Thursday, August 19, 2010

National High School Cyber Defense Competition

August 20, 2010

AFA members, Congressional Staff Members, Civic Leaders, and DOCA members - as you may now have heard, AFA is embarked in the cyber world in a big way. Let me tell you about this new competition, called CyberPatriot.

CyberPatriot is the nation's largest Cyber Defense Competition. It is played in two divisions - one for JROTC and Civil Air Patrol units (of all Services) and another for all high schools in America. The competition is played first with academics and practice rounds (soon there will be a game on Facebook). During the competition, teams download a virtual network and defend it from attacks. Three rounds are played in each division - then the finals are in-person. My model for thinking about this, as it grows, is the Scripps Spelling Bee.

We are convinced CyberPatriot has the potential to transform the nation by our making a significant impact in an important new domain.

Moreover, I am certain that by successfully executing this year's expanded competition, we will be focusing high school students throughout America on an important element of our international competitiveness and national security.

A lot of work has gone on and is going on to organize and promote CyberPatriot. A few days ago I corresponded with the AFA Chapter, State, and Region Presidents to solicit their support in helping us reach out to more Junior ROTC units of all Services, more Civil Air Patrol squadrons, and more high schools throughout the nation, encouraging them all to register teams for this year's competition. I also am in the process of briefing/reaching every Member of Congress and/or their staffs. The material I sent them is now available to you for your own use in "evangelizing" CyberPatriot, and I encourage you to do just that.

I ask that you consider getting personally involved in recruiting teams by reviewing the material I forwarded to AFA leaders. It is available at our CyberPatriot web site under
the link "How AFA Chapters Can Help." Alternatively, you can access
the material directly.

You may wish to start by reviewing the "What is Cyber Security" paper and the "Chapter Outreach Briefing." The "Talking Paper" will make you a well-armed CyberPatriot advocate who can articulate why the program is important to high schools and organizations and why they
need to field teams. And the "Volunteer Outreach Checklist" will
walk you step-by-step through how to find target CAP squadrons, JROTC units, and high schools to recruit, and what to say to them.

Many of you have talents from which our youthful CyberPatriot team members could benefit. If you have experience in communications, computing, networks, or computer/network security, I ask you to consider registering as a "mentor" to assist a team in your area. Not only can you help them get ready for a fun competition, I promise you will have opportunities to tell young people why this area is important not only for our national security, but all for our well-being. Additionally you can pass the word our nation's Armed Forces are wonderful institutions. And you will be serving as another example of how AFA makes a positive difference. Please contact our CyberPatriot staff by email at or by calling 800-727-3337, ext. 5806 (or 703-247-5806).

Please help us as we do what's right for AFA by growing CyberPatriot into the program it can become. And please help us do what's right for America by encouraging our youth to learn about what the cyber world has to offer.

Thank you.

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association

Friday, August 13, 2010

Washington Post; Lt Gen Deptula

August 14, 2010

AFA Members, Congressional Staff members, Civic Leaders, DOCA members, as we get farther away from watching oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (while concentrating on the clean-up), the article here my name surfaced in the Washington Post. To quote one of our members who sent it to me: "It is interesting that the first thing Admiral Allen asked the President for just as things began to really look bad - both literally and figuratively … was command of the air, and it was the Air Force and the 1st AOC that provided it." I would further add that what ADM Allen wanted was that for which Airmen down through the ages have sought – a single Air Commander providing centralized control of all air assets in a theater. In this case it wasn't a Joint Forces Air Component Commander or a Combined Forces Air Component Commander, but more like an Air Task Force Commander who could focus the civilian and military air effort, sequence and prioritize the missions, and maintain overall control of the sky.

This is illustrative of what every military commander faces in combat. Control of this third dimension (and, I would argue, the space and cyber domain as well) is absolutely essential if we are to have success on the battlefield.

Secondly, I attended – last week – the retirement ceremony of Lt General David A. Deptula. He was then the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and he retires on 1 Oct 2010.

General Deptula, at the ceremony, gave what I thought was an outstanding speech – focused on Airpower. You can find the speech (absent some more of his personal comments) on our website here.

To interest you in it, below are a couple of excerpts:
"Still — airpower is about more than finding and sharing information — it's about compressing time and space as well — about exploiting operations in the third dimension with a speed and agility that our adversaries simply can't match.

Now, our sister services possess aircraft. Those aircraft make up the 'air arms' of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Those air arms are rightfully dedicated to facilitating the core functions of their parent service—operations on the ground, at sea, and in the littorals.

There is however, only ONE AIR FORCE—it is not just another air arm, but rather a service specifically dedicated and structured to exploit the advantages of operating in the third dimension. It's this unique and specific focus that keeps our Nation on the leading edge of the challenges we face...or in other words, makes aerospace power one of America's asymmetric advantages."

