History of the International Armed Forces Council

The first International Armed Forces Night was Organized in 1960, by officers of the 2451st AC&W Squadron RCAF (Aux) under Wing Commander Robert Norwood, as a means to further solidify the excellent rapport which had been created with the US Military forces during the Squadron's short history.

The basic aim was to expand on the goals of the recently established International Freedom Festival.  Upon the demise of the 2451st in 1962, a way was explored by squadron members to continue these relationships with officers of the US Naval Air Station, Grosse Isle and other US Training sites.  An International Armed Forces Night was sponsored, first by the squadron members and the next year with US forces acting as the hosts; thus the alternating leadership for this unique activity was developed.

Beginning in 1965, all armed forces were included and the event was given its current name.  In 1984, the 25th International Armed Forces Night drew a record number of officers from the military services of both countries.  During the military down-sizing of the 1990's, and especially with the inactivation of Michigan's 70th Division in 1996, the event was much diminished.  In 1999, however, in cooperation with the WWII 2nd Polish Corps Association, the event drew over 550 attendees.