Airman For Life Podcast

By AFA

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Description

AFA's podcast will feature interviews with aerospace experts and thought leaders on professional development. Topics will focus on Air Force and AFA updates.

Episode Date
Work Life Balance
00:29:30

AFA's President Gen Larry Spencer, USAF Ret. shares his advice on work life balance on the next episode of AFA's Airman for Life podcast. Gen Spencer discusses how it is important to decide what your priorities are and that will help you decide what your focus needs to be.

Jun 25, 2018
Memorial Day Message from AFA

"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them."

This Memorial Day, we reflect on these words by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and remember our brothers and sisters in arms who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation.

Today – and every day – we offer our sincere gratitude to our fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Sailors who laid down their lives in the name of freedom. We remember the families and loved ones of these heroes and stand beside them in solidarity.

It is because of their courage that we continue to live freely.

I hope you take time this Memorial Day to pause and think about all of our fallen heroes. May we never lose sight on the meaning of this day and hold on tight to the memory of those we have lost.

May 22, 2018
How to Best Answer Popular Interview Questions

Now that you’ve heard some of our tips to prepare for your interview, Danielle is back to share a few common interview questions and the best ways to answer them when they are inevitably asked.

Danielle says the first question most interviewers will ask is, “Tell me about yourself.” For this question, it’s important to have a 30-second elevator pitch ready to go. A 30-second elevator pitch should contain a little bit about who you are, what you do, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’re looking to do. Let interviewers know why you’re there and why you would fit in well for this role.

Next, be ready to answer situational questions. Think of a few examples of times you showed great initiative, solved a problem, or accomplished goals and tasks. For those transitioning from the military, know that a lot of your responsibilities and duties transfer very well into civilian roles.

For example, if you supervised Airmen in your unit, that experience directly correlates to managing colleagues and excelling in a team-based environment. Also be sure to mention if you have experience in project management, working on budgets, or creating reports as these skills are all very valuable to your prospective employer.

Lastly, Danielle suggests having an answer prepared for the question, “Where do you see yourself in the future?” For this question, answer with any professional goals you have on the horizon. Whether you’re planning on pursuing a degree or completing a certification, now is a great time to mention how you see yourself improving and growing professionally.

AFA’s new jobs board can connect you with thousands of employers seeking applicants for a wide variety of available positions. Start your career search now at www.afa.org/jobs.

May 21, 2018
Leadership Advice for Airmen
00:23:46

AFA's President Gen Larry Spencer, USAF Ret. shares his leadership advice on this next episode of AFA's Airman for Life podcast. Gen Spencer discusses the following topics on the podcast:

  • Transitioning from the Air Force to the civilian world
  • How to build and sustain relationships with fellow Airmen who may be separating from the Air Force
  • How the Air Force's core values continue to be key on the civilian side too
  • Advice on promotion within the Air Force,
  • Advice to young and mid grade Airmen on mentorship and being a mentee
  • The importance of diversity to build a stronger leadership team

The podcast is 24 minutes and well worth your time to take a listen.

May 15, 2018
Keep These Tips in Mind For Your Next Interview

Now that we’ve discussed how to craft your resume and master your cover letter, Danielle Hawkins, AFA’s HR Coordinator, is back this week to discuss a few key tips to keep in mind while you prepare for an upcoming interview to help you land the job.

First, Danielle says, it is still very important to dress professionally, unless told otherwise. Being “dressed for success” gives the appearance that you are willing to go the extra mile and put professionalism first.

Next, always have copies of your resume and cover letter printed and ready to deliver to your interviewer. Be sure to bring extra copies in case there is more than one person interviewing you.

Lastly, arrive to your interview at least 15 to 20 minutes early. This will give you enough time to find the location and mentally prepare for your big day.

Just remember, confidence and authenticity go a long way in an interview. So just be yourself!

Head to www.afa.org/jobs to take a look at countless available jobs specifically geared toward veterans and civilians and jump start your career search.

AFA is here to help you along your journey as an Airman for Life.

May 14, 2018
How to Master Writing a Cover Letter

Last week, AFA launched our new Jobs Board geared to help you find your perfect job and discussed a few key points to keep in mind while crafting your resume. You can view last week’s post here.

No matter what stage you find yourself in your job search, you’ve probably had to write a cover letter to submit along with your resume. Danielle Hawkins, AFA’s Human Resources Coordinator, is back this week to walk through the best way to structure your cover letter to help you get your foot in the door the next time you submit a job application.

Cover letters are extremely important in the interview process, they help hiring managers learn more about you by going into detail about your experience and explaining why you would not only be a great fit for the position, but for the company as well.

First, Danielle says it is important to tailor your cover letter specifically to the job you are applying for. Submitting a standard cover letter for multiple jobs may be easier, but won’t get you very far in the job process in the long run. Tailoring your cover letter shows hiring managers that you put time and effort into your work and it helps them see how your experience directly relates to the job description.

When it comes to structuring your cover letter, remember to use the “sandwich rule.” The first paragraph should be used to introduce yourself and address the organization directly, specifying the job you’re applying for. The second paragraph should detail your experience and how it applies to this position. Finally, your last paragraph should summarize your highlights, and show the hiring team why you are the perfect fit for the position over other potential candidates.

Danielle’s last tip also plays into last week’s discussion, make sure your contact information is correct and consistent across all documents. This way hiring managers will know how to reach you when they inevitably want to invite you for an interview.

So make sure you spend time tailoring your cover letter to the specific job you’re applying for. If you keep these guidelines in mind, it will greatly improve the application process and help the hiring managers see all of your qualifications for the role.

Head to www.afa.org/jobs to browse and apply to thousands of available jobs, curated specifically for veterans and civilians. Stay tuned for our next video, where we'll discuss important tips to keep in mind to prepare for your next interview. 

 

May 07, 2018
3 Tips to Build a Standout Resume

AFA has created a jobs board—a new member and community benefit—filled with thousands of job listings curated specifically for veterans and military spouses in the job market.

We know that transitioning from the military to a civilian career can be a daunting process and not having a polished resume can make it even harder. Let us help make your search a little more gratifying with tips to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Take a look below at the advice from Danielle Hawkins, AFA’s Human Resources Coordinator.

The first thing you need to do when crafting your resume, says Danielle, is to make sure your contact information is up-to-date, clearly visible, and consistent across all documents. Hiring departments typically receive more than 100 applications per open position, so make it easy for hiring managers to know how to get in touch with you.

Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for by using keywords and phrases found in the position description and listing any programs or systems you have experience using. This shows hiring managers that you mean business. Avoid using generalities and be specific.

Lastly, it is important to keep your resume concise. Keep it between two to three pages, recommends Danielle. Since hiring managers have so many to review, be sure to list the specifics and highlights of your career experience so they can get a clear picture of the extent of your knowledge but without getting lost in details.  

Once you’re able to make these simple changes to your resume, you’ll be ready to start or continue your job search with confidence!

Head to www.afa.org/jobs to browse through thousands of jobs posts curated specifically for you. Stay tuned for our next video, where we’ll discuss how to craft a great cover letter.

Apr 30, 2018
Emerging Technologies: Weapons of the Future
00:49:19

AFA's next episode in our Airman for Life Podcast is "Emerging Technologies: Weapons of the Future" sponsored by Lockheed Martin. In this episode Jack O'Banion, Dr. Mark Lewis and Scott Wierzbanowski discussed the exciting technology the Air Force is developing. The panel touched on DARPA's Gremlins program, experimental space planes, hypersonics, and 5th generation aircraft. Access the podcast on AFA's website, Apple Podcasts or Google Play.

Apr 19, 2018
Aerospace Sustainment: Keeping the Fleet Flying
00:53:16

AFA’s next episode in our Airman for Life Podcast is “Aerospace Sustainment: Keeping the Fleet Flying” sponsored by Lockheed Martin in this episode Lt Gen Bruce Litchfield, USAF (Ret.), Lt Gen Donald Wetekam, USAF (Ret.) and Maj Gen David Gillett, USAF (Ret.) discussed the important job maintainers do for the Air Force. The panel touched on where the Air Force stands after sequestration created deep cuts to maintenance and modernization as well as what Airmen can expect in the next generation of sustainment solutions. Access the podcast on AFA’s website or on iTunes or Google Play.

Mar 26, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Gen James "Mike" Holmes
00:38:43

Podcast featuring Gen James "Mike" Holmes, Commander of Air Combat Command. Gen Holmes discusses "The Warfighter's Edge". 

Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Dr. Jeff DeGraff
00:46:27

Podcast featuring Dr. Jeff DeGraff the "Father of Innovation" at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 23, 2018.

Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Digital Transformation
00:51:14

Podcast featuring a panel on Digital Transformation from AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 23, 2018.

Panelists:

  • Maj Gen Kimberly Crider
  • Dr. Chuck Louisell
  • Dr. Lani Kass
  • Lance Spencer
  • Todd Stiefler
Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Gen David Goldfein
00:43:56

Podcast featuring Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein discussing an Air Force Update at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 23, 2018.

Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Spark Tank Finals
01:09:05

Podcast featuring the Spark Tank Finals Competition at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 22, 2018.

Finalist Teams:

  • KC-135 Boom Instructor Platform Modification
  • Mobile Pod Test Stand
  • Graphic Airfield Suitability Display
  • AF Connect: Mobile Device Secure App
  • Brass to Bucks
  • Maintenance Operation Training Augmented Reality
Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Developing Innovators
00:33:18

Podcast featuring Lt Gen Steven L. Kwast, Commander of Air Education and Training Command at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 22, 2018.

Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Airpower Capacity Crunch
00:59:59

Podcast featuring a panel on Airpower Capacity Crunch - Looking to Build Future Force Structure that took place during AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 22, 2018.

  • Gen James M. Holmes
  • Gen Robin Rand
  • Lt Gen Steven L. Kwast
  • Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF Ret.
  • Dr. Chris Bowie 
Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Milo Medin
00:47:15

Podcast featuring Milo Medin from Alphabet Inc. discusses "Speed is Life - Time and the Risk of Innovation" at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 22, 2018.

Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Rapid Capabilities
00:36:43

Podcast featuring a panel on Air Force Rapid Capabilities during AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 22, 2018.

  • Air Cdre L S Taylor 
  • Mark Cherry
  • Randall Walden
  • Rob Weiss
  • Scott Winship
Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Young Innovators Panel
00:44:24

Podcast featuring young innovators at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 22, 2018.

  • Capt Joseph Arora
  • Capt Michael Kanaan
  • SMSgt Valerie Rivera
  • TSgt Tom Burden
Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - CMSAF Kaleth Wright
00:11:42

Podcast featuring Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright discussing Harnessing the Innovative Spirit of Airmen.

Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - Dr. Peter Wicher
00:47:51

Podcast featuring Dr. Peter Wicher discusing the Art of the Possible at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 22, 2018.

Mar 05, 2018
Air Warfare Symposium - The Honorable Heather Wilson
00:32:25

Podcast featuring Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson discussing the State of the Force at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium on February 22, 2018. 

Mar 05, 2018
Air Superiority
00:42:52

Introducing AFA's Airman for Life Podcast. 

Episode 1: Air Superiority
Moderator: Vago Muradian, Founder & Editor - Defense and Aerospace Report
Panelists: 
- Lt Gen Bruce Orville Wright, USAF (Ret.) Former Commander 5th Air Force and US Air Forces Japan
- Dr. Rebecca Grant, President, IRIS Independent Research
- Lt Col David Berke, USMC (Ret.) F-35 Consultant

Feb 21, 2018
5 Last-Minute Gifts for the Airman in your Life
 Background Photo Source: USAF

Background Photo Source: USAF

With only 5 days left until Christmas, we’ve rounded up five perfect gifts for the #AirmanForLife in your life.

1. Children’s Storybooks Get a Brand New Genre: Cybersecurity

Sarah_coverimage.jpg

Bring some fun to storytime this holiday season with the first-ever storybook by AFA’s CyberPatriot program, Sarah the Cyber Hero! Featuring a female protagonist living in a town full of superheroes, Sarah must earn her superhero cape using the cyber skills she has learned in her school’s cyber education program to protect the town from a malware virus downloaded to a computer.

2. Soar to New Heights this Holiday Season

 Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

Love flying? So do we. Take a look at this Predator Mini Helicopter Drone, perfect for pilots of all kinds.   

3. Honor Airmen - Past, Present, and Future

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This holiday season, give a gift that honors Airmen - past, present, and future with the Soaring to Glory Special Edition Rose. Order yours today for someone special and it will arrive in perfect time to plant this spring.

4. Build a Love for Airpower

 Source: Amazon.com

Source: Amazon.com

This Toy Model F-22 is a great way to spend some quality time with the young and aspiring Airmen in your life and introduce them to some of our Air Force’s most exciting aircraft.

5. The Gift that Keeps on Giving

An AFA Membership not only gives you access to premier content like professional development events, networking opportunities, and a wide array of member benefits like military transition assistance, we offer peace of mind knowing your Airman and families in need are in good hands. AFA is here for you every step of the way along your journey as an Airman for Life.

Dec 20, 2017
AFA Honors Veterans Day

Take a look at how your AFA chapters honored Veterans Day around the country!

 

AFA was honored to attend the American Airlines SkyBall in support of the Airpower Foundation. A special thank you to our table sponsors Orbital ATK and the Texas GOs!

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AFA members participated in the New York City Veterans Day Parade, where Buzz Aldrin and General Ellen Pawlikowski were honorary Grand Marshalls.

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AFA’s Paul Revere Chapter held its eighth annual Veterans Day Fun Run raising over $6,500 to support veterans.

 Photo courtesy of Keith Taylor 

Photo courtesy of Keith Taylor 

 Photo courtesy of Keith Taylor

Photo courtesy of Keith Taylor

Nov 28, 2017
Note from the President
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Calling All Pilots!

The Air Force and our nation are facing a critical shortage of pilots. Earlier this month, the Air Force announced that retired fighter pilots were encouraged to return to active duty in order to fill critical staff rated positions. The Air Force has taken this unusual step because the shortage of pilots has reached a critical level. Since the 1991 Gulf War, the Air Force lost 30 percent of its personnel and was forced by budget shortages to cut combat-coded fighter squadrons by nearly 60 percent. That reduction not only led to a shortage of pilots but also a shortage of maintainers necessary to sustain critical weapons systems such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pilot shortage did not happen overnight, and it won’t be solved overnight.  Recently, the AFA Chairman of the Board and I met with the Air Force A-3 and industry leaders to strategize a way ahead. Challenges must be resolved in both recruiting new pilots and retaining those we have. More to come as AFA continues to work with the Civil Air Patrol and other organizations dedicated to producing a new generation of Air Force pilots.

Congress Needs to Pass a Budget

The Air Force needs Congress to pass a budget, not another Continuing Resolution (CR). With only a precious few legislative weeks remaining, the likelihood of a budget is fleeting. In a recent Op-Ed I wrote that the best gift Congress could give the Air Force for its birthday is a budget. Congress has failed to support our military with a budget for nine consecutive years. And Congress and our presidents have only passed full appropriations four times in the last 42 years!

To be clear, CRs are bad news. They lock-in funding at the previous year’s level and don’t allow for new requirements that are so desperately needed to modernize our geriatric fleet. They prevent shutting down programs that are obsolete or wasteful. CRs are inefficient, cost the taxpayers billions in additional dollars and maintain an Air Force that is too small for its missions. 

As AFA’s President I will continue to do my best to advocate on behalf of our Air Force, however, I need your help. Please do whatever you can to make your voices heard in support of stability and support for our Air Force by encouraging and advocating for Congress to pass a budget. Our mission is to support a dominant Air Force. Our Air Force needs AFA now, more than ever.

Larry O. Spencer

President

Oct 24, 2017
AFA Goes Green
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Help AFA Go Green. If you currently receive the hard copy of Air Force Magazine please consider “saving a tree” by reading the digital version of the magazine instead. You’ll still receive all the award-winning content Air Force Magazine has been delivering since 1918, and can access it along with each day’s Daily Report using the convenience of your phone, tablet, or laptop! (Life Members will still receive a hard copy of Air Force Magazine Almanac). Update your preferences, here.

Oct 24, 2017
AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill
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AFA was pleased to welcome Lt Gen Arnold Bunch, military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, as a part of AFA’s Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, October 17. Gen Bunch discussed the status of numerous acquisition programs, including the Long-Range Standoff weapon, accelerating the Combat Rescue Helicopter, financing re-engining the B-52, and the T-X contract, which he says will likely be pushed to spring of 2018. Read the full recap from the breakfast in Air Force Magazine.

Upcoming AFA Breakfast Schedule:

November 15, 2017: General Darren W. McDew, Commander, US Transportation Command

Thank You to Our Sponsors! 

A special thank you to our event sponsors: Aurora Flight Sciences, Elbit Systems of America, General Dynamics,Harris Corp, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Pratt & Whitney, The Roosevelt Group, and SAAB.

The AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill is an excellent opportunity for sponsors to meet, greet and listen to senior Air Force decision makers. If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Fred Ullman at fullman@afa.org or 703-247-5842.

Oct 24, 2017
Rolls-Royce Joins AFA as Aerospace Education Sponsor
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Rolls-Royce has joined the Air Force Association as the Platinum Sponsor for AFA’s Aerospace and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs.

“AFA is incredibly proud to have the support of Rolls-Royce to continue building our mission of promoting aerospace education,” said Gen Larry Spencer (Ret.), Air Force Association President. “These programs and initiatives provide unique opportunities for students and educators around the nation to encourage STEM education and careers.”

AFA’s Aerospace Education Programs provide educational opportunities for our Total force Airmen, their Families and America’s youth.

Rolls-Royce has been the sponsor of AFA’s National Teacher of the Year Program for two consecutive years, providing direct support to promote STEM activities in schools around the country.

“Just as STEM education is crucial to the future of the US Air Force, it is also crucial to the future of Rolls-Royce,” said Phil Burkholder, President, Rolls-Royce Defense North America. “Educators around the country are working hard today to inspire students who will become the propulsion system engineers of tomorrow. We are excited to support AFA and its mission to promote aerospace education.”

The generous support of Rolls-Royce allows AFA to continue supporting Aerospace Education programs. Major AFA educational programs include the National Teacher of the Year, K-12 Educator Grants, and scholarships. AFA partners with other educational organizations, including Civil Air Patrol, Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings, JROTC and ROTC to encourage STEM education among America’s youth.

Rolls-Royce, a power and propulsion systems company, employs more than 6,500 people around the United States, literally coast to coast. The company’s primary US manufacturing facility is in Indianapolis, IN, where engines for US Air Force C-130Js, CV-22s, and Global Hawk aircraft are manufactured.

Learn more about AFA’s Aerospace Education programs, here.

Oct 24, 2017
AFA on the Issues
 Aircrew members from the 123rd Airlift Wing prepare to fly to Texas aboard a C-130 Hercules at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 2017. The Airmen will fly humanitarian aid and airlift evacuation missions there in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  USAF Photo .

Aircrew members from the 123rd Airlift Wing prepare to fly to Texas aboard a C-130 Hercules at the Kentucky Air National Guard base in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 2017. The Airmen will fly humanitarian aid and airlift evacuation missions there in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. USAF Photo.

Earlier this month, AFA supported an “Air Force Bleed Blue” event on Capitol Hill bringing together members of Congress, staff members, Airmen and Airpower advocates with Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. They discussed Air Force issues and programs. Attendees received a timely briefing on the role our Airmen have played during hurricanes this season. Air Force Meteorologists and “Hurricane Hunters” discussed ongoing operations during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. 

AFA supported a small breakfast on Capitol Hill with the Senate Air Force Caucus, congressional staff members, and the Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Stephen Wilson. Several senators attended and had substantive discussions on several key Air Force issues pending before Congress. They discussed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the devastating impacts of the Budget Control Act (BCA) and sequestration, and the detrimental effects of continued resolutions (CRs) on the Air Force.

Recently, AFA leadership joined the Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan to discuss Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' priorities for restoring military readiness in order to build a more lethal force, strengthen alliances, and reform business operations to the Department of Defense. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Paul Selva was in attendance as well to offer his perspective. Also participating in a panel discussion on the defense budget and policy impacts on personnel, readiness and force structure, was Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller David Norquist, Acting Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness Mr. Tony Kurta, and Director Joint Staff  Lt Gen Anthony Lerardi.

Oct 24, 2017
CyberPatriot & StellarXplorers Break Registration Records
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AFA is thrilled to announce that its CyberPatriot program has registered 5,584 teams for its tenth season of the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, a 26 percent increase from the 2016-2017 competition year.

"The growth of the CyberPatriot program has been amazing to watch year after year," said Rachel Zimmerman, CyberPatriot's Director of Business Operations. "We're excited to reach even more students this year with the goal of drawing them to STEM education and careers."

Teams registered represent all 50 States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Department of Defense schools in Europe and the Pacific, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hungary, Spain, Guam and the United Arab Emirates.

Learn more about CyberPatriot, here.

AFA’s newest STEM education program, StellarXplorers, also closed registration earlier this month, registering 180 teams for the fourth season of the program’s National High School Space Competition, also seeing a dramatic increase in registration from the previous year.

"It's both exciting and gratifying to see the growth of the Program," said Stephen Gourley, StellarXplorers Program Director. "Having so many talented students and their dedicated educators participate bodes well for aerospace education and our nation."

High school students from 31 states and three overseas locations including, Kaiserslautern, Germany, Guam, and Osan Air Base, South Korea, will be represented during the 2018 competition season. Over two-thirds of the teams are involved in Navy JROTC, Marine Corps JROTC and Civil Air Patrol.

The StellarXplorers program is designed to inspire and attract high school students to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education careers through hands-on learning about technology by exercising critical thinking skills and emphasizing teamwork.

Learn more about StellarXplorers, here.

Oct 24, 2017
Mitchell Institute Releases New Policy Paper
 USAF Photo

USAF Photo

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce the release of its newest Policy Paper, Full Spectrum Close Air Support for the 21st Century: Leveraging Air Operations with Ground Forces, by Lt Col Michael Buck, USAF (Ret.). A non-resident senior visiting fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, Buck is a retired F-15C Eagle squadron commander, and command pilot with more than 5,000 flight hours. He has experience flying both the F-16 and F-15C, and flew combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Southern Watch.

In his policy paper, Buck proposes the development of a new approach to close air support (CAS) in order for US and allied air and ground forces to operate across all levels of conflict. Counterinsurgency and irregular warfare campaigns, similar to the wars fought since September 2001, will continue to persist, presenting a low threat environment for aircraft prosecuting CAS missions for the foreseeable future. But future conflicts will also take place in highly contested anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environments, he warns, with far more dangerous threats to aircraft. “Although aircraft optimized for low threat CAS environments will have ongoing value, providing desired effects at lower operating costs, a full-spectrum approach to CAS will also require the capability to engage in high threat scenarios,” Buck notes.

The capability for aircraft to engage in high threat environments while producing desired CAS effects calls for aircraft with the highest levels of survivability and combat capability. Fifth generation aircraft afford survivability in A2/AD environments via stealth and other tools, which allow them to respond to threats quickly. New methods of command and control (C2) that capitalize on situational awareness created via the “combat cloud” will permit efficient, decentralized execution at the tactical level, Buck writes. To optimize the effectiveness of ground forces, sensor-effector aircraft will make on the- spot decisions in these environments, and rapidly coordinate weapons effects across all domains to target enemy forces before they can target US or allied forces, he adds.

The Mitchell Institute Policy Papers are a series of occasional research papers presenting new thinking and proposals that respond to the emerging security and aerospace power challenges the US and its allies face in the 21st century. These papers are written for lawmakers, their staffs, policy professionals, business and industry leaders, academics, journalists, and the informed public. The series aims to provide in-depth policy insights and perspectives based on the experiences of the authors, accompanied by studious supporting research. For more information on this series, contact Mitchell Institute’s Director of Publications Marc V. Schanz at mschanz@afa.org or visit our website, at www.mitchellaerospacepower.org.

Oct 24, 2017
AFA Offers New Member Benefits
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Honor Airmen This Spring

AFA is pleased to present the Soaring to Glory rose celebrating the 70th Birthday of the Air Force by saluting, honoring and celebrating Airmen - past, present and future. Be sure to purchase your very own specialty rose to plant this spring, here!

AFA Introduces New Member Benefit

AFA is proud to have partnered with Tommie Copper, the originator of comfortable compression gear to help people live comfortable, healthy, happy, lives and introducing “Wearable Wellness.” Only Tommie Copper comfortable compression products are engineered with their exclusive patented Copper Znergy® technology. Unlike competitors, their innovative technology lasts the lifetime of the garment. Their proprietary 4D stretch fabric conforms to your body for targeted compression and support where you need it most. The moisture wicking capabilities keep you cool and dry. Their patented copper and zinc technology is encapsulated in the fibers providing natural and permanent anti-odor technology by eliminating the growth of odor causing microbes. Plus, UPF 50+ protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Wearing the right compression gear supports your muscles and joints. Tommie Copper intentionally designs all of their comfortable compression apparel and sleeves to help relieve everyday aches and pains by enhancing recovery and supporting your moving body, every day. Pursue new physical challenges, while encouraging improved circulation, reducing pain, muscle soreness, swelling and fatigue.

We want you to feel good. Begin your wellness journey today.

Shop Tommie Copper by clicking here or use code AFA30 to enjoy 30% off your purchase.

Oct 24, 2017
TRICARE Changes Toolkit

Are you ready for new TRICARE changes coming in 2018? Review the changes checklist, here!

Oct 24, 2017
Note from the President
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AFA Supports Dignity and Respect For All

Last week the Air Force endured an unfortunate incident. Someone in the Preparatory School at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) wrote racial slurs on several room white boards of fellow cadets. Fortunately, the USAFA Superintendent, Lt Gen Jay Silveria, acted swiftly and decisively, while addressing students and faculty about the issue, watch the video, here.

As a young Airman, I endured a similar incident. While assigned to Pope AFB in NC, I played on my squadron’s flag football team. During a particularly tough game, a fellow teammate, in a moment of frustration, yelled out a racial slur toward the opposing team. Having grown up in Southeast Washington, D.C. I had heard those words before. However, never had I heard those words expressed with such venom and never had I heard those words from a fellow Airman, aimed toward fellow Airmen. The good news is the referee of the game, a senior NCO, overheard the comments and immediately ejected him from the game. Also, the Airman’s commander and first sergeant held a meeting the following day and apologized to both teams. To this day, I can still recall the hurt I felt when I heard those Airman’s words.  However, the swift rebuke of the Airman and his behavior convinced me I had made the right decision joining the US Air Force.

Those of us who have served in uniform swore an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said, “In the eyes of government, we are just one race. It is American.” Regardless of where Airmen grew up. Regardless of what religion Airmen practice. Regardless of what gender Airmen are. Regardless of what color or ethnicity Airmen are. None of that matters. What matters are integrity, service and excellence. America’s Air Force is the best and most feared in the world because of its Airmen—ALL of its Airmen. I pray that the incident at the USAFA was an isolated one. However, if not, we all should respond swiftly and decisively. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." America’s Airmen matter. Our voices matter.

Sincerely,

 

Larry O. Spencer

President

Oct 02, 2017
Air, Space & Cyber 2017 Breaks Records
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AFA held its annual National Convention, September 16-17 and Air, Space & Cyber Conference, September 18-20, in National Harbor, Md. This year’s conference was one of the most successful events hosted by AFA, breaking registration and attendance records.

The conference registered over 9,000 attendees for the first time ever, a 24 percent increase from the previous year. The event featured 137 exhibiting organizations, displaying their latest technological advancements throughout the 100,000 square foot exposition hall. 

Over 100 distinguished speakers participated on 31 panels, including keynote addresses provided by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright.

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Secretary Wilson announced that the Air Force will be conducting a year-long Science and Technology review to update its research priorities and strategy by identifying high priority research areas, evaluating how the Air Force can more productively partner with non-federal research areas and guide the Air Force in adjusting ways to remain technologically dominant in the future.

The theme for this year’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference was “Breaking Barriers: Heritage to Horizons.” AFA celebrated the Air Force’s 70th birthday by highlighting seven decades of breaking barriers through heritage, innovation and teamwork. 

AFA honored the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the office of Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force by holding a tribute panel featuring several former CMSAFs.

AFA’s 34th Annual Air Warfare Symposium will be held February 21-23, 2018 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, FL. Registration is slated to open in early November 2017. To learn more about sponsorship and exhibit opportunities, please contact Fred Ullman at fullman@afa.org.

The 2018 Air, Space & Cyber Conference will again be hosted at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, September 17-19, 2018. Information regarding exhibit opportunities and registration can be found at www.afa.org

Oct 02, 2017
Gen Mark A. Welsh III Portrait Unveiling
 USAF Photo

USAF Photo

On September 14, 2017 a portrait of Gen Mark W. Welsh III, USAF (Ret.) the 20th Air Force Chief of Staff, was unveiled at the Pentagon. The portrait will be on display in the Pentagon’s Arnold Corridor alongside the portraits of other former Air Force chiefs of staff. AFA, together with the Air Force Sergeants Association sponsored the painting. The painting captures Gen Welsh’s devotion to his family with pictures of his wife and family featured prominently in the portrait.

Sep 28, 2017
2017 AFA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Each year AFA recognizes groups or individuals for their lifetime of achievement in the advancement of aerospace power. Four recipients for 2017 were honored at the Air Force 70th Birthday Dinner on September 18th, these individuals have accomplished so much throughout their lives. This year’s winners are Gen Ronald Fogleman, USAF (Ret.), Col Clarence E. “Bud” Anderson, USAF (Ret.), Elinor Otto, and the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Foundation.

General Fogleman served as the 15th Chief of Staff of the Air Force. A command pilot and a parachutist, he amassed more than 6,800 flying hours in fighter, transport, tanker and rotary wing aircraft. He flew 315 combat missions and logged 806 hours of combat flying. He was a high-speed forward air controller in Vietnam and Thailand. He commanded an Air Force Wing, Division, numbered Air Force, Major Command and a Unified Command.

Colonel Anderson is a World War II Triple Ace. During the war, he was the highest scoring ace in his P-51 Mustang Squadron. Anderson flew two tours of combat against the Luftwaffe in Europe while with the 363rd Fighter Squadron, and was the group’s third leading ace with 16 ¼ aerial victories. His P-51 Mustang, nicknamed the “Old Crow” carried him safely though 116 missions without being hit by enemy fire. After the war, Anderson became chief of the fighter test section at Wright Patterson, where he flew many models of the early jet aircraft as a test pilot.

Elinor Otto is one of the original Rosie the Riveters, who worked to build airplanes for 50 years. She began work at Rohr Aircraft Corp during World War II, manufacturing airplane parts. Over the years Elinor worked for Ryan Aeronautical, Douglas Aircraft Company, and finally at the Boeing Company. In 2014, Elinor retired at the age of 95, earning the title of “America’s Longest Working Rosie”. As of 2014, she had worked on every single C-17 aircraft built at Boeing. Elinor is a “Spirit of ’45 Day” National Spokeswoman, and helps to promote awareness of the role women played during World War II.

The Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Foundation commemorates the American volunteer pilots who gave their lives during World War I, under the French Colors. They became an active unit of the French Air Service a year before the United States Congress declared war. The Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Foundation, created in 1930 has raised the funds necessary to repair and preserve the memorial. Over the years, the memorial had fallen into disrepair, but the foundation was instrumental in coordinating with the American Battle Monuments Commission so the memorial will be preserved well into the future.

Sep 28, 2017
AFA National Convention Election Results

Congratulations to AFA’s new leadership! Elections were held during AFA’s National Convention, September 16-17.

The following National Officer was elected for a one year term:

National Secretary: Ross Lampert (Hereford, AZ)

The following National Directors were elected for three-year terms:

National Director at Large: Mark Tarpley (Oklahoma City, OK)

National Director at Large: Rick Hartle (Layton, UT)

National Director, Central East Area: Tyler Johnson (Hampton, VA)

 

Get to know all of AFA's Leadership, here.

 

Sep 28, 2017
AFA Celebrates the Air Force's 70th Birthday
 #70for70 honorees attending AFA's Air Force Birthday Dinner join Harris CEO and AFA Leadership on stage. September 18, 2017.

#70for70 honorees attending AFA's Air Force Birthday Dinner join Harris CEO and AFA Leadership on stage. September 18, 2017.

Thank you to everyone who followed along with our #70for70 social media campaign over the past several months! In celebration of the Air Force’s 70th birthday, AFA highlighted and recognized individuals who have made a significant impact on Airpower over the past 70 years in diverse ways. This social media campaign culminated at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference during the Air Force 70th Birthday Dinner on Monday, September 18, 2017, when a few of the individuals in attendance joined Bill Brown, the CEO of Harris Corporation on stage to be recognized, representing all 70 individuals. AFA wants to thank Harris Corporation for their generous support as the campaign’s sponsor.

In September, AFA highlighted a few outstanding individuals who have broken barriers in our Air Force over the past seven decades.

At 102 years old, Lt Col (Ret.) Dick Cole is the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders and has been a big supporter of the Air Force Association since its founding in 1946.

Capt Lance P. Sijan, a Vietnam War hero, risked his own life on multiple occasions to prevent other Airmen from being shot down by enemy forces. Sijan was captured as a prisoner of war twice, where he later died in a Vietnamese prison camp. He was presented with the Medal of Honor, which his family accepted on his behalf.

Maj Gen Billy Mitchell, the namesake for AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, began advocating for the importance of airpower in World War I that pioneered the way for the establishment of the US Air Force we know today. Mitchell was promoted to Major General by President Roosevelt after his death.

