour, stopped at the special operations base to boost morale and to promote their fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City scheduled for Jan. 19.

As part of their four-hour visit, the group toured units unique to the base and the Air Force.

"I am so happy to be here in this visit to the military bases," Mr. Trinidad said. "For me, it's a great experience, and I'm happy to do it."

First on the agenda was a trip to the 4th Special Operation Squadron, the largest of the nine flying squadrons within the 1st Special Operations Wing, where the group was given a detailed tour of the AC-130U Spooky Gunship.

Upon arrival, the group was greeted by more than 150 Airmen from the 1st Special Operations and Maintenance groups.

"I love my Airmen, and their morale, welfare and recognition has to always be at the forefront if you want to complete and win the mission," said Chief Master Sgt. James Wilkerson, the 1st Special Operations Maintenance Group superintendent. "Every day is great when operations and aircraft equipment maintenance personnel get to show off what they do for a living. The up-close and personal interaction with each of them was insanely incredible. From one-on-one time, to autographs, to team photos, the atmosphere was first class."

Next, the group was whisked away to the 1st Special Operations Equipment Maintenance Squadron's Fabrication Flight. Flight members used their special water jet cutting center equipment to showcase their talent by cutting out personalized boxing mementos for the fighters to sign.

"You are the greatest fighting men and women in the world, and freedom isn't free," Mr. King said. "You're willing to put your life on the line and put yourself in harm's way to protect the cherished democracies, liberties and freedom we enjoy. God bless you!"

The highlight of the tour was the meet-and-greet session with Airmen at the Commando Fitness Center, which drew 300 Airmen and six media outlets.

"Without you guys being out there doing what you do, we wouldn't have the freedom, the respect or the ability to give you guys the beautiful fight we are about to put on in January," Mr. Jones said.

The boxer and promoter trio left no souvenir unsigned. Each fan had no less than two items, all requiring each of the three celebrity signatures. With smiles on their faces, the celebrities were willful participants in brightening the day of Hurlburt Field Airmen.

The tour culminated with a stop to the 720th Special Tactics Group Advanced Skills Training building where Senior Master Sgt. Mickey Wright, the AST superintendent and Tech. Sgt. Ruben Reyes, an AST instructor, showed the group numerous static displays with weapons, Humvees, all-terrain vehicles, tactical equipment and advanced skills Airmen.

Mr. Jones immediately jumped off the bus to commandeer a red combat controller beret and rocket launcher, while Mr. Trinidad grabbed an oversized rifle and began play-firing at the crowd of spectators while the combat controllers watched.

"The greatest nation in the world is America, and don't you forget it," Mr. King said. "I'm wishing each and every one of you happy holidays and a Merry Christmas. Ho, ho, ho!"

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