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Base to hold first mass formation honoring Veteran's Day

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- In line with Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century initiative, base officials have decided to exchange the monthly group-hosted retreat ceremonies with a biannual retreat for Veteran's Day and Memorial Day - the first of which is 3:45-4:15 p.m. Thursday at Heritage Park.

Base leadership decided to conduct formal retreat ceremonies in conjunction with Veterans Day and Memorial Day because of the special significance these days have to the military community, said Senior Master Sgt. Bill Wardell, 314th Operations Group.

Thursday is the first mass retreat ceremony for the base in recent years, bringing five formations, base officials, thousands of people and local civic leaders together to remember the veterans who served their country.

Brig. Gen. Kip Self, 314th Airlift Wing commander, will lead five formations (one from each 314th Airlift Wing group and one from the 463rd Airlift Group) during the formal retreat. All Airmen not performing mission-essential or command-directed duties are required to attend.

The wing headquarters parking lot and the lot across from the wing safety office are reserved, but all others will be available. Those attending should leave work early enough to allow for the mass volume of traffic seeking parking spots, said Sergeant Wardell.

Sections of Arnold Drive, Thomas Avenue and Vandenberg Boulevard near Heritage Park will be closed for approximately 30 minutes to conduct the ceremony, said Sergeant Wardell. Those coming onto base during the ceremony will have to drive to Chief Williams Drive to access other areas of base.