Chief Master Sergeant Paul Airey was appointed as the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMSAF) in 1967. The Air Force Association played an integral role in establishing the office of the CMSAF to ensure the voices of our enlisted force were always heard. This year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of this milestone.

Our final #70for70 was the one and only, General Jimmy Doolittle. Doolittle was famed as the leader of the Doolittle Raiders during World War II and founded the Air Force Association as a way to “keep the gang together” in 1946 – a year before the Air Force was established. Doolittle’s spirit inspired AFA to create the Airman for Life campaign in order to keep all Airmen – past and present – connected to their Air Force roots and their Air Force story.

Thank you for joining us along this journey of 70 years of airpower dominance. AFA looks forward to seeing our Air Force continue to dominate over the next 70 years.

To learn more about the #70for70 campaign and see a list of all individuals recognized over the past year, click here.

Sep 28, 2017
AFA Honors the 50th Anniversary of the CMSAF
 USAF Photo

USAF Photo

This year, the Air Force Association honored the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the office of Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMSAF), a role the Air Force Association played an influential part in helping to create. The first CMSAF was appointed in 1967, 20 years after the creation of the US Air Force as an independent military branch.

Following a series of initiatives intended to increase retention and quality of life for our enlisted force, the Air Force Association advocated to congress for the position. The Air Force then established the office of the CMSAF to allow enlisted personnel to freely express their opinions and recommendations on matters ranging from mission effectiveness to personnel concerns.

On April 3, 1967, Chief Master Sergeant Paul Airey was appointed as the first Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. Now, 50 years and 18 CMSAFs later, AFA salutes the tremendous impact and commitment to service the 18 individuals who have held this position have had.

At AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference, AFA held a special tribute panel featuring former CMSAFs including Chief Eric Benken, Chief Jim Finch, Chief Gerald Murray and Chief Jim Roy and honored all 18 CMSAFs, including our current CMSAF Kaleth Wright, by presenting custom medals commemorating the momentous milestone. The medals symbolized 50 years of distinguished and inspirational service to those who serve on the front lines every day.

Sep 28, 2017
Outstanding Airmen of the Year
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During the Air, Space & Cyber Conference, AFA recognized and honored the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year (OAY). In 1956 the Air Force Association began the Outstanding Airmen program to honor the hard work and dedication of the Air Force’s enlisted force.

In its inaugural year, the program honored 19 Outstanding Airmen representing each major Air Force command and operating agency. Although the program was only intended to be a one-time event, the program thrives to this day as the Air Force Association and the United States Air Force continue to honor and recognize 12 Outstanding Airmen from across the Air Force.

The Airmen who are presented the Outstanding Airman of the Year Award display superior leadership, job performance, community involvement, and personal achievements over the preceding 12 months.

Jenny Schuelke, a guest of one of the OAY recipients, commented that over the course of the week, “we met the smartest, sharpest, and most sincere Airmen this world has ever seen. When they say they've been breaking barriers for 70 years--they aren't lying! Thank you all for a remarkable and unforgettable week!”

AFA is honored to have the opportunity to work alongside such deserving Airmen. Learn more about the 12 OAY recipients and their accomplishments, here

Sep 28, 2017
Joint Base Andrews Air Show
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Joint Base Andrews hosted their bi-annual Air Show on September 15-17 in Maryland. The air show was a part of the Air Force’s 70th Birthday celebration and featured aerial performances by the Thunderbirds, Golden Knights, and F-22 Demo Team among others. AFA staff were on-hand to tell the thousands of attendees about AFA’s mission to promote a dominant Air Force. Staff members also stayed busy throughout the weekend selling AFA’s merchandise including the very popular 70th Birthday t-shirts and coins. If you are interested in purchasing any AFA apparel you can do so here.

Sep 28, 2017
AFA Member Benefits

Are you getting the most out of your AFA membership? From insurance to shopping and travel discounts, AFA offers countless benefits to help you through every phase of life. Click here to learn more about all the benefits AFA offers our members. Below are a few examples of benefits our Members receive.

Health21 E-Magazine

AFA hopes you enjoyed your first issue of Health21 Magazine earlier this month. AFA is partnering with Health21 to deliver our members the most up to date and pressing information on topics related to health. This new member benefit will automatically be sent to your inbox each month. For more information, please contact our membership department at membership@afa.org

Support AFA through USAA

USAA has been a valued partner of AFA for several years. USAA offers valuable financial services including banking, financial advice and investment planning.

Did you know? It’s now easier than ever to support AFA through your USAA membership. All USAA credit card holders can now donate $10 directly to AFA for every 1,000 reward points they have earned. Learn more about the USAA reward points donation program here.

Sep 28, 2017
Note from the President
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AFA offers our thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.  We stand by you and we stand with you.

We are running at full speed preparing for our annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference which is just around the corner on September 18-20. This year’s event promises to be one of the biggest ever. We are on track to break registration records and will have more top defense companies showcasing their latest technology developments on our exposition floor than in recent memory.

The conference theme is “Breaking Barriers: Heritage to Horizons” in celebration of the Air Force’s 70th Birthday. Over 80 speakers will join us for panels and sessions focusing on how the Air Force has broken barriers in heritage, innovation and teamwork.

This event comes at a turbulent time in national security. Our Air Force is short pilots and maintainers, operates the oldest aircraft and ICBM systems in its history and is stretched thin. Concurrently, demands on the Air Force are growing and the operations tempo is at a critical high.

 We plan to tackle these issues head-on at our conference. We are honored to have Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis as a keynote speaker. His expertise and vision will be valuable in this trying time for our nation. We are also fortunate to have Admiral Michael Rogers and General (Ret) Michael Hayden to discuss the top issues facing cybersecurity.

This year, we also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force position, a role AFA is proud to have helped establish. CMSAF Kaleth Wright will discuss the importance of taking care of Airmen and their families and we will also have several former CMSAFs join us on stage to discuss what they learned in their time in leadership. We are also partnering with the Air Force Sergeants Association for a focus on our enlisted force on Wednesday.

We have new sponsorship initiatives underway for our Airmen & Family and Wounded Airman Programs. AFA is seeking corporate sponsors to join fellow Defense Industry leaders like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, General Dynamics, Rockwell Collins, Rolls Royce, Thales, Bell Helicopter and Elbit in sponsoring our Wounded Airmen at SkyBall this year. SkyBall is the largest event in the United States to support our nation’s military, wounded service members from all services, veterans, and families of fallen military heroes. It is truly, a one-of-a-kind experience that takes place in an American Airlines Hangar in Dallas, TX over Veterans’ Day weekend (Nov 9-11, 2017). Sponsorships help support the children of our fallen military heroes; help amputee and burn survivors transition to civilian life; provide advanced technology “smart” homes to severely wounded service members and so much more! Please see details here.

In addition, we also initiated our “Road to Gold” sponsorship package to support our Aerospace Education Program, which provides aerospace educational opportunities for our total force Airmen, their families & America’s youth. Our program is building the pipeline of future STEM leaders; supports cadets and future military leaders; and is helping teachers instill a sense of excitement in young students about STEM programs. Please see details, here.

Should you be interested or know of anyone interested in pursuing any of our new sponsorships, please contact our Director of Corporate Relations, Fred Ullman at fullman@afa.org.

I also wanted to give you an update on an exciting new benefit we will provide for our 90,000-plus members. AFA is pleased to announce a new partnership with AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals, who has created the Health21 E-magazine. Health21 supports a new vision of wellness and health care for the 21st Century. The magazine provides thought leadership articles, encourages civilian and military interoperability and shapes the future direction of health for all. I hope our members enjoy this new E-magazine, which we plan to send to our members, free of charge, starting this September.  

Lastly, so that we can get a better understanding of our members’ interests, we plan to send two electronic surveys to our members in September. With many of our members shifting from reading hard copy to digital magazines, the first survey will be a survey asking if you would prefer to “Opt out” of receiving the hard copy magazine. This is our way of going “green,” while saving the cost of printing and mailing the magazine, so please help us by completing the short survey.

The second survey is geared at learning more about our readers’ interests and demographics. This type of information helps us better target advertisers for our AFA publications. Please be on the lookout for both surveys from our Membership Department next month. 

We have a lot to look forward to over the next few weeks and into the fall. If you haven’t registered for Air, Space & Cyber yet, we encourage you to do so, here. This year’s conference will be one you will not want to miss. We look forward to seeing you in National Harbor, MD, in just a few short weeks!

Sincerely,

Larry O. Spencer

AFA President

Sep 01, 2017
AFA on the Issues
 USAF Photo

USAF Photo

AFA Sends Thoughts and Prayers to Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey has caused turmoil in Texas as thousands of individuals have been displaced, seeking refuge from the storm. Texas has activated its entire National Guard to respond to the disaster, sending nearly 12,000 Air and Army Guardsmen to participate in search and rescue missions. Learn more about the catastrophic situation in our Air Force Magazine.  

AFA has 12 local chapters in the Texas area and our members are working diligently to support relief efforts for those in danger. You can help, too. Making a donation to organizations like American Red Cross and Lighthouse Charity Team provides support to those who need it most during this trying time.

Fiscal Year 2018

As Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) comes to a close at the end of September, and Congress moves closer to passing the Defense Authorization bill for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18), the Air Force Association has been diligently advocating to ensure the needs of our Air Force are heard and reflected in the bill. It is increasingly important now for AFA to continue advocating for every Airman by helping the Air Force receive the necessary funding for FY18. Read more about this process and how we expect it to go in AFA’s August Legislative Update, here.

Addressing the Pilot Shortage

One of the topics of debate involving our Air Force recently has been the pilot shortage. To help address this issue, Gen (Ret.) Larry Spencer, AFA’s President, published an op-ed in early August in Defense News discussing the national issue. “Today, the Air Force and our nation are in crises because we don’t have enough pilots,” wrote Gen Spencer. Also in the article, Gen Spencer discussed the importance of replacing the Air Force’s aging equipment. Read more about how this affects our efficacy in the full article, here.

Concerns Over Another Continuing Resolution

The Air Force Association has been consistently voicing concerns for another Continuing Resolution (CR). As the Defense Authorization bill proceeds through authorizations in the House and Senate, AFA has communicated the adverse implications of a CR and the crippling effects to readiness. A CR prohibits the Air Force from budgeting and executing a predictable and stable budget. A CR affects current readiness, wastes valuable resources by maintaining programs that should be halted, and prevents the start of new programs that are needed by the warfighters. If congress surrenders to a long-term CR for appropriations, it maintains the previous year’s budget allocations for the Air Force while the force structure has increased.

The efforts of AFA throughout the month of August have centered on informing congress of the Air Force’s readiness issues and how to take steps toward recovering. Through various op-eds, letters, the Air Force Association is speaking out on behalf of the needs of the Air Force so that we are better equipped to Fly, Fight, and Win. It is through these various outlets that AFA is able to articulate the inefficiencies and developing issues of the Air Force.

Sep 01, 2017
Save the Date! AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill
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AFA’s Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill has been a tremendous success. AFA is proud to have hosted several outstanding speakers in front of sold-out audiences, discussing the top issues facing national security and national defense. Previous speakers included Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, General Mike Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command, and General David Goldfein, Air Force Chief of Staff.

Mark your calendars for our next AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill that will take place on October 17, 2017 with General Lori Robinson, Commander, US Northern Command. An email with registration instructions will be sent out soon.

Additional upcoming speakers include General Darren McDew, Commander, US Transportation Command, and General Paul Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A special thank you to our event sponsors: Aurora Flight Sciences, General Dynamics, Harris Corp, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Pratt & Whitney, The Roosevelt Group, and SAAB.

The AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill is an excellent opportunity for sponsors to meet, greet and listen to senior Air Force decision makers. If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Fred Ullman at fullman@afa.org or 703-247-5842.

Sep 01, 2017
AFA's #70for70 Social Media Campaign
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In celebration of the Air Force’s 70th Birthday, AFA has been highlighting individuals who have made significant contributions to the Air Force and aerospace industry through our #70for70 social media campaign, generously sponsored by Harris Corp.

Throughout August, AFA highlighted several outstanding individuals who continue to break barriers through heritage, teamwork and innovation in our Air Force. First, AFA recognized Mrs. Tonya Wright, wife of Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright. Mrs. Wright is committed to ensuring our Air Force families are always taken care of.

AFA also recognized MSgt Ivan Ruiz, a pararescueman who was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Heroism for his courageous acts in combat against enemy forces in Afghanistan in 2013.

Cadet Garrett Andrews is a member of Arnold Air Society and will commission as an officer through Air Force ROTC in March 2017. Andrews was the 2017 recipient of the Henry “Hap” Arnold Sabre, an award presented to Arnold Air Society’s most outstanding Area Commander. All members of Arnold Air Society are members of AFA, learn more about the organization, here.

Col Al Tucker, a World War II pilot and surviving prisoner of war, was honored for his heroism, courage and resilience during challenging times.

Molly Mae Potter, a former Air Force Captain, an AFA Emerging Leader Program participant and the 2016 Ms. Veteran America, was highlighted for her unwavering mission and commitment to supporting female veterans.

Maj Gen (Ret.) Claude Bolton was a pilot and acquisitions officer by trade and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and was a 2016 recipient of the AFA Lifetime Achievement Award. Maj Gen Bolton was honored for his innovative spirit in the field of acquisitions during wartime.

An Air Force F-16 pilot, Heather Penney was honored for her bravery on September 11, 2001. Penney was ordered to fly a ramming mission on 9/11 in order to prevent an attack on Washington, D.C. and was prepared to complete the mission in order to protect her nation. Penney will also join AFA at Air, Space & Cyber Conference on the “Breaking the Gender Barrier” Panel.

An original “Rosie the Riveter,” Elinor Otto, retired at 95 years old after a successful career manufacturing airplane parts. Otto is a Spirit of ’45 spokeswoman and has been promoting awareness of the role women played during World War II. Otto was also selected as one of the 2017 AFA Lifetime Achievement Award recipients. See all of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients here.

View all of the #70for70 recipients honored throughout 2017 so far, here. Follow along with AFA on social media @AirForceAssoc to view the remaining recipients through Air, Space & Cyber Conference held September 18-20, 2017.

Sep 01, 2017
Air, Space & Cyber 2017 - Important Information
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As AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference quickly approaches, we wanted to remind you of a few changes to this year’s event. In honor of the 70th Birthday of the Air Force, AFA has switched the night that the Air Force Anniversary dinner, renamed this year to the Air Force 70th Birthday Dinner. The Air Force 70th Birthday Dinner will now take place on Monday, September 18, so that it falls on the Air Force's birthday. The Outstanding Airmen of the Year Dinner will now take place on Wednesday, September 20th.

To register or learn more about the conference, click here.

Sep 01, 2017
AFA's Mitchell Institute in the News
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AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies provides thoughtful insight and research into some of the defense and aerospace industry’s most pressing topics. Take a look below at the Mitchell Institute’s latest news coverage:

B-52, B-2 and B-21 Bombers Are Getting Nuclear-Tipped Cruise Missiles

The National Interest

August 24, 2017

Should the War in Afghanistan be Privatized?

Closing Bell, CNBC

August 11, 2017

Stealthy New Nuclear Cruise Missile Aims to Deter the Enemy

The Cipher Brief

August 8, 2017

Stealth Technology Gap Narrows, but US Air Force’s Experience Could Give it an Edge

Defense News

August 2, 2017

Sep 01, 2017
AFA Announces 2017 National Teacher of the Year
  Benjamin Barkey, left, with student.

Benjamin Barkey, left, with student.

AFA is proud to announce Benjamin Barkey of the Warsaw Community School System in Warsaw, Indiana, as the 2017 National Teacher of the Year Presented by Rolls-Royce. As part of AFA’s mission to encourage education in Aerospace Education and STEM, the Teacher of the Year program ensures America’s aerospace excellence by supporting the teachers that carry out that mission in the classroom.

“We congratulate Mr. Benjamin Barkey on his recognition by the Air Force Association for exemplary efforts to further Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education,” said Phil Burkholder, Rolls-Royce President of Defense Aerospace, North America. “STEM is crucial not only to the future of the US Air Force, but also to Rolls-Royce, as we design and manufacture some of the most advanced propulsion systems in the world. We are proud to sponsor the AFA National Teacher of the Year program and offer our sincere thanks to all the teachers around the US who work every day to educate the engineers of tomorrow.”

Barkey’s passion for STEM education was instilled by his own childhood teachers. Now, he is a dynamic STEM educator and mentor to everyone in his school system, students and teachers alike. Numerous STEM opportunities are now available to the Warsaw Community Schools because of Barkey’s enthusiastic efforts, to include; a mobile STEM Laboratory that takes STEM learning to all elementary schools in the district.

