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Combat Dining-In

  • Published
  • By Staff Sergeant George Thomas
  • 164Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airmen wearing web gear and tactical vests move frantically around the massive hangar. The sound of Kevlar helmets hitting the floor echoes as camouflaged Humvees are strategically placed on opposite sides of a raised speaker's platform. Trailers are covered with netting and bright orange cones are set up in order to guide participants in the most orderly fashion. Then the first shots ring out and bodies dive for cover. No, this isn't the onset of a fierce battle. Those shots are from water guns that members of the 164th Airlift Wing brought to a Combat Dining-In that the wing hosted on Saturday, April 3rd 2011.

The combat dining-in, the newest of the dining-in traditions, is becoming increasingly popular, especially in operational units. The format and sequence of events is built around the traditional dining-in, however, it's far less formal atmosphere and combat dress requirements (flight-suit, BDUs) have made it very appealing to the masses.

Members of the 164th AW let loose in a time honored military tradition that can trace its roots back to the 1930s with General H. "Hap" Arnold's "wing-dings." Such Dining-In traditions were upheld like the calling the mess top order, toasts, the POW/MIA table and of course, the grog bowl.