Welcoming Four New Blue Blazers
On January 14, 2014, the Blue Blazer Squadron welcomed four new members to its ranks during the annual meeting and induction ceremony at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale. The new BBS members include:
- Mark Hutchins, Director of Catering, Wigwam Resort
- Rob Ginis, General Manager, Avondale Toyota
- Pete Bolton, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
- Bradley Wright, President, Nations Wright
Pete and Brad are both past board members of Fighter Country Partnership.
Welcome to these four new Blue Blazers!
After a sunset social hour on the beautiful Northern Sky Terrace at the Westin Kierland, everyone gathered inside to start the meeting and induction ceremony. Bruce Larson and Jason Isaak, Chairman and Vice Chair of the BBS, served as the masters of ceremony to introduce the many distinguished guests in the audience. Bruce and Jason reviewed our inaugural year and highlighted many of this year’s successes. A video produced in 2013 by E.B. Lane (now LaneTerralever) was shown and BBS member Joshua Abel of Imaginary Trout expanded the video to feature many of the 2013 highlights. The video received rave reviews!
The annual meeting concluded with the induction of four new members and a discussion of next year’s upcoming activities such as the Luke AFB Awards Banquet in January, the annual charge (retreat) in March at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, NV, and the beautiful Westin Lake Las Vegas; the Luke Days Open House in March, and the FCP Golf Tournament in June.
Reviewing the Inaugural Year
March 2013 – First annual BBS Retreat and Orientation to Davis-Monthan AFB at the Tucson Omni Resort. The retreat included a tour of the “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan AFB and a formal dinner with guest speaker Lt. General Robin Rand, Commander of the 12th Air Force Air Combat Command and Commander Air Forces Southern U.S. Southern Command based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (General Rand is now Commander, AETC, Randolph AFB). The DM 50 also joined in to meet and socialize with the BBS members.
May 2013 – 4th Annual Honorary Commanders Golf Tournament at the Wigwam Resort which raised much needed funds to be used in support of the mission and the men and women of Luke AFB.
August 2013 – Gathering of over 200 dresses and suits and the rehab of the serving area of the old Officers’ Club at Luke AFB and turning it into the “Cinderella and Prince Charming Closet.” The closet allows Airmen and their spouses access to free formal wear for the many formal functions they attend throughout the year to include annual awards banquets, graduations, Air Force Balls, etc.
September 2013 – BBS hosted a fun event of food and bowling at Uptown Alley to recognize the Luke AFB Honor Guard and their families for all they do in the community. The Honor Guard serves and important function at the base and is often the only representative of the base that is seen by the public.
September 2013 – BBS attended the Air Force Ball at the Wigwam Resort making it possible to reduce the cost for the Airmen and their spouses to attend this formal celebration.
November 2013 – BBS members made quite a showing and raised the level of recognition of who the Blue Blazers are and what they do by helping at the 56th Fighter Wing “Wingman Day BBQ” picnic and sports day at Luke AFB. BBS members worked the picnic by cooking and serving food and also helped with sports events and games.
November 2013 – Haboob Havoc – A Luke AFB inter-fighter squadron bombing and strafing competition inviting other military units in Arizona to “play in the sandbox” at the Barry M. Goldwater Range. A-10s, F-16s, F-18s from Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson; Yuma Marine Air Corps, Hill AFB, Utah, all participated in this annual competition. BBS members were invited to observe this event at the range and then sponsored the hangar party at Luke AFB for all of the participants of Haboob Havoc that evening. Haboob Havoc lived up to its name forcing the group off the range due to blowing dust and resulted in the BBS eating lunch on the curb at Love’s Travel Stop in Gila Bend. Classic!
December 2013 – BBS floated the U.S. Flag Balloon in the Fiesta Bowl Parade before a marching group of Airmen from Luke AFB.
About the Blue Blazer Squadron
The Blue Blazer Squadron (BBS) is an “alumni organization” of 56 active former honorary commanders working under the direction of Fighter Country Partnership. The Blue Blazers have the opportunity to become involved as “boots on the ground” with FCP as it continues its support to the mission and the men and women who serve at Luke Air Force Base. These former honorary commanders, who have lived the mission at Luke through their experiences on base, now want to continue their support by becoming a part of this unique FCP program.
Blue Blazers are FCP ambassadors to the community, providing a service and support to FCP programs and fundraising activities. The size of active membership is limited to 56 (the number coincides with the 56th Fighter Wing of Luke AFB). The selection process focuses on the most passionate individuals each year.