“Ben is a consummate professional. He has made contributions as a leader, a teacher, a mentor, a role model, a coach, and a partner in our system and community. As the educational environment continues to respond to new challenges, Mr. Barkey develops creative approaches so that students continue to achieve excellence in the years ahead. His service to our schools has led to the creation of a roadmap of K-12 STEM education through the Washington, D.C. Smithsonian Institute, which will impact many future generations,” said Warsaw Community Schools Superintendent, Dr. David Hoffert. Dr. Hoffert has dubbed the growth of STEM education in the school system as the “Ben factor”.

Teaching middle school science and math is where Barkey’s 15-year educational career began. His inquiry-based instructional style yielded impressive student achievement results, leading him to become the lead facilitator for the transformation of a K-8 school into the first Indiana STEM certified school, Washington STEM Academy (WSA).

While at WSA, he was the STEM Instructional Coach where he mentored students and teachers in a variety of new STEM programs and helped them integrate project-based learning into their classrooms.

“Teachers need not be masters of content, but, rather, masters of learning. Teachers need to be facilitators of learning and model their own learning for students; they need to take risks and join their students in exploring new things that interest them. STEM is not just a four-letter acronym—it is an educational style; the tool for today to prepare for tomorrow,” said Barkey.

While Barkey has lead 5 student teams in AFA’s CyberPatriot Program and 72 F.I.R.S.T Robotics Lego League teams, he is dedicated to training other educators to become team coaches and integrate STEM into their curriculums. Some of the programs he provides guidance and training for include: Lego, F.I.R.S.T., and Vex Robotics; 3D printing integration throughout curriculums; Projects Lead the Way, Wet, and Wild; Hoosier River Watch; Vernier Probes; Lego Simple Machines; Apple iPad Creativity; Aleks; and Dreambox.

The top three AFA National Teachers of the Year presented by Rolls-Royce are as follows:

Benjamin Barkey

2017 AFA National Teacher of the Year

L.D. Bell Museum Chapter 411, IN

Caroline Little

First Runner Up

General E.W. Rawlings Chapter 213, MN

Nancy Parra-Quinlan

Second Runner Up

Frank Luke Chapter 151, AZ

The Air Force Association is grateful to Rolls-Royce for their continued sponsorship of the AFA Teacher of the Year program, allowing the program to continue honoring educational innovators in STEM. The AFA Teacher of the Year program dates back to the early 1990’s where the mission to recognize classroom teachers (K-12) for their innovative and successful instructional programs originally began.

Sep 01, 2017
Get to Know Your AFA Member Benefits

Are you getting the most out of your AFA membership? From insurance to shopping and travel discounts, AFA offers countless benefits to help you through every phase of life. Click here to learn more about all the benefits AFA offers our members. Below are a few examples of benefits our Members receive.

Health21 E-Magazine

AFA is partnering with Health21 to deliver our members the most up to date and pressing information on topics related to health with content focusing on the Air Force. Starting soon, each month members will receive this e-magazine as an additional member benefit. 

Medical Air Services Program

Medical Air Services Association (MASA) enables AFA Members to enroll in the premier worldwide emergency assistance program. You can have the peace of mind of knowing that your transportation home is covered wherever you travel in the world at no cost to you, with no deductibles, no co-pays, no dollar limits on air transport costs, and no claim forms. Instead, you just pay MASA annual dues which will never be raised and which are discounted for AFA Members! Learn more about MASA, here

Support AFA through USAA

USAA has been a valued partner of AFA for several years. USAA offers valuable financial services including banking, financial advice and investment planning.

Did you know? It’s now easier than ever to support AFA through your USAA membership. All USAA credit card holders can now donate $10 directly to AFA for every 1,000 reward points they have earned. Learn more about the USAA reward points donation program here.

Exclusive Worldwide Hotel Discount Program

Tired of checking five or six different sources for hotel savings? AFA makes it possible for you to make one call or visit to our Exclusive Worldwide Hotel Discount Program website to check multiple hotel reservation networks at once and find the best rates offered.

Our analysis shows savings averaging 10% to 20% better than online travel agents. Some members saved as much as 50%! In fact, the AFA rate beat the leading online discount sites 98.6% of the time.

Next time you need to book a hotel anywhere in the world, book with confidence through AFA. Learn more about these amazing deals, here

Sep 01, 2017
Note from the President

July was a busy and very productive month for AFA. We are closely tracking legislative proposals that affect Airmen and their families, and we are engaging in several issues that are critical to the Air Force. Two of those issues are the proposed Space Corps and the current pilot shortage.

Space

Some in Congress have advocated for a separate Space Corps. The House of Representatives' plan would create a Space Corps within the Air Force to oversee military operations. This new corps would be similar to how the Marine Corps is a distinct service under the Department of the Navy and would be the first newly created military branch since the Air Force in 1947.

Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson wrote letters opposing this idea. Space is a contested environment and as a nation, we will not go to war without space assets. AFA supports the Air Force’s view that a Space Corps is not needed at this time. AFA also supports Air Force efforts to consolidate Space Operations Command and Control into a single, joint command-and-control center. We clearly welcome the dialogue this issue has engendered. Even though we disagree with the proposed solution at this time, the fact that members of congress are fully engaged in enhancing and securing our nation’s space assets is a good thing. General Tom Moorman, the first Commander of Air Force Space Command, said the first Gulf War was the first space war. As we look forward, China has made space a priority and North Korea is working on signal jammers. Our country must be prepared as the next war will be fought in air and space.

Pilot Shortage

In our August 2016 edition of Air Force Magazine, Lt Col Jason Cockrum, manager of Combat Air Forces career fields said the pilot shortage is “a huge problem…obviously it’s taken us a decade-plus to get here, and it’s going to take a decade to get out of it.” One of the reasons behind the critical shortage of Air Force pilots was the untimely reduction of flying squadrons. Cockrum said that the Air Force was able to cut its way out of shortages—fewer squadrons meant fewer cockpits to fill. However, Cockrum emphasized that the old approach will not work this time. “The problem now is, we’ve reached the floor,” he said. “There’s no more cut that you can take and execute the mission that we’re tasked to execute.”

This has resulted in a pilot shortage of 1,555, including 1,211 fighter pilots.

As Vice Chief of Staff, I witnessed the directed reductions of combat-coded fighter squadrons by nearly 60 percent—from 134 to 55—since the 1991 Gulf War. Because the airlines are hiring and the high operations tempo has not subsided over the last 26 years, retaining our most experienced pilots has been difficult. Another factor bearing on pilot retention is “queep,” which is a term used to describe extra duties, unrelated to flying—duties that negatively impact work-life balance. Interestingly, the Air Force has enough pilot applicants. The problem is they are not retaining enough of them.   

Last September, Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein told the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), “What we found in the past—and we’ve been through this before because airlines have hired before—is quality of service is as important as quality of life. In addition, quality of service is making sure that you’re given the opportunity to be the best you can be in your chosen occupation. Pilots who do not fly, maintainers who do not maintain, controllers who do not control, will walk. And, there’s not enough money in the Treasury to keep them in if we don’t give them the resources to be the best they can be.”

General Goldfein is aggressively tackling this critical issue. One of his key initiatives is revitalizing the squadrons and improving work-life balance by reducing non-essential training and additional duties. He is also streamlining the transition between active duty and the Air National Guard and Reserve. General Goldfein is partnering with organizations like the Civil Air Patrol to train a new generation of pilots for the nation and for the Air Force. AFA is partnering in his efforts.

Stay tuned as we continue to seek the best possible outcomes for our nation’s space operations and pilot shortage. 

Sincerely,

 

Larry O. Spencer

President 

Jul 27, 2017
AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill

Our recently updated AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill has been a great success. Each event has sold out, and the program’s mission to facilitate communication between Air Force leaders and industry, Airmen, government and the media is ensuring the Air Force voice is heard. In July, AFA was honored to host two distinguished speakers as a part of the series.

First, we heard from General Mike Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command on July 11. Gen Holmes assured attendees that ACC would point their efforts toward three main areas focusing on rebuilding readiness, building leaders, and bringing the future faster. In order to fulfill this vision, ACC needs help from outside the US Air Force to overcome obstacles in their path. The issues include; a lack of a predictable budget that also gives Air Force leadership the spending flexibility to fit mission requirements, a severe congestion of the security clearance pipeline which has been barring Airmen from being able to work in the field which they were trained, and an absence of jurisdiction to handle incidents involving small unmanned aerial system and to adequately protect the Air Force’s assets. Read the full recap of Gen Holmes’ breakfast in AFA’s Air Force Magazine.

On July 26, AFA hosted General Dave Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Gen Goldfein spoke before another sold-out audience on his priorities as Chief, again focusing on readiness, advancing technology and ensuring the Air Force is prepared for the future. Gen Goldfein proudly stated that the United States’ “greatest strategic and asymmetric advantage” are our alliances, which is something US adversaries lack. When asked to comment on Congress’ proposed Space Corps, Gen Goldfein noted that both the Air Force and Congress all want to reach the same goal – to maintain dominance in air and space – but simply need to evaluate the best way to do so. Read more about Gen Goldfein’s breakfast in AFA’s Air Force Magazine.

Upcoming Breakfast Series

We hope you will join us for the next AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill on October 18, 2017 with General Lori Robinson, Commander, USNORTHCOM and General Darren McDew, Commander, USTRANSCOM in November (date to be determined).  

In the meantime, we encourage you to attend Mitchell Institute’s Breakfast Series. Click below for more information on the Strategic Deterrence Breakfast Series and the Space Breakfast Series.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

A special thank you to our AFA Breakfast Series sponsors: Aurora Flight Sciences, General Dynamics, Harris Corp., Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, Pratt & Whitney, The Roosevelt Group and SAAB.

The Breakfast Series is an excellent opportunity for sponsors to meet, greet and listen to senior Air Force decision makers. Unique sponsorship opportunities are available for these events. If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Fred Ullman at fullman@afa.org or 703-247-5842.

Jul 27, 2017
AFA on the Issues
 USAF Photo

USAF Photo

One of the Air Force Association’s primary missions is to advocate and educate Congress and the American public on behalf of the Air Force. In July, AFA supported an Air Mobility Caucus Breakfast on Capitol Hill, and AMC Commander, General Carlton D. Everhart was the keynote speaker. Also attending were Co-Chairs Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) and Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) and Air National Guard Chief, Lt Gen L. Scott Rice.

Also in July, AFA personnel: Keith Zuegel, AFA Senior Director of Government Relations, Mark Tarpley, Oklahoma State President, and AFA interns Olivia Jarvis and Trent Briscoe made their way to Capitol Hill. They met with Congressmen, personal staff members, professional staff members, and Air Force fellows to learn about some of the most important issues facing Congress and to advocate for issues on behalf of the Air Force. The group discussed an array of issues including the Space Corps, the Air Force personnel deficit, a potential privatization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the need for recapitalization and modernization of Air Force weapons systems.

This month AFA attended a reception hosted by an organization called Mission: Readiness on Capitol Hill. The purpose of the reception was to honor general officers who currently serve on Capitol Hill as elected representatives. Among the honorees noted were Lt Gen (Ret.) Jack Bergman, USMC, Brig Gen Steve Stivers, USA, and Brig Gen (Ret.) Don Bacon, USAF. Mission: Readiness is an organization that promotes healthy living and good citizenship in our youth by providing them mentorship and advocacy from retired general officers and admirals.

For the past 55 years without fail, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been passed. Two versions of the NDAA are created, one in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate. The two versions are then formed into one NDAA at a conference where the senior leadership of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) reach an agreement on differences in their respective bills. HR 2810, the House version of the NDAA, passed the House of Representatives, overwhelmingly. In this bill, Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL) introduced a section that authorized the creation of a new branch of the military, the Space Corps.

The Space Corp leadership would report to the Secretary of the Air Force, however, it would be separate from the Air Force. The Senate version of the legislation, which has passed the SASC, but not yet made it to a vote on the Senate floor, did not include authorization for the creation of a Space Corps. The Department of Defense and the Department of the Air Force, in letters from the Honorable James Mattis and the Honorable Heather Wilson, have opposed the creation of a Space Corps at this time. There is still a great deal of study and analysis left to be done before a major and costly reorganization is executed. The Air Force Association continues to support the Air Force’s stance on the issue.

Jul 27, 2017
Join AFA at Air, Space & Cyber 2017

AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference is right around the corner, September 18-20. This conference is the nation's premier event for defense and aerospace professionals from across the globe. AFA brings together Air Force and DOD senior leaders including the Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Major Command Commanders, the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, and many more. Register today!

This year in celebration of the Air Force’s 70th Birthday, the Air Force Birthday Dinner will be held on Monday, September 18 and the Outstanding Airmen of the Year Dinner will be held on Wednesday, September 20.

Visit our website to learn more and register for the professional development conference for Airmen. Join AFA at for the biggest professional development event of the year.

Jul 27, 2017
AFA Celebrates the Air Force's 70th Birthday

Over the course of 2017, AFA has been honoring various individuals on social media using #70for70 who have made significant contributions to our Air Force over the past 70 years. So far, AFA has recognized over 50 individuals and the social media campaign will culminate at the Air, Space & Cyber Conference in celebration of the Air Force’s birthday.

A special thanks to Harris Corp. for their generous sponsorship of this social media campaign.

Among the several individuals honored this month, AFA recognizes Senator Orrin Hatch and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Senator Hatch, is a previous recipient of AFA’s W. Stuart Symington Award, which is presented to civilians who have made significant contributions to national defense. Secretary Mattis will deliver a keynote speech at our upcoming Air, Space & Cyber Conference on September 20, 2017.

The last fighter pilot to fly in a World War II and Spirit of ’45 Spokesman, Capt Jerry Yellin, is recognized for his tremendous service and commitment to duty over the past seven decades. Capt Yellin flew the P-40, P-47 and P-51 throughout WWII.

Tonya McGough is honored for putting her heart into everything she does to make sure our hidden heroes are never forgotten. AFA is proud to support Tonya and the Air Force Wounded Warrior program, which provides life changing resiliency training, team building activities and much needed “me time” for the caregivers of our wounded Airmen.

The National Champions of AFA’s StellarXplorers third annual space competition, team Sky Dragons from San Pedro High School in San Pedro, California are honored for their innovation in STEM fields. Learn more about StellarXplorers and register to compete in StellarXplorers IV, here

SrA Marc Granville is an active AFA member and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland, where he is a member of Arnold Air Society and completing ROTC training toward commissioning into the Air Force as an officer. 

Lastly, AFA wishes General Hawk Carlisle, former Commander of Air Combat Command, a very happy retirement and thanks him for his years of dedicated service to ensuring airpower dominance.

Follow AFA on social media @AirForceAssoc to view upcoming #70for70 recipients or view those who have been previously honored, here.

Jul 27, 2017
Mitchell Institute Releases New Policy Paper

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce the release of its newest Policy Paper, An Operational Imperative: The Future of Air Superiority by Brig Gen Alex Grynkewich, USAF.

Budget pressures and near-term priorities in lieu of long-term threats cut short investment in America’s air superiority capability at the same time other nations were developing advanced technologies in this critical mission area. In response to this challenge, Grynkewich was tasked by the Air Force to lead a team of air, space, cyber, logistics, and support experts in an exhaustive review of options to gain and maintain continued control of the air. The team assembled a report on their findings in May 2016, the Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan, which assessed the state of the mission through 2030, and beyond.

Grynkewich, in this paper, takes us behind the scenes of his team’s efforts to come up with an air superiority plan for the 21st century. “Air superiority and unity of command in its employment will remain critical to the success of future joint operations,” Grynkewich writes. “Achieving air superiority in the future requires realizing the ascent of information as a dominant factor in warfare. Building an architecture that integrates data to create decision-quality knowledge is key,” he adds, as well as the ability to share it with sensor-shooters in every domain. He also highlights the need for the Department of Defense to change its acquisition approach, or risk the possibility of adversaries outpacing the US in air superiority capability development.

The Mitchell Institute Policy Papers is a series of occasional research papers presenting new thinking and proposals that respond to the emerging security and aerospace power challenges the US and its allies face in the 21st century. These papers are written for lawmakers, their staffs, policy professionals, business and industry leaders, academics, journalists, and the informed public. The series aims to provide in-depth policy insights and perspectives based on the experiences of the authors, accompanied by studious supporting research. For more information on this series, contact Mitchell Institute’s Director of Publications Marc Schanz at mschanz@afa.org or visit our website, at www.mitchellaerospacepower.org.

Jul 27, 2017
The Arnold Air Society National Commander

Courtney Conway is a native of Oxford, Mississippi and is also a senior at Mississippi State University pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics. She is an Air Force ROTC cadet at Detachment 425 and has been an active member of the Arnold Air Society Kenneth J. Snedden Squadron since her freshman year. Courtney became passionate about the organization after she met many “Arnies” throughout the years who inspired her to dedicate hard work for her community and squadron. Last year, Courtney decided to take her passion a step further by gathering a team of nine incredible young leaders and running for the Arnold Air Society National Headquarters and was recently elected at the 2017 National Conclave (NATCON) in Orlando, Fl. As the National Commander, she strives to collaborate with her team and AAS cadet leadership nationwide to work toward strengthening squadrons across the country and achieving the AAS mission to build strong Air Force officers.

