Keesler Air Force Base Celebrates 66 Years

Keesler Air Force will celebrate 66 years of service to our country on Tuesday.

For decades, the Biloxi Air Force Base has been training military men and women to soar to new heights, carrying out important missions for our nation.

"Our pilots can't fly unless they have a clear avenue of support or a good amount of support from us as meteorologists," said Staff Sgt. Mary-Jo Albright.

Staff Sergeant Mary-Jo Albright teaches meteorology at Keesler Air Force Base. It's one of five specialty schools at Keesler.

"We have five different specialties. We train in weather, which is the schoolhouse you were in today. We train in manpower, personnel, education training, and then finance comptrollers. The knowledge and skills the students learn will ultimately be essential to our nation's security," said Lt. Col. Elia Sanjume, Commander of the 335th Training Squadron.

"Everything they learn in class is going to, in some way, reflect safety for ground troops, our aircraft. Every mission that they do revolves around safety and can the mission be done," said Staff Sgt. Albright.

On any given day there are about 4,000 students getting classroom and hands on training at Keesler. The base opened in 1941, and it's not just the faces that have changed over the years.

"I think one of the biggest things is always equipment. We continue to advance in computers, and weather's probably, I'll use the schoolhouse as an example, we have satellite imagery now, we have radar. We try to bring all of the latest developments that the field is using into the schoolhouse so that our students are learning off what they're going to use in the world," said Lt. Col. Elia Sanjume.

Keesler will actually be celebrating this week's big anniversary on Thursday. There will be free activities for the whole family at Marina Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.