No Spare Dime for the Triple Nickel

Due to a recent decision to consolidate Air Force bands, the curtain will fall on the Air National Guard Band of the Great Lakes for the last time in 2013 when the band is decommissioned, ending 90 years of morale and outreach. Tracing its roots to 1923, the unit predates the Air Force itself—originally forming as an Army band in Toledo, Ohio. During World War II, the unit band merged with others from across the state, deploying to entertain troops in the Pacific. Re-formed as the 555th Air Force Band after the war, despite changing designations, it has been unofficially known as “Triple Nickel” ever since. “Our plan is to go out with class. We are going to keep mission-focused. We want the last memories of the 555th to be that we did our best until the end,” said SMSgt. Philip Smith, a trombonist and band superintendent. He added, “We are in the business of building support for the military.” (Swanton report byA1C William Winston)