Courtney and her team have developed a mission to promote quality communication, aid the development of Silver Wings and the Air Force Association, and promote service through recognition. Their goals for the organization include reaching over 100,000 service hours, activating or reactivating five squadrons, encourage 700 AAS members to attend NATCON, have two submissions to the Air Force ROTC Suggestion Program per squadron, 100 percent squadron participation with their local AFA chapter, and to activate one Silver Wings chapter Area. This year, one of their national initiatives is to coordinate with Silver Wings to promote and execute the Joint National Project – Trafficking, Abuse, Prevention, and Support Network (TAPS). Another joint initiative is to fundraise for the Air Force Aid Society through the AAS/SW National Fundraising Project.

As the Arnold Air Society National Commander, Courtney aims to utilize this opportunity to gain leadership and managerial experience, mentor “Arnie” leadership and young cadets, and ultimately maximize the capabilities of AAS through their mission and goals. She also hopes to improve joint relations among Arnold Air Society, Silvers Wings, and the Air Force Association and work with these sister organizations to accomplish their unique missions. Courtney is excited to lead the Arnold Air Society National Staff and work closely with the Silver Wings National Staff.  She looks forward to another outstanding year! To learn more about Arnold Air Society, click here.

Jul 27, 2017
Meet AFA's Summer Interns

Over the course of the summer, four interns are joining AFA Staff at the headquarters office in Arlington, VA. The interns are all members of Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings and are also AFA members. Ranging from Air Force ROTC cadets to newly commissioned 2nd Lieutenants, these bright individuals will be working with AFA's Executive Office, Communications, Government Relations and CyberPatriot departments to develop new programs and initiatives to further improve your Air Force Association. 

Savannah Wheat

In May, I earned a B.A. in Psychology and Minor in Global Cultures from Auburn University and commissioned through Air Force ROTC, Detachment 005, into the U.S. Air Force. This Fall I will report to Minot Air Force Base, Minot, ND to begin my journey as a Missile and Munitions Maintenance Officer. For the past 5 years, I have been a member of the Arnold Air Society (AAS) and credit the organization and our sister organization, Silver Wings (SW), with providing the most incredible memories, experiences, learning opportunities, and friendships of my life so far. I am grateful to AAS and SW for allowing me to intern for an organization I am passionate about. This summer at AFA HQ will be filled with great experiences and knowledge to bring back to my local AFA Chapter and through my career. It has been an adventure living in my favorite city (Especially being able to enjoy Independence Day in our nation’s capital!) and I cannot wait until I am able to continue my Air Force adventures in Minot!     

Johnathan Slife

This fall I'll be starting my junior year at Yale University. I'm a Mechanical Engineering and Political Science double major, and involved in Air Force ROTC on campus. After graduation, I hope to commission as a pilot. Although I am not sure yet what I would like to fly, I have recently been looking more at the F-35 and V-22 and think both of those would be great choices. Working at AFA’s headquarters has been a blast, and the part that has made my experience so far has been the people. Everyone is excited to work with us and show us the behind the scenes work that goes into making AFA run smoothly. I look forward to bringing back what I have learned here to my ROTC detachment.

Olivia Jarvis

This fall I will return to Samford University to begin my junior year as an Economics and Finance major and Professional Officer Candidate in the Air Force ROTC cadet wing. When I’m not studying or marching, I enjoy getting outdoors to hike or backpack with friends. After graduation, I hope to commission as an Acquisitions Officer in the U.S. Air Force. I am incredibly thankful to have the opportunity to intern at the AFA. In my time here so far, I have had wonderful supervisors that have allowed me to sit-in on numerous important meetings and have aimed to give me purposeful tasks. These experiences have helped me grow personally, professionally, and as a leader, as well as opened my eyes to all the AFA does for our Air Force. In addition, learning to live in the D.C. area has been quite the adventure!

Trent Briscoe

In May 2017, I graduated from the University of Oklahoma with an Industrial and Systems Engineering degree and commissioned into the Air Force via ROTC. After the internship ends, I will be reporting to NAS Pensacola, FL and ‘suffering through the long winters’ there for Combat Systems Officer training. Outside of working for the Air Force Association, I genuinely enjoy traveling and exploring new places, which makes this adventure to DC all the more fun! I have had the unique opportunity to interact with some amazing people inside AFA HQ and at the various breakfasts that AFA hosts. I have also had the chance to witness AFA actively advocate on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon for our Airmen on a daily basis.

Jul 27, 2017
AFA Wants Your Feedback on AAFES

We Want Your Feedback on AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service)

AFA is a member of the Exchange Retiree Advisory Council, and their annual council meeting will be held on August 23, 2017. AFA serves as an advocate of the Exchange and the exchange benefit to the military community. We welcome your feedback or suggestions in our preparation for this meeting. Please contact Keith Zuegel, Senior Director of Government Relations at grl@afa.org. 

Get to Know Your AFA Member Benefits

Are you getting the most out of your AFA membership? From insurance to shopping and travel discounts, AFA offers countless benefits to help you through every phase of life. Click here to learn more about all the benefits AFA offers our members.

Support AFA through USAA

USAA has been a valued partner of AFA for several years. USAA offers valuable financial services including banking, financial advice and investment planning.

Did you know? It’s now easier than ever to support AFA through your USAA membership. All USAA credit card holders can now donate $10 directly to AFA for every 1,000 reward points they have earned. Learn more about the USAA reward points donation program here.

Jul 27, 2017
Note from the President

June has been a busy month for AFA as we plan for our upcoming Air, Space & Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition, held this September 18-20th in National Harbor, MD. Our staff has been working tirelessly to ensure this year’s conference is the most memorable yet – packed with senior-level speakers and panels to inform you of the priorities and top issues of our Air Force leaders. With three months left, our Expo Hall is nearly filled with exhibitors from the top defense, aerospace and technology companies in the world. This will be an event you certainly won’t want to miss!

This year not only marks the 70th Birthday of our Air Force, it also marks the 50th anniversary of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force position. AFA played a pivotal role in advocating for the establishment of this critical position in 1967 in order to give a stronger voice to our enlisted force. Join us at Air, Space & Cyber to celebrate these great milestones.

On June 5th, we held our inaugural AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill with the new Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. This was Secretary Wilson’s first public speaking event, where she outlined her priorities regarding modernization and personnel issues in front of a sold-out audience of Airmen, industry leaders and media. July speakers include General Mike Holmes, Commander of Air Combat Command and Air Force Chief of Staff, General Dave Goldfein. 

CyberPatriot and StellarXplorers, our two flagship STEM education programs, are off to a great start this month as well. CyberPatriot’s third season of AFA CyberCamps began on June 5th with over 105 host organizations in 160 locations. See which CyberCamps are in your area, here. StellarXplorers Director, Stephen Gourley, published a great article in Innovation & Technology Today on the importance of quality STEM education for our younger generations. Read it here.

I had the privilege of attending the AFA sponsored “Bleed Blue” event on Capitol Hill that brought the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force together with members of Congress. I was also honored to represent AFA at the retirement ceremony for former Acting Secretary of the Air Force Lisa Disbrow. Ms. Disbrow is a visionary leader who took great care of our Air Force and our Airmen throughout her tenure and worked closely with AFA to promote a dominant Air Force. Lisa will be sorely missed, but has promised to remain involved with AFA in retirement.  

As we look forward to July 4th next week, please take time to celebrate our freedom and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to defend it. I encourage you to thank an Airman, Soldier, Marine or Sailor for their service and sacrifice to our great nation. Enjoy a safe holiday weekend!

Sincerely,

Larry O. Spencer

President

Jun 23, 2017
AFA on the Issues
 USAF Photo

USAF Photo

AFA is committed to advocating for the well-being of Airmen, every day. This means staying active on Capitol Hill and ensuring that the voice of our Air Force is heard. Throughout the year, the budget has been an ongoing topic of discussion for DOD leaders. Earlier this month, the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on their Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. Secretary Wilson testified that her priorities lie in restoring readiness and focusing on modernization. Read more in AFA’s June Legislative Update,  here. Last week, the Secretary and Chief testified before the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee. The focus was on munitions, modernization, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Space, pilot shortage, readiness, KC-46A tankers, UH-1N helicopters and basing. In a familiar theme, Secretary Wilson stated, “We are too small for what the nation requires us to do.”

Continuing the Air Force’s budget conversation, Keith Zuegel, AFA Senior Director of Government Relations and Peter Huessy, Director of Strategic Deterrent Studies at the Mitchell Institute, recently published an op-ed in Defense News discussing the Air Force’s latest achievements, in light of recent financial constraints. “A force used so intensively the past 26 years starting with Desert Storm needs the resources to sustain it,” wrote Zuegel and Huessy. “Unfortunately, budget caps put in place in 2010 remain, causing a serious strain on the Air Force and an annual budget shortfall of nearly $11 billion.” Read how these challenges may greatly impact the Air Force’s ability to perform, here.

In a recent op-ed published in NewsOK, AFA Member Mark Tarpley further emphasizes the contrasting demands on the Air Force to both increase readiness and lethality, while functioning on a shoe-string budget. “Since its founding 70 years ago, the Air Force has been a leading edge of deterrence,” writes Tarpley. “But it has been engaged in nonstop combat operations for the past 26 years, and today is in high demand by our allies. This demand exceeds our capability to provide the air power and support they want.” Read the full article, here.

Jun 23, 2017
AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill
 USAF Photo

USAF Photo

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson joined AFA on Monday, June 5th, to address the audience at the inaugural AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill. Secretary Wilson discussed her priorities as the 24th Secretary of the Air Force, focusing on modernization, budget constraints and new pilot retention initiatives. When it came to modernizing the Air Force’s aging aircraft fleet, Secretary Wilson, joined by Lt Gen Arnold Bunch, said the Air Force has “no plans” for buying more F-22s and that the service’s priority as of now is the F-35. Read the full recap of Secretary Wilson’s breakfast in AFA’s Air Force Magazine.

Upcoming AFA Breakfast Schedule

July 11: Gen James M. “Mike” Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command  Register Today

July 26: Gen David L. Goldfein, Air Force Chief of Staff  Register Today

Thank You to Our Sponsors

A special thanks to our AFA Breakfast Series sponsors: Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Orbital ATK, Pratt & Whitney, Harris Corp, SAAB and Aurora.

The Breakfast Series is an excellent opportunity for sponsors to meet, greet and listen to senior Air Force decision makers. Unique sponsorship opportunities are available for these events. If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Fred Ullman at fullman@afa.org or 703-247-5842.

Jun 23, 2017
Mitchell Institute Releases New Study

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to release its latest research study, Consolidating the Revolution: Optimizing the Potential of Remotely Piloted Aircraft by Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.), dean of the Mitchell Institute.

This in-depth study explains how the remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) revolution, fueled by wartime needs and budgets, led to suboptimal development in the years after September 11, 2001; examines key problem sets facing RPA mission categories; and prescribes a set of actions that will result in a more coherent path forward for optimizing these RPA for joint force operations.

The study recommends that Congress and the Department of Defense consider actions to place the RPA enterprise on a path toward realizing coordinated, expanded, and enhanced effects across the range of military operations. Deptula’s recommendations include, prioritizing technologies that are able to reduce manpower requirements, boost efficiency, and seize new opportunities. He also explores how the acquisition process should be streamlined to facilitate buying modern RPA technology in an agile, responsive fashion, and how DOD should optimize the RPA organizational construct to net greater capability by aligning the use of systems in a more efficient and effective fashion.

The Mitchell Institute’s research studies serve as an avenue for in-depth, insightful, and effective ideas and solutions to strengthen and enhance aerospace power's role in securing America's interests. For more information on this research study, and others, contact Mitchell’s Director of Publications Marc V. Schanz at mschanz@afa.org or visit our website, at www.mitchellaerospacepower.org.

Jun 23, 2017
Air, Space & Cyber 2017

Join AFA for the 2017 Air, Space & Cyber Conference. It is the nation's premier event for defense and aerospace professionals from across the globe.  AFA brings together Air Force senior leaders including the Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Major Command Commanders, the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, and many more. Register today!

In addition, the technology exposition, will provide more than 100,000 square feet of space to showcase the latest developments in air, space, and cyber capabilities vital to the Air Force mission.

Important Information:

  • All U.S. uniformed military and DOD civilian personnel may attend the conference free of charge. 
  • Reserve your room now in order to receive our discounted room rates. The cutoff date is Friday, August 25, 2017 or until the group blocks sell out, whichever comes first.
  • Free Shuttles will be available for conference attendees from the Pentagon, JB Andrews, JB Anacostia-Bolling, and the King Street Metro station.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  To honor the 70th Birthday of the Air Force, AFA has switched the night that the Air Force Anniversary dinner, renamed this year to the Air Force 70th Birthday Dinner, will take place. The Air Force 70th Birthday Dinner will now take place on Monday, September 18th so that it falls on the Air Force's birthday.  The Outstanding Airmen of the Year Dinner will now take place on Wednesday, September 20th.

Visit our website to learn more and register for the professional development conference for Airmen.

Jun 23, 2017
We Are Airmen for Life
AFL Winning Logo.PNG

At AFA, we believe that we never stop bleeding blue. Whether you are about to begin your journey in our Air Force – both in and out of uniform – or if you are about to transition from your time in service, take AFA with you. We are your partner and your support system along your journey as an Airman for Life.

Send us your Airman for Life videos to McKinnon Pearse at mpearse@afa.org for a chance to be featured on our social media, website, and our monthly newsletter!

Jun 23, 2017
Meet the Silver Wings National President
  Tate Hall, Silver Wings National President. Silver Wings is a national 501(c)4 service organization with chapters on college campuses nationwide. All Silver Wings students are members of AFA. 

Tate Hall, Silver Wings National President. Silver Wings is a national 501(c)4 service organization with chapters on college campuses nationwide. All Silver Wings students are members of AFA. 

Hello AFA Members! My name is Tate Hall and I am so excited to serve as the 2017-2018 Silver Wings National President! I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Air Force Academy to my father, a then-Captain who was a Navigator on B-52s, and his wife.

My dad retired a year later as a Major in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, where we lived for nearly 10 years, until the civil service called my dad and our family back to Colorado Springs. After graduating from High School, I drove 1,425 miles to attend my dream college – Auburn University.

I knew I wanted to give back to the Air Force in some way, and Silver Wings was a perfect match. I loved getting involved with our Air Force ROTC detachment and working with the cadets and cadre and serving as a chapter officer my last year of undergrad. I graduated with a B.S. in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies in May of 2016, and I knew I wasn’t done with Silver Wings or Auburn quite yet. I continued at Auburn with my first year of graduate school pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and continued as an active Silver Wings member at Auburn.

I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to bid for the next National Staff and we were voted in at the recent National Conclave in Orlando, Florida in April. We’ve been working tirelessly ever since.

We have a lot of big goals as a staff this year and we hope to focus on growing and sustaining our Silver Wings chapters and membership nationwide. A huge part of this goal cannot be accomplished without the help of AFA members. We want to encourage AFA members to get involved in their local Silver Wings chapters through the university’s AFROTC detachment and to see AFA as the alumni organization for graduated Silver Wings members. We hope that you’ll want to learn more about Silver Wings and begin getting involved as an advisor, volunteer, or a trusted voice of reason and mentor. Strong AFA and Silver Wings relations within chapters can help sustain both organizations. Learn more about Silver Wings here.

I would love for you to reach out to the Silver Wings chapter or Arnold Air Society squadron at the college nearest you to get involved, or even help start a new Silver Wings Chapter if there isn’t one already. I’m incredibly excited to work closely with AFA throughout the next year, please don’t hesitate to contact me at president@silver-wings.org.  

Thank you, AFA, for everything you have done for Silver Wings and Arnold Air Society. I look forward to getting to know you soon!

War Eagle!

Tate Hall

Silver Wings National President

Jun 23, 2017
#70for70 Campaign

On Monday, September 18th, we will celebrate 70 years of the achievement, advancement and dominance of our US Air Force. In honor of this incredible milestone, AFA has been highlighting distinguished Airmen and Airpower advocates – both in and out of uniform – who have made significant contributions to our Air Force in our #70for70 campaign on social media.

In June, AFA honored the 1993 AFA Member of the Year and current Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Interoperability Col James Clark, USAF, (Ret.), who invented the world’s first deployable commercial imagery downlink system, Eagle Vision. Col Philip Mellinger, USAF (Ret.), former Dean of the School of Advanced Airpower Studies (SAAS), was highlighted for his incredible historical knowledge and education initiatives to better our Air Force.

