NEWS | Oct. 27, 2015

CENTCOM holds annual family picnic

By By Staff Sgt. Liliana Moreno, CENTCOM Headquarters

TAMPA, Fla. (October 26, 2015) — Music and laughter filled the air Oct. 26 during the U.S. Central Command Annual Family Picnic at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

The annual event provides CENTCOM personnel and their families the opportunity to come out and enjoy food, family games, raffles, fun, and prizes.

“The purpose of the annual picnic is to thank all assigned to CENTCOM and their families for their dedicated support and commitment to the mission,” said Air Force Master Sgt. John Verrecchio, an NCOIC in the USCENTCOM Intelligence Directorate and Vice President of the CENTCOM Family Activities Association (CFAA).“Our organization is dedicated to supporting over 3.7k command members plus their families.”

The CFAA is a non-profit organization, dedicated to planning and holding of the annual picnic, with the support and commitment of more than 100 volunteers and about 50 sponsors from the surrounding communities.

Community organizations were key to making the CENTCOM picnic a reality for the estimated 2,800 people who attended.

“The community, by definition, cannot succeed without each other, and this is very true of the Tampa Bay community and MacDill Air Force Base. It's very similar to our own families, and we rely on each other in multiple ways,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Eric Foreman, CENTCOM Intelligence Directorate Senior Enlisted Leader. “The Tampa community is relentless in their support for the people and professionals of MacDill Air Force Base and the United States Central Command. We could not succeed in hosting this celebration without the love and support of the Tampa Bay community.”

Thirteen food trucks from the Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally provided a variety of delicious options for picnic goers, and the Tampa Bay Lightning arranged a hockey play area for the kids. Meanwhile, D.J. Jake Dela Cruz, 14 year-old Tampa native, played a variety of music for the families to enjoy.

“We are excited to be able to participate in this year’s family picnic as a sponsor and by providing volunteers, so that in a small way we can give back,” said Kelly Flannery, South Tampa Chamber of Commerce president.

“The South Tampa Chamber is proud of our relationship with CENTCOM,” Flannery said. “We feel it is important for those serving and their families to know they are supported and valued by our community both on and off base.”

“All of the support we have received is something that makes this place truly special,” said Vice Admiral Mark Fox, USCENTCOM Deputy Commander. He gave many thanks to those sponsoring the event, reminding everyone of the strong relationship between the community and MacDill Air Force Base.

Editor’s Note: To find out more about the CFAA, visit http://cfaatampa.wix.com/cfaa.