55th Wing Association hopes to ‘reignite the flame’ with return of birthday ball

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  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

The 55th Wing Association, a non-profit organization not officially associated with the Air Force, will host a birthday ball for the 55th Wing on April 9, 2022 at the La Vista Hotel & Conference Center in La Vista, Nebraska.

This will be the first celebration in more than five years that a wing-specific birthday ball has occurred.

The 55th Wing Birthday Ball was previously hosted by the wing and held consecutively from 1979 to 2016. It transitioned from the spring to the fall in 2017 and opened its aperture from not only celebrating the wing’s heritage but also the Air Force’s birthday.

Now, the 55th Wing Association, which serves as the wing’s alumni group, is bringing the traditional wing-specific birthday celebration back to recognize the unit’s 82nd birthday.

“We are very pleased to once again support the 55th Wing by revitalizing its long-held birthday ball tradition,” said Joe Spivey, 55th Wing Association president. This is in line with the association’s pledge to, ‘honor those who served and serving those who do.’”

While the 55th Wing will continue to host an Air Force Birthday Ball in September, the association hopes the return of a wing-specific ball will annually foster ties between the unit’s past and present.

“Our theme is, ‘Reigniting the Flame,’” Spivey said. “The ball has always been a great opportunity to bring the 55th Wing’s active duty and alumni families together for professional fellowship and an historical celebration.”

With an objective to educate and connect active-duty members to the wing’s long and storied history, the 55th Wing Birthday Ball was started in 1979 by then 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing Commander, Col. Regis F.A. Urschler.

Since then, the ball grew in stature and size to now include Heritage Week events like the Tales of the 55th, which brings former and current Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth members together to relive past war stories; and, the 55th Wing Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where former wing members are forever immortalized for their dedication the mission.

Additionally, as part of the ball celebration, the association also recognizes a significant wing performer with its Excellence Trophy.

“There is truly no other unit in the Air Force like the 55th Wing,” Spivey said. “We’re proud to honor our past heroes; as well as, those currently serving who make history every day.”

For more information about birthday ball, please contact the 55th Wing Association POCs Andrew Agner or Grace De Amorim at 402-933-7425.