Applauds turnout, support for Community Day

Guest Editorial

Applauds turnout, support for Community DayChina Lake Mountain Rescue Group volunteer (center) demonstrates to the son of Rebecca McCourt (right) what it feels like to be in a rescue rig. CLMRG was one of dozens of participating groups that came out to give visitors hands-on experiences at Community Day. — Photo by Rebecca Neipp

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On Saturday April 28, the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake wrapped up what many are calling a highly successful 75th Anniversary Community Day event onboard the installation.

The four-hour event generated a lot of smiles, polite conversation and enjoyment of activities for those in attendance along the one-mile stretch of Blandy Avenue.

The weather proved nearly perfect, which may have been a reason for the strong attendance, conservatively estimated at 8,000 people. The China Lake Police Department counted 1,700-plus vehicles entering the main gate for Community Day purposes, as well as 7,408 people pasing through the three temporary security check points set up for pedestrian traffic to gain access to the event from the start time at 10 a.m.

It took a village to achieve Saturday’s wonderful result. The sponsors, in particular the two presenting sponsors Ridgecrest Regional Hospital and Operation Family Fund, are welcomed for their role. The support from Rear Adm. Lindsey and his team at Commander Navy Region Southwest was also much appreciated, as was the participation by a number of organizations such as the city of Ridgecrest, Maturango Museum, Historical Society, AltaOne Federal Credit Union, Lincoln Military Housing, Bellevue University, Historical USO, and China Lake Museum Foundation.

The show and shine was also a large draw in terms of participants, and the block party atmosphere was enhanced by having QLite and KSSI radio stations present on the installation. Infinite Movement Academy appeared popular with the kiddos, and the DJ music, provided by Frank Ortiz, mixed in with the food zone to draw a crowd.

The entirety of Team China Lake as well as exceptionally strong support and participation by all the tenant commands and neighboring organizations deserve a round of gratitude — NAWCWD, VX-9, VX-31, Public Works/Naval Facilities Command Southwest, two Explosive Ordnance units, two Seabee units, Naval Criminal Investigative Services, Navy Exchange, U.S. Marine Corps Aviation Detachment, Defense Commissary Agency, Fleet Logistics Center Southwest Detachment China Lake, Branch Health Clinic, Fleet Readiness Center Southwest Detachment China Lake, U.S. Navy Reserve Security personnel, and Kern County Sheriff — resulted in knocking it out of the park.

The China Lake Police Department did a superb job providing a very secure environment, the Sidewinder Sea Cadet Squadron performed its duties exceptionally well and Federal Fire was at the ready but not called upon for services throughout the event.

The most frequent question on Saturday was “When is the next Community Day?” The answer is Team China Lake has been socializing, and has as an objective, for its next community event onboard the installation hosting an air show with the Blue Angels in 2021. Thank you again for all those who made the 75th Anniversary Community Day possible and enjoyable for those in attendance.

— Capt. Paul Dale, NAWS Commanding Officer

Story First Published: 2018-05-04