Senior leaders send Airmen, families birthday best Published Sept. 16, 2013 WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody issued the following message to the Airmen of the United States Air Force: On the 66th birthday of the United States Air Force, we salute the dedicated Airmen who provide airpower for America. From 1947 to today, Airmen have accomplished our Service’s core missions – air and space superiority; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; rapid global mobility; global strike; and command and control. We have evolved into a Service that carries out missions through air, space and cyberspace, but our core missions have remained constant. Advances in technology now allow us to fly faster, farther and higher than ever before. We use aircraft and spacecraft that no one could have imagined at our Service’s creation, and we continue to provide an asymmetric advantage for America. Airmen have been and continue to be the strength of our Service. The U.S. Air Force was forged by airpower legends with names like Sijan, Levitow, Jones and Day. These heroes and many others made history, and their legacy continues as today’s Airmen write the history of this generation. Decades from now, the names of Airmen among us today will be as familiar as the names of the earlier heroes we celebrate. America depends on the Airmen who provide Global Vigilance, Global Reach and Global Power, and our remarkable Total Force of Active Duty, Guard, Reserve and Civilian Airmen has never failed to answer the Nation’s call. Please join us in proudly celebrating the 66th birthday of the U.S. Air Force. As always, we sincerely thank you and your families for all that you do. Happy Birthday, Air Force!