50th Anniversary of 6994th shows heritage

A 6994th Security Squadron 50th anniversary attendee stands for his fallen comrades at the Norma Brown building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Sept. 22, 2016. The anniversary paid tribute to the 36 Americans that died during the 6994th missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sousa/Released)

A 6994th Security Squadron 50th anniversary attendee stands for his fallen comrades at the Norma Brown building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Sept. 22, 2016. The anniversary paid tribute to the 36 Americans that died during the 6994th missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sousa/Released)

Retired Maj. Larry Miller, rings a bell to symbolize the 36 killed in action during the 6994th missions at the Norma Brown building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Sept. 22, 2016. The 6994th was responsible for locating and identifying the enemy using airborne radio direction finding techniques 1966 to 1974. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sousa/Released)

Retired Maj. Larry Miller, rings a bell to symbolize the 36 killed in action during the 6994th missions at the Norma Brown building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Sept. 22, 2016. The 6994th was responsible for locating and identifying the enemy using airborne radio direction finding techniques 1966 to 1974. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sousa/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, retired Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Graham and retired Master Sgt. Thomas Crowley, present a shadow box at the Cressman Dining Facility on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Sept. 22, 2016. The shadow box honored Sgt. Peter Cressman who was killed in action during a 6994th mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sousa/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander, retired Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Graham and retired Master Sgt. Thomas Crowley, present a shadow box at the Cressman Dining Facility on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Sept. 22, 2016. The shadow box honored Sgt. Peter Cressman who was killed in action during a 6994th mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sousa/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The 17th Training Wing hosted a 50th anniversary celebration of the 6994th Security Squadron at the Norma Brown building Sept. 22.

The 6994th was responsible for locating and identifying hostiles using airborne radio direction finding techniques and collecting intelligence information in support of ground combat commanders from 1966 to 1974.

"Fifty years ago this squadron stood up and here you all are despite the passing of so much time,” said Col. Michael Downs, 17th Training Wing Commander. “When I look at the 6994th I see commitment and unimaginable courage."

The anniversary paid tribute to the Americans that died during the top secret 6994th missions.

"We are here today to remember the 36 brave, committed Americans who gave their lives conducting this vital and dangerous mission," said Downs.

As part of the celebration, members from the 6994th toured Goodfellow and visited various locations like the Louis Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy, Crossroads Student Center and Cressman Dining Facility.

The Peter R. Cressman shadow box presentation and retired Master Sgt. Thomas Crowley’s story of Cressman’s accomplishments was a pivotal part of the event.

“Cressman brought people from varied backgrounds to come to the aid of their fellow man. For a man of 21 years, he accomplished a feat that some can’t manage in a lifetime,” said Crowley.