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Keesler Air Force Base, community partners, and Biloxi elected officials gathered in the Biloxi Visitors Center this month to continue Keesler’s 75th anniversary celebration by declaring Friday, June 3, 2016, as Biloxi-Keesler Partnership Day.

In addition to the proclamation, which was signed and read by Biloxi’s mayor, Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilich, a 14-panel historical display was also unveiled for visitors and locals alike to view throughout the summer.

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Keesler Air Force Base airmen march past a reviewing stand in 1972 in Biloxi, Miss. (U.S. Air Force/Special to The Pulse)

“I have to say that in my 23 years in the Air Force, I’ve never seen the kind of genuine support and outstanding hospitality this community shows to our Airmen; I’m truly honored to be a part of your community,” said Col. Michele Edmondson, 81st Training Wing commander during her speech.

Other exhibits, including mannequins wearing vintage Air Force uniforms, a display of the ‘Keesler News’ evolution throughout the years and a current-day 81st TRW mission video, were on hand for guests to view during the evening’s event.

“Our community partnerships span every facet of our mission,” Edmondson said. “From our medical partnerships with local hospitals, to the Joint Land Use Study team and our amazing honorary commanders, the collaboration between our Airmen and the Biloxi community has made Keesler a great place for our Airmen to work and live.”

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Retired Chief Master Sgt. J.J. Vollmuth and Chief Master Sgt. Harry Hutchinson, 81st Training Wing command chief, view the 14 panel historical display during Keesler’s 75th Anniversary Historical Display Unveiling at the Biloxi Visitors Center June 3, 2016, Biloxi, Miss. (Kemberly Groue/Special to The Pulse)

Gilich wrapped up the evening with a toast and a reading of his proclamation to celebrate, thank and honor Keesler and its Airmen for their continued service and support to the local community.

“My words cannot express what this partnership and family has been to Biloxi,” said Gilich. “All across the country, when you say Biloxi, people think Keesler. When you say Keesler, people think Biloxi. That’s what we’ve built over the last 75 years.”

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