53d reserve unit takes up former squadron tradition

  • Published
  • By Maj. Kenneth Rose
  • 84th Test and Evaluation Squadron
The 84th Test and Evaluation Squadron 53d Wing's Reserve Total Force Integration unit captured the spirit of its former squadron namesake by continuing the original Fighting Wizard's tradition of the luau. 

Squadron members and their families joined together for a full day of events that concluded with a barbecue on the beach. 

"I wanted to bring together not only our reservists but our families as well," Lt. Col. John Breazeale said. "We're so spread out that we needed to re-establish a tradition that brings everyone together and helps us focus on who we are, where we came from, and what's really important." 

The idea came after looking at photos of the original 84 TES during their time at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., from 1983-2001. 

The event kicked off with Master Sgt. Jen Raffield leading the squadron in physical training with a 1.5 mile run and three competitive games of volleyball. Later the squadron donned their Hawaiian shirts and floppy hats and joined family members and other reservists from Hurlburt's 706th Fighter Squadron, Det. 1, at the Eglin Beach Club on Okaloosa Island. 

Tech Sgt. Ed Youmans brought the guest of honor. "Wilbur" the pig had been cooking on a spit since 2 a.m. 

"I couldn't be more pleased," said Colonel Breazeale. "This is exactly what we needed. It's great to have all the families here as well as Blade's (Lt. Col. Pat Ryan, commander of the 706 FS, Det. 1) folks here, too. It's a great day to be a Fightin' Wizard."