AFA also recognized airpower giants, Gen Henry “Hap” Arnold and Lt Gen Archie Old. Gen Arnold was the first and only Airman to receive the permanent five-star rank of General of the Air Force, and is the namesake for AFA’s Arnold Air Society, an honor and service organization for members of Air Force ROTC. Lt Gen Old achieved the first around-the-world flight of three Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers in January 1957.

AFA knows the important role that families have in supporting the mission of our Air Force and the tremendous sacrifices they make as well. That is why we started the Donley Spouse Scholarship Program. AFA recognized Denise Bernard, a 2016 scholarship recipient and Active Duty spouse, who is now able to pursue her dreams of receiving her certification in veterinary medicine.

As a child, Col Merryl Tengesdal imagined flying among the stars. Today, she is one of eight female pilots and the only African-American female pilot to ever fly the U-2 Dragon Lady during the aircraft’s history and was honored for her innovative spirit.

Recipient MSgt Justin Jordan lives with the effects of PTSD, after having served with the Air Force for several years, but is grateful to have been the first active duty Airman to be allowed to serve with a PTSD Service Dog.

This month, AFA also recognized Ashley Kinsey, the 2017 recipient of the AFA Diane O’Malley Silver Wings Outstanding Service Award, presented by AFA Chairman of the Board Whit Peters at the Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings National Conclave in Orlando, FL in April.

Follow AFA on social media @AirForceAssoc to view our upcoming #70for70 honorees. View all individuals featured so far, here.

Celebrate the Air Force’s 70th in style with our commemorative 70th Birthday t-shirts, buy yours here!

Jun 23, 2017
Get to Know Your AFA Membership

Show Your AFA and Air Force Pride

Purchase your very own AFA memorabilia online. Items for sale include Air Force 70th Birthday coins and t-shirts as well as signed art prints and Airman for Life collectibles. Be a part of AFA and showcase your pride by purchasing online today. View AFA’s Collection here.

Member Benefits Spotlight: Office Depot

Did you know AFA members have access to exclusive discounts at Office Depot and OfficeMax? Members can enjoy savings on every day office and school supplies, technology, furniture, and much more. Visit here to shop online or print your free Store Purchasing Card to take advantage of these great savings today!

·         Up to 80% off preferred products

·         93,000 products discounted below retail price

·         Shop online or in local Office Depot or OfficeMax stores

·         FREE next-day delivery on orders over $50

Jun 23, 2017
Note from the President

This month we welcomed Dr. Heather Wilson as the 24th Secretary of the Air Force. Secretary Wilson is an inspirational leader with a deep knowledge of the Air Force and national security matters and has long been a supporter of our armed services. We are very happy to host Secretary Wilson at an AFA breakfast on June 5th at the Capitol Hill Club. Read Air Force Magazine’s article on her confirmation, here.  

On May 20th, National Armed Forces Day, we held our first annual Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge at CycleBar in Arlington, Va., and it was a huge success. Early on, we set a goal to raise $50,000 to support our Wounded Airman Program, and thanks to our incredibly motivated staff, dedicated AFA chapters, and generous sponsors, we were able to not only reach that goal, but surpass it, raising over $54,000.

HUGE kudos to a group of dedicated Airmen deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron in Niger. Despite the harsh conditions and crushing work schedule, these Airmen took it upon themselves to promote AFA’s Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge.  These brave Airmen literally started from scratch by building bikes and helmets, many of which were destroyed due to the harsh riding conditions.  Perhaps MSgt Dustin Lawrence summed up the effort best when he said, “I have always been an active member of AFA and the WAP, and I felt this was a great opportunity for our Airmen at Nigerian AB-201 to constructively pass time and support a great agenda, to do something that had an outside effect and made a positive impact.”  So far, these deployed Airmen have raised $2,500 towards their goal of $5,000.  What a great effort from our dedicated AFA members.

Our Air Force faced a turbulent few months after struggling with the possibility of a Continuing Resolution (CR).  Congressional appropriators finally reached an agreement to fund the government until October 1, 2017, through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017. The Omnibus Appropriations bill combined all 12 of the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bills, including defense appropriations. Read more about the CR and Consolidated Appropriations Act in AFA’s Legislative Update, here.

On May 23rd, the Trump administration released its Fiscal Year 2018 President’s Budget. I discussed the budget with the acting DoD comptroller and the Air Force comptroller. The budget prioritized 1) improving warfighting readiness; 2) achieving program balance and addressing shortfalls; and 3) building capacity and a more lethal joint force. The request increases Air Force end strength; strengthens readiness recovery; procures 46 F-35 strike fighters and 15 KC-46 tankers; increases munitions; and ramps up funding for the B-21 bomber. Bottom line: Great start, but there is more work to be done.   

Finally, I want to recognize the life and service of Mr. Frank William Nash, who passed away at the age of 92.  Mr. Nash served in the Air Corps as a pilot during WWII.  He joined AFA in June of 1946 and his membership card was personally signed by General Jimmy Doolittle.  Mrs. Nash recently called our office to let us know how proud Mr. Nash was of that membership card and how proud he was to be a member of our Association.  Our condolences go out to the Nash family and we thank them, as well as Mr. Nash, for his long and honorable service.  Rest in peace, Mr. Nash!

Sincerely,

Larry O. Spencer

AFA President

May 31, 2017
AFA on the Issues

Government Matters Interview

AFA President, General Larry O. Spencer, appeared on Government Matters TV on May 11th to discuss the top priorities for the newly confirmed Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. Heather Wilson. On the top of this list is the Air Force’s need for an increase in personnel. The Air Force has set a goal to increase its manpower from 317,000 to 350,000 and Secretary Wilson, along with the Chief of Staff, will be responsible for monitoring and managing that growth. “People are the DoD and Air Force’s greatest asset,” said Gen Spencer. The Air Force also continues to face the issue of its aging fleet of legacy aircraft. “The Secretary is walking into the Air Force at a critical time because the threat is growing, the systems are older, and she has to merge that together to make it work,” commented Gen Spencer. Watch Gen Spencer’s full interview here.

Long Range Strike Caucus Social

The congressional Long Range Strike Caucus (LRSC) held an event on Capitol Hill last week that included several congressional members and staffers.  AFA supported the event, and Maj Gen Michael Fortney, Vice Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command, hosted. The B-2 bomber crew that recently bombed Libya, briefed the participants on the successful and complex mission that lasted over 33 hours. LRSC Chairwoman, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, and Co-Chair, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler discussed the Air Force’s long range strike capabilities, in particular, the B-2 program and its impact on the Air Force’s warfighting efforts. 

Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

President Trump released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 President’s Budget (PB) on May 23rd. The 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) set a discretionary spending limit at $1.065 trillion, $5 billion less than FY 2017. The president’s defense topline will be difficult to achieve as his defense spending level, of $603 billion is $54 billion above the BCA spending caps through FY 2021.

At this time last year, five of the House’s 12 spending bills had been voted out of committee. Since there are only ten legislative weeks remaining before the FY 2018 bill goes into effect, there is relatively little time to debate the defense budget and programs and other issues. In the meantime, the Legislative and Executive Branches will be debating healthcare, tax reform, infrastructure spending, and raising the debt limit. AFA continues to advocate for stable and predictable (Regular Order) spending bills, at sufficient levels, necessary for the Total Force to grow, modernize their bases, and recapitalize aging weapon systems.

May 31, 2017
AFA Breakfast Series: Capitol Hill Update

AFA is pleased to announce that The Honorable Heather Wilson will now be the June speaker for the inaugural Capitol Hill Edition of the AFA Breakfast Series beginning on June 5th at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, D.C. Secretary Wilson will discuss her top priorities as the 24th Secretary of the Air Force. Register and learn more about the AFA Breakfast Series: Capitol Hill Edition, here

Upcoming AFA Breakfast Schedule

July 11: Gen James M. "Mike" Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command

July 26: Gen David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force

Thank You to Our Sponsors

A special thanks to our AFA Breakfast Series sponsors: General Dynamics, Harris Corp., Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, and Pratt & Whitney.

The Breakfast Series is an excellent opportunity for sponsors to meet, greet and listen to senior Air Force decision makers. Unique sponsorship opportunities are available for these events. If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Fred Ullman at fullman@afa.org or 703-247-5842.

May 31, 2017
Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge 2017

AFA held its first annual Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge on May 20th in an effort to raise funds toward AFA’s Wounded Airmen and Family Programs. The challenge took place at CycleBar, an indoor cycling studio, in Arlington, Va.

Early on, AFA set a goal to raise $50,000 in direct support of our wounded Airmen. AFA was thrilled to announce that over $54,000 was raised thanks to our generous donors, sponsors, and riders who wanted to show their love for our Air Force and Airmen.

“Our first annual Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge exceeded all of our expectations,” said General Larry O. Spencer, AFA President. “This was a wonderful event that provided an opportunity for AFA staff, Chapter members, supporters and donors to get together to show their support for our wounded heroes. It is crucial now more than ever that we give a voice to our wounded Airmen and make their stories known.”

The event began with an hour-long spin class lead by a CycleBar professional instructor and concluded with a reception presented by Technica.

AFA’s Wounded Airmen and Family Programs have provided over $300,000 in direct support of wounded Airmen since it became a formal program in 2013. Support includes donating recumbent bicycles, ramps, financial support, and aid to wounded Airmen and their families.

“This program saves people’s lives, repairs families and mends broken bodies,” said Ashley, an Air Force Wounded Warrior. “Thank you for allowing my soul to breathe blue for one more camp and one more day.”

The first annual fundraiser had nearly 400 donors and 17 generous sponsors who helped AFA exceed the fundraising goal. Generous event sponsors include Lost Dog Café, IST, Rocklands Real Barbeque, Keller Benefit Services, Giant, Kumak, DirectMail.com, Military Times, Technica, William Jeffrey’s Tavern, James G. Elliot, National Trade Productions, C-Ink, Robert Irvine Foundation, Dominion Paper Products, Inc., The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies and AFA’s Nation’s Capital Chapter, Gen Charles A. Gabriel Chapter, Ramstein Chapter, Alamo Chapter, Thunderbird Chapter, and Frank Luke Chapter.

May 31, 2017
Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

On May 29th, we took time to reflect and observe Memorial Day. Every year since the first organized Memorial Day in 1868, we have paused to remember our service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving our country whether in battle, in support of combat operations or having died in the line of duty just doing their jobs. This is a day of gratitude for all that was given on our behalf by our fallen Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, knowing they served their country with honor and distinction.

This is a time for all Americans, alone or with family and friends, to honor those who died for a cause bigger than themselves. It is sacred and noble holiday in that we share remembrance and we connect in solidarity as Americans.

This year’s Memorial Day held special meaning for the Gold Star parents, families, loved ones and friends of all our Airmen who served and were killed in military operations overseas since last year’s observance. 

We must never forget the meaning of Memorial Day and can’t lose sight of the proud patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of liberty's blessings.

May 31, 2017
Mitchell Institute Releases New Forum Paper
 USAF image

USAF image

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to announce the release of its latest Mitchell Forum paper, Reclaiming the Initiative: Organizing the Air Force for Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power, by Col Tom Ruby, USAF (Ret.). Ruby, a veteran intelligence officer and former chief of ISR doctrine, believes the US Air Force should act now to reorient its organization and structure to better prepare for the wars of the future, or risk becoming outmoded. He suggests the service should embrace sweeping reform of its fundamental structures—its major commands (MAJCOMs), which are the entities responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the service’s forces, from satellite operations to combat aircraft.

But rather than build organizations around domains (air, space, and cyber) or platforms (aircraft, satellites, bombers, and other assets), Ruby argues the service should look to organize along the lines of the three articulated “ends” the US Air Force provides for the defense of the United States of America: Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power. Organizing commands along the lines of platforms and domains demands Airmen “use valuable time and resources to explain a construct that is not helpful in presenting, planning, tasking, and commanding airpower," he writes.

With limited exceptions for missions such as training or sustainment activities, the service should move to reorganize into three distinct major commands: US Air Force Global Power Command, Global Reach Command, and Global Vigilance Command, instead of domain and function-based organizations. By doing so, Ruby argues, the Air Force could achieve long lasting results for the service’s future by “allowing it to cease thinking in terms of platforms and domains, and instead think about capabilities to achieve effects.” But the Air Force should not wait, as less desirable changes could be foisted on the service from outside. Embracing this reorganization concept would help the Air Force “reclaim its place as the service most agile in thought, not only in capability."

The Mitchell Forum series provides a venue for authors with ideas, concepts, and thoughts on national defense and aerospace power to engage with current and emerging policy debates and issues. For more information on the series, and inquiries about submissions, contact Mitchell’s Director of Publications Marc V. Schanz at mschanz@afa.org or visit our website, at www.mitchellaerospacepower.org.

May 31, 2017
AFA CyberCamps Begin June 5th

AFA’s CyberPatriot program will have 106 CyberCamp hosts across 160 campsites in 34 states and the Virgin Islands this summer, a 20 percent increase from 2016. CyberCamps give students the opportunity to learn about topics in STEM regardless of their previous knowledge, experience or education in cybersecurity.

AFA CyberCamp hosts receive software and hands-on curriculum kits designed to teach students cyber safety, cyber ethics, and critical network security skills and tools. Each AFA CyberCamp will culminate in an exciting team-based competition that puts the campers in the role of IT administrators tasked with finding and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated network environments. 2017 CyberCamps begin June 5th and run through August 4th. Information regarding approved CyberCamps may be found here.

May 31, 2017
Redskins Salute to Service
 From left: AFA Wounded Airman Program Staff, Whitney Distaso; Air Force Wounded Warrior Program Staff, Theda Franklin; SSgt Raphael Holmes and SSgt Jessica Gutierrez and AFA President, Gen Larry Spencer at the Redskins Salute May 20, 2017.

From left: AFA Wounded Airman Program Staff, Whitney Distaso; Air Force Wounded Warrior Program Staff, Theda Franklin; SSgt Raphael Holmes and SSgt Jessica Gutierrez and AFA President, Gen Larry Spencer at the Redskins Salute May 20, 2017.

On May 24th, the Washington Redskins organization, Redskins Salute, honored 150 members of the Armed Forces at an exclusive event at Redskins Park. In partnership with AFA’s Wounded Airman Program and Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, AFA President, Gen Larry Spencer, escorted SSgt Raphael Holmes and SSgt Jessica Gutierrez from Walter Reed National Military Hospital to attend the event where the two Airmen had sideline access to watch the NFL team practice, meet several Redskins players and enjoyed well-deserved recognition for their tremendous service and sacrifice. Watch the MilitaryTimes video on the Redskins Salute, here

May 31, 2017
Get to Know Your AFA Membership

Are you getting the most out of your AFA membership? From insurance to shopping and travel discounts, AFA offers countless benefits to help you through every phase of life. Click here to learn more about all the benefits AFA offers our members.

Member Benefit Spotlight

As you prepare your family for an ever changing future, help make sure they are protected from future uncertainties. Buying a home, having a baby, sending a child to college, caring for an aging relative, life is always changing.

By protecting your family’s financial future with the AFA Group 10-Year Level Term Life Insurance Plan, you can take advantage of some things that won’t change. This plan is available to AFA members under the age of 65 and their family members. Learn more about AFA’s insurance benefits here.

May 31, 2017
Note from the President

April is proving to be the month of STEM education for AFA, with both our CyberPatriot and StellarXplorers Programs hosting their National Finals Competitions. Once again, I had the privilege of traveling to Baltimore to see the CyberPatriot Finals in person, where the top 28 Finalists out of over 4,400 original teams competed for the national championship title. These National Finals Competitions are world-class events hosted by AFA, and I was truly impressed by the talent of the students. They are competitive and laser focused on the competition at hand, yet their collegial demeanor toward one another was truly inspiring.

The StellarXplorers competition was also a booming success. This year’s event highlighted the ten best teams in the nation out of a field of more than 330 teams. Held in Colorado Springs, the competition addressed a challenging space system design problem and the competitors worked very hard to solve this complex problem. I am very proud of the work AFA does in support of STEM education, and its best days are ahead.  

We celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo with a wreath laying ceremony on April 18th at the Air Force Memorial, published an op-ed by the son of SSgt David Thatcher, and our Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies honored Lt Col Dick Cole, the sole surviving raider, at a special dinner in his honor.

In this 70th birthday year of our Air Force, we are also observing the 70th anniversary of Arnold Air Society and 65th anniversary of Silver Wings. As President Ronald Reagan said, “People who say there are no more heroes just don’t know where to look.” These professional, honorary service organizations comprise the best students and AFROTC cadets and have supplied the Air Force with outstanding leaders.  They held their annual National Convention in Orlando, FL, in April and AFA Chairman of the Board Whit Peters attended as keynote speaker. 