"Over the last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century, Airmen have created a structure of capabilities that have become ubiquitous…as a result, the Air Force has become an indispensable force…now that's both a blessing… and a challenge.

We've made it look easy when it's not, and as a result too many take what we do for granted… education and awareness are the solution…and our partners in the Air Force Association are helping to make that happen. For that we thank you."

Finally, many have asked me to remind all of you … that if you think this note – as with all of my notes – has information that others might gain by reading it, please consider forwarding it to those in your email address book … or to the press. [The press has my permission to use any or all of these words.]

For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Up In the Air

August 10, 2010

This past month one of Headquarters AFA's staff members was without air conditioning at his home. And it was hot … very hot. We had temperatures over 100 degrees F for about 5 days in a row. For the entire month, almost every day was over 90 degrees. The staff member's experience is similar to what the country faces now … and may face in spades in the future. Let me describe what happened.

The staff member's air conditioner stopped working. In essence, he had no Air(power). First he called an air conditioning expert to his house to see what was wrong. The expert told him that he needed some parts for the system. The parts would take some time to come in as the system was over 21 years old. And as it turned out, almost no one was making parts anymore for such an old system.

The staff member went to his insurance company to see if they would let him retire the old system and replace it with a newer, more capable one. (Sound familiar?) The insurer (think Congress) decided the system still had some uses, and it would be cheaper and better if they tried to get the parts to fix it.

Meanwhile the AC expert went to the web to try to find parts which might do the job. Lots were found; many from overseas suppliers … but when the unit was opened and the technical order reviewed, the original manufacturer clearly stated that parts had to be made by either … the original manufacturer … or an approved sub-manufacturer. And … the original manufacturer no longer made parts for the system.

Finally, parts were located … but, in all it took almost four weeks to get the system operational. True story.

Now think about how the Air Force - dealing with planes, some of which are almost 50 years old - manages with a fleet that averages more than the staff member's AC. But there's a difference here. No body died from the heat. The ground forces were not attacked and harassed from the air. Our troops on the ground were supported. ISR was provided. Space assets provided navigation, communications, and intelligence. But we should worry about what might happen in the future when our Air(power) is even older …

Secondly, an interesting article was published The American Interest by Dr. Richard Andres. It's a long piece (nine pages on my printer) but worth your read. It covers so many points that AFA supports (and some that we don't) that I won't list them all. Give me some feedback on this piece.

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association

RAF to Shrink to World War I Levels

August 10, 2010

Almost unnoticed in Washington this month was a piece announcing major cuts to the UK military. With these cuts, the headlines below says it all – The Royal Air Force will shrink to its smallest size since World War One.

We should be concerned about this for several reasons. First the UK have been our staunchest ally … and have provided the most troops, the most forces of any other nation in the world. If the RAF shrinks, so inevitably will UK commitment to NATO, to Coalitions like the Iraqs and Afghanistans of the future. We should also worry that the US and other allies will follow suit … Read more.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Editorial: The China Gap

August 4, 2010

Have you read the August AIR FORCE Magazine yet? Don't miss this month's editorial: "The China Gap."

The US may be in a military airpower race with China, but only one side is racing.

Read more.

AFA to Honor Outstanding Airmen of the Year

August 3, 2010

The US Air Force has selected 12 Outstanding Airmen for the year 2010. Among various Air Force honors, they will be honored in September by the Air Force Association in conjunction with the Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Air Force sorties markedly higher in 2010

August 2, 2010

As published by AIR FORCE Magazine's Daily Report, U.S. Air Force total air sorties continue at a markedly higher volume than one year ago. Using the latest date available, July 23, 2010, the Air Force had flown 82,136 total flights in U.S. Central Command since the beginning of the calendar year. One year earlier, July 23, 2009, the number of flights for that year was 64,377. That is growth of 27 percent over that one-year span. In 2008, the July 23 number was about 60,000. The steady climb in total sorties began in the latter half of 2009.

Supporting Education

August 2, 2010

Each year, AFA awards about $1.5 million as part of the Association's mission, which includes not only promoting aerospace education but also supporting Airmen and their families. Since aerospace education starts both with catching the interest of children early and ensuring students know the foundational subjects, AFA enthusiastically promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

A few examples of recent scholarships include the Spouse Scholarships, grants to Civil Air Patrol Squadrons and naming the Aerospace Teacher of the Year.

Airman Gives of Himself for Son

August 2, 2010

In this heart-warming Air Force story from New Haven, Conn., a father's ability to give up 20 percent of his liver saved the life of a 2-year-old boy. Father and son are recuperating and going home, after a three-month stay together in a Ronald McDonald House.

Senior Airman Mario Webb, a ground radio maintainer from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, acted as a living donor to give his son, Genghis, a liver transplant in April.

(Above: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Mareshah Haynes)