128 ARW hosts 35th annual Civic Dinner Dance

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lenski
  • 128th Air Refueling Wing
The 128th Air Refueling Wing and Col. Daniel Yenchesky, the wing commander, hosted the 35th annual Civic Dinner Dance, an event of Milwaukee Armed Forces Week, in the aircraft hangar here May 14.

Over 400 people attended, including military members from throughout Wisconsin, elected state and local officials, and citizens of the local Milwaukee area.

The event honored the 75th anniversary of the first National Guard aviation unit in Wisconsin, the 126th Observation Squadron.  Today it is known as the 126th Air Refueling Squadron and is still located at the 128 ARW at General Mitchell Field.

The squadron was originally established in Milwaukee by the Army Air Corps on July 30, 1940.  After several re-designations of names, aircraft and missions, the squadron received KC-135A Stratotankers.  The 126th Air Refueling Squadron and the 128th Air Refueling Wing have operated a variant of this aircraft ever since.

Col. Chad Milne, the Wisconsin Air National Guard State Director of Operations, presented an honorary plaque to Lt. Col. Steven Hunter, the 126th Air Refueling Squadron commander, commemorating the 75th year anniversary of the aviation squadron.

During the Civic Dinner Dance, which was coordinated by the 128th Civic Dinner Dance Committee, Joseph Kotarak, Jr. was recognized as the Honored Citizen of the Year.  A Milwaukee native, Kotarak is a veteran, family man, entrepreneur and an active member of his community.  The award is presented every year during this event.

Music for the evening was provided by the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America, Starlifter, based out of Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

The 128 ARW and the Milwaukee Armed Forces Committee are scheduled to host next year's Civic Dinner Dance May 19, 2016 here.