May 27, 2016 - Sailors, contractors, and their families gathered at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro to commemorate the base's 70th anniversary May 26.
"Today we're celebrating the 70th birthday anniversary of the base, and we are combining it with Memorial Day weekend and the start of the summer," said Capt. William C. Doster, commanding officer of NAF El Centro. "This base is a key component for naval aviation, providing training for the strike fighter pilots that deploy on aircraft carriers. "
The event included a welcoming speech from the base commanding officer, an invocation from the chaplain, ceremonial cake cutting and a picnic.
"It's the 70th birthday party and we are trying to recognize the Sailors for contributions they provide to this base and the mission," said NAF El Centro Command Master Chief Wayne Marcus. "Without them we wouldn't be able to function."
The event was coordinated by the base's Morale, Welfare, and Recreation department and several Sailors who volunteered to help run the food stands, music, and games.
"I know the history of the base and what happened back in the early days of the base, and I thought it was a pretty good event to volunteer at and celebrate," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 3rd Class Stanley Williams.
Marcus shared Williams' appreciation for the celebration. "It's important that we find interesting things for our Sailors to do, being that we are so far away from things," said Marcus.
Looking ahead NAF El Centro is focusing on improving the quality of life for base personnel, by building a paintball range by the end of the year and continuing to build on it's long legacy of aviation training.