Combat Dining-in: Pirates

Tyndall hosted its annual combat dining-in event in Heritage Park on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 25, 2017.

A group of 325th Medical Group Airmen pose for a photo during the Tyndall Combat Dining-in at Heritage Park on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 25, 2017. Combat Dining-ins are events meant to raise morale and espirit de corps among military personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Solomon Cook/Released)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Tyndall hosted its annual combat dining-in event in Heritage Park on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 25, 2017.

Historically, dining-ins are used to raise morale and foster espirit de corps among Airmen. The concept of these events are steeped in tradition, going all the way back to 1930. U.S. Army Air Corps Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold was known for hosting “wing-dings” which is thought of to be the inspiration for dining-ins.

Combat dining-ins, one of the newest additions to the program, is more of a strict morale event, meaning the formal ceremony and customs and courtesies are limited.

“The purpose of the event is to boost morale among the Airmen of Tyndall in an informal way and refer back to a tradition that has been going on in the Air Force for a number of years,” said Senior Airman Andres Moya, 325th Fighter Wing executive administrator. “Basically, we are going to just have fun.”

It is customary for events such as these to have an underlying theme. This event is no different.

“The theme of this year’s event is pirates. We had several ideas in mind, but pirates got the most votes,” Moya said.

While explaining the event, Moya went on to elaborate about what it took to make the event a reality.

“There was a lot of coordination that went into this event,” he said. “We did everything from getting food handlers, making sure the stage is set up for the commander and setting up the sequence of events. There were obstacle courses and other games. We also gave out mementos at the entry of the event. Furthermore, we provided water guns and water balloons.”

The event was vastly populated by junior Airmen and officers, but members of Tyndall’s senior leadership also attended the event.

“The wing commander and the command chief were in attendance,” Moya said. “It really is honoring to have such high levels of leadership take time out of their days after hours to support a morale event. It really does show what type of leaders they are.”

At the beginning of the event Col. Michael Hernandez, 325th FW commander, started off the festivities with a few remarks from the script getting into pirate character.

Those in attendance were thankful for the opportunity to improve their comradery with those they work with and those that they met for the first time.

Among the organizations in attendance, Moya and his team wanted to extend a special thanks to one group in particular.

“Airmen Against Drunk Driving attended the event as well. They had either an armband or a special shirt so they stood out,” Moya said. “Although we do not encourage Airmen to drink too much, having AADD on hand is always important for those in attendance if their plan A fails. Tyndall is really lucky to have AADD on hand to support our events and I want to take this time to thank them.”