Air Force Reserve leader will deliver keynote at Memorial Day ceremony

Air Force Col. Erik Brine, Commander of the 514th Air Mobility Wing, will deliver the keynote address at Veterans Memorial Park on May 30

The commander of a key Air Force Reserve wing on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst will join with the Burlington County Commissioners and other elected officials, veterans and residents next week to honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

Air Force Col. Erik Brine, Commander of the 514th Air Mobility Wing, will deliver the keynote address at the Burlington County Memorial Day Ceremony on Tuesday, May 30, at Veterans Memorial Park, 851 Old York Road, Burlington Township (adjacent to the Burlington Township Municipal Complex).

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The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Residents are invited to attend.

In addition to Col. Brine, the ceremony will feature wreath presentations and remarks from Congressman Andy Kim and Commissioner Deputy Director Tom Pullion.

“Memorial Day is a day we honor the service and sacrifices of all who have stepped forward to defend our nation and its people, and we are honored to have a distinguished leader like Col. Brine to help memorialize these heroes,” Pullion said.

The 514th Air Mobility Wing is one of the largest reserve forces stationed at the Joint Base and both flies and supports airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation missions with both the new KC-46 tankers and the C-17 Globemaster jets. The wing has more than 2,000 service members assigned to it and works alongside the active duty 305th Air Mobility Wing at the Joint Base.

Col. Brine earned his commission through the ROTC at Boston University and served on active-duty for 10 years, flying multiple assignments in the C-21 and C-17 jets. He has deployed three times and flower missions in 56 countries, including more than 200 combat hours over Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before leading the 514th, the colonel served as the Strategic Advisor to the Director of Air Force Legislative Liaison. He also mobilized as the Air Force’s Emergency Preparedness Liaison to Rhode Island for the COVID response. His reserve service also includes an assignment at the Pentagon in the Office of the Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

The Burlington County Memorial Day ceremony is held May 30 every year in recognition of the holiday’s origin in 1868 when General John A. Logan, a leader of the Northern Civil War veterans, first called for a National Day of Remembrance for those who died in defense of the country.

“The heroes we honor on Memorial Day laid down their very lives in the defense of our nation and our people,” Pullion said. “We cannot repay them or their loved ones for all they have given and lost. But just as those we memorialize felt duty-bound to give all, we too have a solemn duty to remember these men and women and honor them.”

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