I was grateful to attend the Langley Chapter Symposium at Langley Air Force Base this month, and it was a tremendous success. Chapter President Mark “Buster” Douglas really knows how to put on a show!  While doing research for my remarks, I learned that AFA played a key role in getting the Dual Compensation Act of 1964 repealed. This law dictated that retired military members who go to work for the federal government will have their retired pay deducted from their federal pay, with the employee receiving the remainder.  AFA worked to have this repealed in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000.  Other accomplishments included repealing the Source Tax, which allowed states where a military member had once resided to tax a portion of their retired pay. This repeal went all the way to the Supreme Court for resolution.  The bottom line is many are unaware of the plethora of accomplishments by AFA on behalf of the Air Force. Please join me in spreading the word as you go out and speak on behalf of AFA.   

I recently had an op-ed published on the importance of Congress passing a budget and met personally with several members of Congress. You can read the op-ed here. Congress has until April 28th to either finalize the Fiscal Year 2017 budget or pass another continuing resolution (CR). Unfortunately, CRs have become the norm and are antithetical to good government. A yearlong CR would be devastating to our Air Force and military. As it looks today, we anticipate Congress will pass yet another short-term CR to keep the government running and then complete a DoD Appropriations Bill – we certainly hope that is the case.   

Our staff is hard at work preparing for our 2017 Air, Space & Cyber Conference and Technology Exposition. This year’s event will be a special one as we recognize the 70th birthday of our Air Force and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force position.

You may also be aware that in recognition of the AF 70th anniversary we have a Recruit-70 initiative to sign up as many new AFA members as possible.  As an incentive, eMemberships are offered at a 50% discount. Please join us by signing up a new member today here.

Finally, we have just pushed past the halfway mark toward our goal to raise $50,000 in support of Air Force Wounded Airmen. We are hosting a Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge and are asking those who can to participate as a cyclist and others to donate toward our goal. To cycle or donate, please click here

Thank you to our dedicated members, partners, volunteers and staff who make all of this possible. We continue looking forward to a big year ahead and hope you can join us at many of our upcoming events. 

Best Regards,

Larry O. Spencer

President

Apr 25, 2017
AFA Honors Doolittle Raiders
 Photo by Caroline Sheen

Photo by Caroline Sheen

April 18th marked the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. AFA Executive Vice President Denise Hollywood spoke at a wreath laying ceremony honoring the Doolittle Raiders at the Air Force Memorial.  Also speaking were Mr. Tim Holbert, executive director, American Veterans Center; Ms. Wang Yuehong, counselor, Chinese Embassy; and Ms. Mae Krier, co-founder, National Rosie the Riveter Day.

On April 20th, in Washington, D.C., our Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies inaugurated its first Airpower Heritage Salute. This year’s honoree was retired Lt Col Dick Cole. Best known as Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot on the famed April 18, 1942, raid against Japan, Cole and his fellow flyers put everything on the line as their B-25 Mitchell bombers took off from the deck of USS Hornet and headed for Japan. Following this daring mission, Cole pioneered air supply over the Himalayas critical in keeping China in the war. His final combat assignment saw him fly with the First Air Commando Group in the aerial invasion of Burma that marks the birth of Air Force special operations. After World War II, Cole continued to serve in the newly established US Air Force, retiring in 1966. To those of us looking back on this incredible life marked by dedication to duty, one word stands above all when seeking to describe Cole: hero. Appraising the situation himself, he notes that he was just doing his job.

AFA has a rich history with the Doolittle Raiders. Lt Col Cole announced the name of the newest B-21 bomber, Raider, honoring his colleagues at our Air, Space & Cyber Conference last fall. Our AFA Headquarters building is named the Doolittle Building because of the legacy of Doolittle and his Raiders.

AFA salutes the Raiders and their historic mission and will continue to preserve their legacy by highlighting the dominance of Airpower.

Apr 25, 2017
The Next Generation
 Photo by Cadet Isaac McDermott

Photo by Cadet Isaac McDermott

Earlier this month, Arnold Air Society (AAS) and Silver Wings (SW, formerly Angel Flight) members from across the country gathered in Orlando, FL, for their 67th annual National Conclave (NATCON). Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings are collegiate service organizations of Air Force ROTC cadets and civilian student leaders and airpower advocates serving their communities across college campuses nationwide. The two sister organizations serve a joint mission to build the next generation of Air Force and civic leaders through countless professional development events and impact communities with over 100,000 service hours each year.

This year, Arnold Air Society celebrated their 70th anniversary and Silver Wings celebrated their 65th at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Throughout the conclave, over 900 cadets and students engaged in professional development workshops conducted by the Air Force’s Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE), learned how to be future leaders with Lt Gen Charles “CQ” Brown, and furthered the impact our Air Force Association makes on countless Airmen every day with Secretary Whit Peters, AFA’s Chairman of the Board, at an AFA hosted luncheon.

“NATCON is a showcase for the talent of the young men and women of Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings,” said Peters. “With support from some AAS/SW graduate volunteers, the sponsoring detachments organized and managed a four-day event for some 1,000 attendees.  The result this year was spectacular and professional in all respects. Unquestionably the members of AAS/SW are ready to lead our Air Force and the nation in the coming decades.”

 Brig Gen (Ret.) Dick Bundy, AFA Chairman of the Board for Aerospace Education and Secretary Whit Peters, AFA Chairman of the Board, present Ms. Ashley Kinsey with the AFA Diane O'Malley Silver Wings Outstanding Service Award.  Photo by Cadet Isaac McDermott

Brig Gen (Ret.) Dick Bundy, AFA Chairman of the Board for Aerospace Education and Secretary Whit Peters, AFA Chairman of the Board, present Ms. Ashley Kinsey with the AFA Diane O'Malley Silver Wings Outstanding Service Award.

Photo by Cadet Isaac McDermott

Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings (Angel Flight) have been valued partners of AFA since 1950. Each member of Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings is also a member of AFA and serves as a premier source for building future leaders.

“The Air Force Association and Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings share nearly 70 years of history, and our partnership has never been stronger,” said Brig Gen Dan Woodward, USAF (Ret.), Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings executive director, “When you bring 900 of AFA's youngest and most energetic members together at one of our Conclaves, there is simply no doubt the future of both our organizations – and our nation – are in great hands!”

Throughout the four-day conclave, attendees heard from several distinguished speakers on a variety of topics. It was hard to find a dry eye in the room as Col Ed Hubbard, USAF (Ret.), described his six years spent as a Vietnam War prisoner of war and discussed how something as simple as changing his perspective and building a community strengthened his will to live. One of the most memorable moments for many during the conclave occurred as a wave of patriotism swept over the cadets and civilian students when Col Hubbard led them to sing “God Bless America.”

The 67th National Conclave culminated with the presentation of The Air Force Scroll of Appreciation, a Secretary of the Air Force-level award reflecting years of dedicated service to building great Air Force officers and airpower advocates. The prestigious award was presented by Silver Wings and Angel Flight alum, Lt Gen Stayce Harris, at the USAA Military Banquet on April 17th.

This extraordinary group of future Air Force and civilian leaders is paving the way for the next generation of our Air Force. They are true Airmen for Life. To learn more about Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings and the impact they make on our Air Force and communities nationwide, click here.

Apr 25, 2017
General Selva Discusses Air Force Budget

General Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed industry, government, military and media at AFA’s Air Force Breakfast Program on April 13th. Gen Selva spoke candidly regarding the looming continuing resolution (CR), DoD’s budget and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFAR). “We do not take advantage of the corners of the DFAR, and as a result, innovation happens slowly,” commented Gen Selva. Read the full overview of April’s AFA Air Force Breakfast in our Daily Report. You can also watch the full video or hear the full audio recording from the breakfast, here.  

In June, AFA will roll out the Capitol Hill Edition of the AFA Air Force Breakfast Series and our event will shift to the Capitol Hill Club in Washington D.C.   This shift enables us to more effectively tell the Air Force story to the US Congress, to the other armed services, to the public policy and industry communities, as well as to the media and to the public at large.  We will enlist senior USAF leadership and the nation’s top experts to speak at breakfast seminars on Capitol Hill. 

The new AFA Air Force Breakfast Program will address a variety of important topics such as the need to increase and train the necessary manpower to achieve the needed readiness to be an effective force, undertake the advanced research into the weapons and strategies of the future, and build our airlifters, tankers, bombers, jets and surveillance and reconnaissance platforms to ensure that America is protected into the future. We will examine all the major USAF acquisition and research and development programs, including JSTARS, the F-35, the F-15, the B-21, the KC-10 replacement, and examine the entire range of major USAF conventional and acquisition programs critical to the future of the country’s security.

To do that, the Air Force must effectively tell its story to the US Congress, to the other armed services, to the professional public policy and industry community, as well as the media and to the public at large.  We will enlist senior USAF leadership to tell this important story, hosting the nation’s top experts in and out of the USAF to speak at breakfast seminars on Capitol Hill. 

This is an excellent opportunity for sponsors to meet, greet and listen to senior Air Force decision makers. Unique sponsorship opportunities are available for these events. If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Chet Curtis at ccurtis@afa.org.  

Capitol Hill AFA Air Force Breakfast Series Schedule:

June 5: Gen Mike Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command

July 26: Gen David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force

Apr 25, 2017
Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge
 *As of April 22, 2017

*As of April 22, 2017

AFA is committed to caring for our Wounded Airmen. Join us at our first annual Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge on May 20, 2017, to raise funds in support of our Wounded Airmen and their families, while also having fun at CycleBar, one of Arlington's premier indoor cycling and spin venues. AFA challenges you to raise $500 to help us reach our $50,000 goal – we’re already over halfway there!

All funds raised directly support AFA’s Wounded Airmen & Family Programs. Click here to register to ride and start fund-raising for this worthy cause today.

Apr 25, 2017
AFA’s #70for70 Social Media Campaign

Throughout the course of 2017, AFA is honoring Airmen for Life through our #70for70 social media campaign, culminating at our upcoming Air, Space & Cyber Conference September 18-20, 2017. So far, AFA has recognized 30 distinguished Airmen and Airpower advocates who have made significant contributions to our Air Force.

This month, AFA honored the Month of the Military Child by highlighting Colleen Shine, the daughter of Vietnam veteran Lt Col Anthony Shine, whose aircraft went missing in December 1972. It took 24 years to recover his remains. Lt Col Shine was finally laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

Army Air Corps C-47 pilot, retired Col Gail Halvorsen is best known as the famed World War II “Candy Bomber.” Col Halvorsen would collect his candy rations and fasten them to parachutes made with cloth and string, and would “wiggle” the wings of his aircraft so the children would know it was him. Col Halvorsen’s "service before self" embodies the principles and values held by our Air Force.

AFA celebrated the US Air Force Reserve’s birthday on April 14 by featuring Maj Gen Michael Kim, mobilization assistant to the Chief of Air Force Reserve at the Pentagon. The Air Force Reserve was established in 1948 and has served a crucial role to our Total Force Air Force.

There are countless individuals who have impacted our Air Force in ways beyond measure, but few come to mind like aviation pioneer, Gen Ira Eaker. One of the founders of a separate US Air Force, General Eaker is famed for making the first “blind” transcontinental flight without instruments and also served as the commander of Eighth Air Force.

AFA is proud of our Air Force's storied history that has led it to become the World's Greatest Air Force. Follow AFA on social media @AirForceAssoc to view our upcoming #70for70 honorees. View all individuals featured so far, here.

In honor of our Air Force’s special 70th Birthday, AFA is selling commemorative 70th birthday t-shirts! Buy yours here to celebrate the Air Force’s 70th in style.

Apr 25, 2017
AFA Members Know the Value of Mentorship

AFA member SrA Marc Granville recently separated from active duty and joined the D.C. Air National Guard unit at Andrews Air Force Base, MD. In order to complete his bachelor’s degree and pursue an officer’s commission, Granville joined the AFROTC program at the University of Maryland and chose to join Arnold Air Society’s Frank P. Lahm Squadron to gain invaluable leadership training and mentorship the honor society provides its cadet members.

Granville, pictured above with the AAS Lahm Squadron’s mascot, “Frankie the Lamb,” attended AFA President Gen Larry Spencer’s address to the Airmen at Langley Air Force Base, VA, on April 13. General Spencer discussed the importance of finding a trustworthy mentor and the impact it can have on both your professional career and personal life. “That is why I’m truly thankful I joined AFA, not only for the personal development but the amazing mentors I have been able to come across,” said Granville.

From Tyler Johnson, AFA Central East Region President, to AFA President General Larry Spencer, Granville has built several relationships with mentors who have impacted his life all because of his involvement in AFA. AFA is here to help our members grow – both personally and professionally – through all stages of life and career. We are here to build Airmen for Life. You can now add the Airman for Life logo on merchandise from our Hangar Store, click here to shop.

Apr 25, 2017
AFA’s Operation Enduring Support

A generous gift each month helps AFA spend more money on promoting a dominant US Air Force and less on fund-raising costs. Monthly giving creates an ongoing and predictable cash flow AFA can use to more effectively plan and execute initiatives. It is an easy and affordable way for you to make your contributions go even further in support of AFA’s mission.

To honor their commitment, monthly donors are recognized as Flight Leaders in AFA’s Operation Enduring Support.

Supporters who commit a monthly recurring donation amount of $15, $25, $50, $75, or $100+ will qualify for special gifts as listed below. We are excited to announce the group levels are all Air Force themed, with gifts ranging from blankets to a prestigious President’s Coin, cementing your important leadership level in AFA’s mission.

Monthly donors will receive the gift specific to their level and all levels below them.

The Air Force Association is proud to work on behalf of the men and women of the Air Force and honored to be the organization that helps Airmen along their journey as Airmen for Life – before, during, and after their time in service.

Together, we can continue to promote a dominant US Air Force.

Don’t miss out on this exciting offer to become a Flight Leader in AFA’s Operation Enduring Support and to earn AFA gifts. We simply couldn’t do it without you! Click here to support our mission today. 

Apr 25, 2017
Get to Know Your AFA Membership

Are you getting the most out of your AFA membership? From insurance to shopping and travel discounts, AFA offers countless benefits to help you through every phase of life. Click here to learn more about all the benefits AFA offers our members.

Support AFA through USAA

USAA has been a valued partner of AFA for several years. USAA offers valuable financial services including banking, financial advice and investment planning.

Did you know? It’s now easier than ever to support AFA through your USAA membership. All USAA credit card holders can now donate $10 directly to AFA for every 1,000 reward points they have earned. Learn more about the USAA reward points donation program here

 

Apr 25, 2017
Note from the President

AFA’s annual Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fl., was a huge success. The energy displayed among Airmen, Industry, and members was remarkable. We are happy to report that attendance for this year’s symposium was among the highest on record over the last ten years. Along with our Air Force and Industry senior leaders, we discussed important topics in C2 and Fusion Warfare and the future of our Air Force. We were thrilled to see a very positive response toward our new programs such as Airmen for Life and 70 for 70.  Also, our new 70th Air Force Anniversary T-shirts and polo shirts were big hits.  Please view the T-shirts here to purchase yours!  And, click here to purchase your Airmen for Life polo shirts. In fact, you can have the Airmen for Life logo applied to any garment of your choice on our Hangar Store.

This was also the last appearance in uniform at an AFA event for General “Hawk” Carlisle, Commander, Air Combat Command.  We at AFA wish him the best in retirement and thank him for his many years of dedicated service to our Air Force. Some of the more notable events of the symposium included Acting Secretary Disbrow's speech covering the current state of the Air Force and our projected growth and the introduction of our new Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Kaleth Wright. General Goldfein’s speech was another home run as he laid out his main priorities for our Air Force. Air Warfare was chalk-full of outstanding panel discussions, covering topics including training for fusion and combat perspectives. I encourage those who were not present to watch the videos of this outstanding professional development event on our website.

There is no rest for the weary as we are already planning to raise the bar even higher for next year’s symposium held February 21-23, 2018. So save the date and we hope to see you in sunny Orlando next year! We are also gearing up for our next major event, the Air, Space & Cyber Conference scheduled September 18-20, 2017. Themed, “Breaking Barriers; Heritage to Horizons,” with 70th Birthday activities, this year’s event promises to be one of the biggest and best ever. Registration opens May 1, stay tuned for details soon—you won’t want to miss this one. 

We are excited to announce AFA’s first annual Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge in the DC area on May 20, 2017 to benefit our Wounded Airmen and Family Programs. This event will be held in Arlington, VA at CycleBar, a premier indoor cycling venue promoting good health and exercise. The fundraiser will be held in two spin classes to support our Wounded Airmen.  Join us for good fun for a great cause and help us reach our $50,000 fundraising goal! Click here to learn more and begin fundraising. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available for this event, to learn more please, contact Fred Ullman at fullman@afa.org.  If you’re not located in the DC area, we encourage you to hold your own Wounded Airmen Cycling Challenge fundraiser (or other fundraisers) to support Wounded Airmen and Family Programs.  Visit CycleBar’s website to find a location near you. 

