First decennial celebration begins with dinner

By Airman 1st Class Ariel Owings | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs | March 27, 2019


The 87th Air Base Wing kicked off the first of many Joint Base MDL decennial celebrations by hosting the 87th Air Base Wing Dining Out, March 22, 2019 at The Merion event center in Cinnaminson, New Jersey.

The 87th ABW celebrates its ten-year anniversary alongside Joint Base MDL of becoming the only tri-service installation since they stood up in 2009.

An evening of laughter and Air Force blue hue filled the ballroom from service members of various ranks celebrating the accomplishments that have been made within the wing alone in the last ten years.

Special guest of the semi-formal event was U.S. Air Force retired Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, who took command of the installation as a colonel and became the first commander of Joint Base MDL in 2009. Due to the inactivation of the 87th Troop Carrier Wing in 1952, Grosso was given the unique responsibility of rebuilding the wing which blossomed into what is now – the 87th ABW.

“It’s not very often that you get the chance to lead an effort that is the first of its kind,” said Grosso. “When you’re the first, you have a lot of latitude to set the norms for the future and that was really fun.”

Grosso hammered the impressiveness of the ten-year-old wing earning six Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards.

“This recognition is unprecedented in such a short period of time,” said Grosso. “I think it’s a testament to the power of connecting so many unique mission partners through a single installation management function and the oversight structure that came with the Joint Base. These two factors combined drove cross-service innovations that can’t be done at standalone installations.”

The night was filled with recognition to community and mission partners across the installation for the years of teamwork and innovative creativity. Foot stomping the 87th ABW motto of Ut Unum Vincere “Win as One,” Grosso challenged the residing Airmen to build on the success in future endeavors and continue to follow the motto with all mission partners on the installation.

Grosso ended her insightful speech with an empowering message.

“The first ten years were just the demonstration project [which proved] there is vast amounts of untapped potential yet to be realized,” she said. “When military forces train like they fight, the fight will reflect that training and ensure success on the battlefield.”