MOULTRIE — For some, it was kind of a homecoming. For others, it was the renewal of a partnership. And amid all the ceremonies, there were memories and visions of things yet to come.

Spence Field in Moultrie was open once again Friday for flight training missions,, following an agreement with Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta and the City of Moultrie. The two entities held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially re-launch the air field for flight training. Some 70 people attended, including Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper who trained at Moody in 1967.

Moody Training Instructor Maj. Roger Suro, who served as emcee for the ceremonies, said the day was the “start of a new chapter” in training pilots at Spence Field. The field, now the home of the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition, served as an Army Air Corps training facility during World War II, and Hawthorne Flying Service held a training program from 1951 to 1961 at Spence. It will continue to serve the farm show and other activities and Moody will schedule its “touch and go” training around those local events.

Moody’s use of Spence Field for training is a symbolic new chapter for the field, Suro said. It is not a new beginning of fighter pilot training, but rather a continuation of the 60-year heritage of training at Spence.

Moultrie Mayor William McIntosh said the ceremony was a “banner day” for the City of Moultrie. He acknowledged members of the audience who were a part of Spence Field’s World War II training program and how much that enriched the community and its heritage.

“The City of Moultrie is proud to be a part, even a small part, of the nation’s defense program,” McIntosh said.

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss said he is glad to see the partnership between the Air Force and Spence Field reborn. He thanked Parker Greene, executive director of the Moody Support Committee, for his vision to bring the partnership back together. Chambliss said Spence Field is an asset to the City of Moultrie and the country, and he was proud to see Moody make use of its facilities.

Gen. Jumper said the U.S. Air Force is the greatest in the world because of the support of people such as the citizens of Moultrie. The training programs being done today are significant because the pilots being trained will be “in harm’s way” within a year of the initial training.

Jumper said the nation can not quit in the war on terror because the enemy is people who are against everything America stands for. The fighter pilot training being done at Spence Field will help keep the nation protected against the enemy, he said.

Jumper has more than 4,700 flight hours in eight different aircraft. Col. Anthony Lazarski, commander of the 479th Fighting Training Group at Moody, said Jumper’s commitment to the Air Force is why the U.S. Air Force is the best-trained and most lethal Air Force in the world.

Following the ribbon cutting, 1st Lt. Brian Taliaferro flew the first student training flight at Spence Field. He performed a touch and go landing exercise about 300 yards behind the podium, with the help of flight instructor Maj. Dave Garcia.