A quick update on the Air Force Memorial: over the past 10 years, your Air Force Association managed daily operations at the Air Force Memorial.  However, on April 1, 2017, the Air Force will assume responsibility for these day-to-day functions. Events can still be scheduled through their website. The Air Force Memorial Foundation will remain open and AFA will remain a vigilant supporter of the Air Force Memorial. AFA is proud of the work of the Air Force Memorial Foundation, to include Mr. Ross Perot Jr., Lt Gen (Ret) Bob Springer and Air Power legend, Ollie Crawford.  We also thank CMSgt (Ret) Barbara Taylor for her outstanding management of the Air Force Memorial.

We are certainly staying busy this spring – just how we like it. We are working hard to reach our financial and membership goals in 2017 and are well on our way to doing so. None of this would be possible without you, our dedicated members, partners, volunteers and staff.  Thank you for your unwavering support of our Association.  We look forward to a great year ahead.

Sincerely,

Larry O. Spencer

President

Mar 27, 2017
AFA in the News

AFA President, Gen Larry Spencer (ret) appeared on local ABC channel, Government Matters TV, March 16 to discuss the White House’s proposed budget and how it may impact the Air Force. “The budget, equipment and the number of people we have has steadily declined,” said Gen Spencer, “We’re in this convergence where the Air Force has lost capability and lost people, but at the same time the requirement for the Air Force is growing.” Watch Gen Spencer’s full interview here.

Air Force leaders have been stating for quite some time that the White House needs to focus on effectively growing our military as a whole. Earlier this month, Gen Larry Spencer (ret) discussed Congress’ plans to increase growth and funding initiatives for the US military along with Gen Carter Ham, Association of the US Army President, and Skip Witunski, President of the Navy League of the US in a recent joint op-ed in Military Times. “While demand on the American military is increasing, we are falling behind,” said Spencer, Ham and Witunski, “Our military has been expected to recuperate from over a decade of war, modernize equipment, develop revolutionary technologies, and meet current demands from our combatant commanders without growing the budget.” Read the full article here.

Our Air Force’s aging fleet of aircraft has been popular conversation in the news lately as well. Col Keith Zuegel (ret), AFA’s Senior Director of Government Relations, wrote that the United States needs to put national security first in his latest op-ed in Defense News. “The U.S. Air Force is our nation’s first responder around the globe, however, it now has the smallest, oldest and least-ready force in its history,” said Zuegel, “It operates an aging and increasingly costly force of 50-year-old refueling tankers; bombers, trainers and helicopters more than 40 years old; and fighters more than 30 years old.” Read his full article here. Be sure to follow AFA on social media to stay up to date on all of AFA’s government and policy matters.

Mar 27, 2017
AFA Air Force Breakfast Series: Lt Gen Bunch
Bunch.JPG

Lt Gen Arnold Bunch, Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition at the Pentagon, spoke at AFA’s Air Force Breakfast on March 16 discussing the anticipated operating costs for the Air Force’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program. You can read more from Lt Gen Bunch’s discussion at the AFA Breakfast in AFA’s Daily Report here. Click here to watch the full video from the breakfast, or here for the full audio version.

AFA’s next Air Force Breakfast is scheduled for April 13 with General Paul Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Click here for more information and to register today.

Beginning in June, AFA’s Air Force Breakfast Series will take place at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington D.C. Stay tuned for additional information.

Upcoming AFA Air Force Breakfast Series Schedule:

·         June 5: General Mike Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command

·         July 26: General David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force

Mar 27, 2017
We Are Airmen for Life

The Air Force Association exists as an organization so we can all be Airmen for Life.  It is the very foundation on which General Jimmy Doolittle built AFA.  History records that after World War II, General Doolittle was concerned that those great Airmen who fought in the war would disperse and lose touch.  His concept was to "keep the gang together," which is another way of saying he provided a forum for Airmen to serve a cause they believed in and loved for life.

AFA held a logo contest so that our Airmen for Life could participate in creating a lasting design that embodies this very principle. AFA was very proud to announce that Christian Anderson's beautiful design was selected as the winner for our official Airman for Life logo. Anderson is an Air Force Veteran having served with the 62nd Military Airlift Wing as an illustrator and graphic designer. Anderson's design displays the infinity symbol and an aircraft to represent the principle of being an Airman for Life. Thank you Christian and all those who submitted designs for our contest! Be on the lookout for new merchandise including our Airman for Life logo.

Mar 27, 2017
AFA's Wounded Airman Program Needs You!

Our Air Force Association’s Wounded Airman Program (WAP) was proud to once again support the Air Force Trials at Nellis AFB, NV February 25-March 2. The Air Force Trials are part of the Air Force’s Warrior CARE events, which feature Caregiver Support, Adaptive and Rehabilitative Sports, Recovering Airman Mentorship and Employment and Career Readiness for wounded, ill or injured service members. The Air Force Wounded Warrior team was selected at the Trials and will go on to compete at the Department of Defense Warrior Games that will be held in Chicago this summer.

Recent guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Defense came out shortly before the Trials saying that the Air Force (and other services) can no longer use appropriated funds for veteran participation in the Air Force Wounded Warrior program events. AFA’s WAP was made aware of this issue weeks before the Air Force Trials. This is incredibly troublesome because there are so many wounded warriors and caregivers that feel like they were “pushed out” or “left behind” by the Air Force. When they become active in the Air Force Wounded Warrior program, they feel like they have found their Air Force family again. Many of these warriors had been training the entire year to compete and were devastated they were not able to participate because they were recently medically retired.

AFA’s Wounded Airman Program was able to work in partnership with American Airlines, Deloitte and AFA’s Thunderbird chapter to fund 17 wounded Airmen and caregivers in veteran status to attend the Trials. This was pulled together very quickly to meet the need and was a true testament to the work we do for our Airmen and families through the Wounded Airman Program. We are currently working to fund ten warriors and caregivers selected for the team to attend a training camp at Hurlburt/Eglin in April. This is just the beginning and we are feeling our way through this new normal but the bottom line is that there is a great need out there to support these warriors who have given so much. We need to do all we can to ensure that we can continue to support them through their transition out of the Air Force. In some ways, they need us most as they go through the medical retirement process and lose their sense of Air Force community.

With this in mind, we have very aggressive fundraising goals for our Airmen and Family Programs fund. To donate, please visit www.afa.org/wap. We are also looking for corporate sponsorships and grant opportunities to grow our program to continue to support the growing needs of our heroes. Every little bit helps. If you know of any grant or corporate donation opportunities, please contact Kari Voliva at kvoliva@afa.org. We know that there are so many AFA members out there dedicated to supported our wounded Airmen and their families…We need your help!

Thank you for your continued commitment to our wounded Airmen and their families!

Mar 27, 2017
Silver Wings Spotlight

Meg Hart, Silver Wings National Public Affairs Officer, recently interviewed Asif Asad, a Silver Wings national Member of the Month during the 2016-2017 school year. Asad is a senior studying Biochemistry at North Carolina State University and is the Treasurer for the Martha E. Metz Silver Wings Chapter.

All members of Silver Wings are members of the Air Force Association. To learn more about Silver Wings, click here.

Why did you decide you wanted to get involved in Silver Wings?

I decided to involve myself with Silver Wings due to the work the organization was doing. Silver Wings at North Carolina State University focuses on volunteer work and professional development. I really wanted to be involved in an organization which would allow me to grow and help with my future plans. Since I decided my career path would entail business, professional development was a huge factor for me when I joined Silver Wings.

What do you currently do now for Silver Wings?

Currently, I am the treasurer for my chapter. My current responsibilities include assisting the chapter help fund members to attend Regional Conclaves (ARCON) and Nation Conclaves (NATCON). I also help the chapter by encouraging social events and attending some of the associate classes to help potential new members with the transition between being an associate and a member. The Martha E. Metz Chapter enforces a mentor-mentee system for each associate member. I am one of the mentors for the upcoming associates.

How are you helping your chapter reach its goals?

Currently, one of our chapter goals is to encourage more of our members to partake in volunteering events set up by the chapter. I make an effort to consistently attend each of these events and encourage my fellow members to attend. I enjoy rallying individuals to attend events. A secondary goal for our chapter has been to increase camaraderie between the members. We wanted our chapter to be a place where members are surrounded by friends who enjoy spending time with each other. To further this, other members and I have made greater efforts to have numerous social events.

What is your favorite memory with this organization?

One of my favorite memories with Silver Wings was WolfCon (Area-Region Conclave 3). WolfCon was one my favorite memories with the organization since it really highlighted what the organization stood for and showed what the organization can accomplish when we work together. During WolfCon, I was able to meet so many people and hear about other chapters’ successes. I enjoyed learning about the good the organization has done for each of the communities supported by Silver Wings.

How has networking within Silver Wings, Arnold Air Society, or AFA helped you to be a better student and leader?

Networking within our organization and our sister organization (AFA) has benefited me by encouraging me to take on more responsibilities and becoming a more outgoing individual. Taking on a leadership role within Silver Wings has enhanced my ability to complete tasks at hand since others are relying on me. Meeting members within the (Arnold Air Society) Squadron and the Chapter has enabled me to converse with individuals who I may not have otherwise have talked to. Some of those individuals I now consider to be my close friends.

Mar 27, 2017
AFA Honors Heroes Through #70for70 Campaign

Throughout the course of 2017, AFA will be honoring 70 distinguished Airmen who have made significant contributions to our Air Force through innovation, teamwork and heritage with our #70for70 campaign in celebration of the Air Force’s 70th Birthday year. This month, AFA has recognized several remarkable air power advocates including, the Honorable F. Whitten Peters, former Secretary of the Air Force and AFA Chairman of the Board, Kelly Johnson, a renowned aeronautical engineer, and Josh Leary (USAF, TSgt, Ret), Air Force Trials competitor.

AFA celebrated Women’s History Month by honoring many of the Air Force’s female trailblazers, including SSgt Esther McGowen Blake, the first female in the Air Force, Brig Gen Jeannie Leavitt, the first female fighter pilot, Congresswoman Martha McSally, (USAF, Col, Ret), who served as the first female to fly in combat, Heather Carter (USAF, SrA, Ret), 2017 Warrior Games competitor, and Lt Gen Stayce Harris, the first African-American female to achieve the rank of Lt Gen.

Be sure to follow AFA on social media to stay up to date on all of our #70for70 weekly updates @AirForceAssoc. You can view everyone AFA has honored so far, here.

Mar 27, 2017
Mitchell Institute Update

The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies is pleased to provide you with the written testimony of Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret) to the first hearing by the Subcommittee on Airland of the Senate Armed Services Committee this year on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 to discuss “All Arms Warfare in the 21st Century.”

Deptula, Dean of the Mitchell Institute and his fellow panelists Col Douglas Macgregor, USA (Ret) Executive Vice President of the Burke-Macgregor Group and Mr. Paul Scharre, Senior Fellow and Director for The 20YY Warfare Initiative, Center for A New American Security each provided their assessment of the future of joint forces air-ground combat operations against peer and near peer competitors.

Deptula’s overarching points highlight that in order to best meet the challenges of future peer and near peer adversaries the department of defense must focus on two essential actions. First, unshackle the service-based organizational paradigms of the past and embrace more functional joint organizational constructs that integrates all of these elements. Second, rapidly capitalize on the capabilities of the information age to actualize the ubiquitous and seamless sharing of information across systems in every domain as a vision of the Department of Defense — a “combat cloud” for the future.

To download the full testimony please click here or to view the full hearing, click here.

Mar 27, 2017
A Special Thanks to Vidyo

Since November 2016, AFA has implemented Vidyo’s technology to more effectively hold board, council and committee meetings virtually, saving AFA over $30,000 in travel dollars to date. AFA extends our deepest thanks to Chris Thomas, North America Sales VP, for his assistance in getting Vidyo implemented at AFA, and Maggie Winters and Leigh Evron, customer success managers who have been fearless guides helping AFA successfully utilize this technology. We also appreciate the great technical support and the reduced contract rate that AFA member and former Chairman of the Board, Bob Largent coordinated for us. AFA is thankful for the service Vidyo has provided to us so far and we look forward to a successful partnership. Learn more about Vidyo here.   

Mar 27, 2017
Get to Know Your AFA Membership

Donate to AFA through USAA

USAA has been a valued partner of AFA for several years. USAA offers valuable financial services including banking, financial advice and investment planning.

Did you know? It’s now easier than ever to support AFA through your USAA membership. All USAA credit card holders can now donate $10 for every 1,000 reward points they have earned directly to AFA. Learn more about the USAA reward points donation program here

SAT/ACT Prep

The e-Knowledge SAT/ACT Prep Project has assisted over 250,000 students in every state and in over 40 countries. AFA has proudly partnered with the Project for 13 years and has supported countless military families achieve their dreams of pursuing higher education. The Project sponsors your student and waives the complete $350 course price. To learn more about our partnership with e-Knowledge SAT/ACT Prep Project, click here.

Mar 27, 2017
Note from the President

During WWII, General Douglas MacArthur’s Airman, General George Kenney, said, “Airpower is like poker.  A second-best hand is like none at all—it will cost you dough and win you nothing.” According to testimony this month from General Stephen Wilson, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, “today’s Air Force is at risk of becoming a second-best hand with readiness hovering near 50 percent.”   As you know, the demand for air, space and cyber forces has steadily grown while the Air Force operates the oldest aircraft fleet since before World War II.  We heard testimony that end strength has decreased by 38% since 1991, aircraft have decreased from 8600 to 5500 and combat air force squadrons have decreased from 138 to 55 today.   We cannot afford the hollow Air Force of the 1970s.  The Air Force must increase its end strength and modernize its forces to keep up with the challenges of this decade and beyond.  We must convince Congress and the Nation to invest in our Air Force to increase readiness, nuclear deterrence, cyberspace, infrastructure and our combat air forces if we expect our Air Force to deter and respond to threats around the world.  This is not the time to become complacent.  Here at AFA we will continue to promote a dominant Air Force in the Halls of Congress, in the Pentagon, in the field through our Chapters, and whenever and wherever possible.  Please join us in promoting a dominant Air Force in your local communities and with your local congressional representatives.

We are busy getting ready for our annual Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando next month and have a great lineup of speakers to discuss command and control and fusion warfare. If you can’t attend, stay tuned to our Daily Report and our social media sites for updates as they happen. 

We continue to recognize the Air Force in their 70th birthday year by highlighting our #70for70 campaign with additional recipients.  Airmen, community members, and family supporters who help make up the total Air Force family will be featured each month. The campaign will culminate in September at our Air, Space & Cyber Conference, when we will honor all 70 Air Force heroes who have broken barriers through innovation, teamwork and heritage initiatives.

AFA is honored to support the 2017 Air Force Trials February 24 to March 2, 2017 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada through our Wounded Airman Program. AFA’s Wounded Airman Program will be on-site providing valuable support to our Airmen and families that deserve the very best. This support includes providing travel assistance, caregiver activities, and stepping in to help whenever and wherever a need is identified. We will be also hosting the Closing Ceremonies, thanks to the generous support of Deloitte, to celebrate the hard work the warriors and caregivers have put in throughout the Trials. To learn more about the Air Force Trials, click here.

I am very excited about our Airmen for Life Program.  I encourage you all to spread the word to those who are not members that if you have already served or still serving, in or out of uniform, you can still be a part of the Air Force by being an Airman for Life by joining AFA. 

We have a new Senior Director of Government Relations, Keith Zuegel, Col (Ret.), USAF.  You’ve probably received his Legislative Update recently.  Keith joined us from doing legislative liaison/government relations in the military, corporate, and private sectors.  Keith is a retired Air Force Colonel, and I had to the pleasure of working with him on active duty.  

I am excited for all that 2017 has in store for us and hope that all of you can help with these initiatives that will benefit AFA and help us to continue to be the force behind the Force.

Best Regards,

Larry O. Spencer

President

Feb 17, 2017
AFA's Wounded Airman Program
 US Air Force Photo

US Air Force Photo

Did you catch the Airmen running the flags out during the Super Bowl in Houston earlier this month? SSgt August O’Neill (pictured right), an Air Force pararescueman and wounded warrior, was one of them! WAP provided O’Neill with a hand cycle early in his rehabilitation in 2013. O’Neill is one of the great success stories of a wounded Airman who was able to remain on Active Duty. O’Neill will deliver the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program flag during the opening ceremony of the 2017 Air Force Trials held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Read more about SSgt O’Neill’s adventure at the Super Bowl here. To help support heroes like SSgt O’Neill, please click here.

AFA member, Don Stewart is the artist of this amazing Aiming High falcon print. Aiming High is a tribute to the United States Air Force, representing a falcon featuring aircraft from the beginning of military flight to the present day. Showcasing fighters on the wings, bombers on the tail, with support craft and personnel represented throughout, this unique piece of art would make the perfect gift for the aviation enthusiast in your life. These fine art prints are available for sale and half of proceeds from print sales will be donated in support of the Air Force Association’s Wounded Airman Program! To purchase a print and support our Wounded Airman Program, please click here.

Feb 17, 2017