Friday was a day of celebration at Fort Rucker. A quarter of a century ago, Army Aviation got its start in an undeveloped area northwest of Dothan.
As the song of our nation rang through the skies, civilians and military alike looked back on the past 25 years of Army Aviation at Fort Rucker.
United States Army Major General Virgil Packett said, "It's really about the tactic techniques and procedures to enable our soldiers on the ground, to enable those that are out defending our freedom; that’s the real significance of today."
Friday marked a big day for Army Aviation. Before April of 1983, Army Aviation was part of the Signal Corps. But, 25 years ago this week, it became a separate, stand alone branch of the Army.
Congressman Terry Everett attended the ceremony that began with a ribbon cutting for the new unmanned Aircraft System Center of Excellence.
"Technical war fighting should be left in the Army's domain; it shouldn't be done by the Air Force or any other service. So, that's the reason we wanted to make sure Fort Rucker got to be the COE," Everett said.
One feature of Friday’s ceremony was a look at the way Army uniforms have changed in the past 25 years, as well as the formal presentation of an American flag that was flown in space.
With the celebration comes some question on whether Fort Rucker’s Center of Excellence will give the post an advantage when it comes to the next round of the base realignment and closure hearings.
"It's going to be the key element to our homeland defense, so it has as much application here in the United States of America as it does for the project abroad," Major Packett added.
The Army Aviation Center was officially established at Fort Rucker in February of 1955.