Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AFA Employee Receives Tourism Industry Contribution Award

AFA is proud to congratulate its own Pete Lindquist, managing director of the Air Force Memorial, for receiving the 2010 Tourism Industry Contribution Award. Lindquist, a retired Air Force colonel, was honored on January 11, 2011, with this award by the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC for being "the epitome of customer service” to tour groups of all ages visiting the Air Force Memorial.

Lindquist readily offers information and insights regarding the Memorial and graciously accommodates unexpected groups so all visitors have a memorable experience. One nominator said, "If I knew his source of customer-friendliness I would package it and sell it."

The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, D.C. is a not-for-profit organization of more than 430 members from varied backgrounds who have experience conducting tours for visitors from all over the world. The Guild prides itself on promoting the highest standards in tour guiding. Each fall, Guild members nominate outstanding professionals for their Tourism Industry Contribution of the Year award.

“I am very humbled and grateful for this honor from the Guild, especially since it is actually the Guild members themselves that tell the story of the Air Force Memorial on an almost daily basis,” Lindquist said. “My assistant and I are part of a great team here at the Air Force Memorial that, along with our professional Guild partners, ensure our guests enjoy their time visiting the Memorial and have a positive memorable experience. Our team truly appreciates this recognition and hopes that our guests continue to take pleasure in our national place of pride, reverence and remembrance for the men and women who served and sacrificed for our country in the Air Force.”

Congratulates, Pete!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

AFA Member Featured in Video Diary for the Veterans Project of Marion County

One of AFA's Chapter members was interviewed as the Featured Veteran for the Veterans Project of Marion County! Mike Emig is President of the Red Tail Memorial Chapter (in Lane Ocala, FL).

The Veterans Project of Marion County is a page dedicated to the men and women of the Armed Forces who have served the United States throughout its history, giving them an opportunity to share with us their experiences.

Check here to learn more about AFA's activities in Florida.


Today in airpower history, the U.S. Air Force adopts blue uniforms. In 1947, the first Air Force dress uniform was dubbed and patented "Uxbridge Blue" after "Uxbridge 1683 Blue", a combination of the yarn mill in Uxbridge, Massachusetts and the blue dye color. In 1949, it was officially adopted by USAF.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Airpower in the News...


Giant Rocket Set to Launch at Vandenberg
By W.J. Hennigan

A 235-foot rocket with a secret payload will be the tallest ever to lift off from the base.

Perched in the fog-covered hills of Lompoc north of Santa Barbara sits a massive 23-story rocket ready to blast off from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The three-engine Delta IV Heavy rocket, the tallest ever to be launched from the base, will be carrying a top-secret spy satellite for the U.S. government capable of snapping pictures detailed enough to distinguish the make and model of an automobile hundreds of miles below, analysts say.

As early as Thursday afternoon, the massive rocket will lift off from the base's Space Launch Complex 6, leaving a thick white plume over the Pacific Ocean as it cuts across the afternoon sky.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

AF Breakfast Series Now Audiotaped!

The Air Force Breakfast Series had a great first session of the new year with Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley as the guest speaker. It was our biggest audience yet! Speaking to a crowd of nearly 100 reporters, military members and industry professionals, Secretary Donley commented on statements made last week by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the department’s budget, efficiencies and priorities.

AFA is trying something new this year with the Air Force Breakfast series, now providing an audio recording of the event. Click here to hear the January session.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In the News...New Era in Modern Warfare?

Los Angeles Times
January 11, 2011
Pg. 1

Drones Becoming Speedier, Deadlier
By W.J. Hennigan

Three drones being flown in the coming weeks are speedier, stealthier and higher-flying.

An experimental spy plane with a wingspan almost the size of a Boeing 747's took to the skies over the Mojave Desert last week in a secret test flight that may herald a new era in modern warfare with robotic planes flying higher, faster and with more firepower.

The massive Global Observer built by AeroVironment Inc. of Monrovia is capable of flying for days at a stratosphere-skimming 65,000 feet, out of range of most antiaircraft missiles. The plane is built to survey 280,000 square miles — an area larger than Afghanistan — at a single glance.


Remembering Jack Wheeler

AFA members, Congressional staff members, civic leaders, DOCA members, many of you heard in the press about the loss of Jack Wheeler. Most of you did not know him … others did … and very well.

Jack and I exchanged many emails … several per day. Among the many things on which he was working were: Lifting the ban of ROTC in Ivy league schools; questioning why there were fewer Rhodes Scholarships to service academies … especially in the time of war; questioning the ROE in Afghanistan; questioning the strategy (and the losses) in Afghanistan … especially in how it projected vulnerability and attrition; questioning some of the procurement decisions in DOD; and many, many others. He often said he was "addicted to unfair fights."

He was most worried about the cyber domain. A few days before Christmas, Jack sent me (and others) the email below my name. It shows not only the intellect, but also the persuasion and passion he felt. It was entitled: Twelve Cyber Points of Christmas - US is Fighting the First Cyber War. Each of these points could easily be developed into policy papers for decision makers.

There were many in his "inner circle of inner circles." One such person, Robbin Laird, has penned a tribute to him. You can find it on the left side of the home page at:

Finally, I, for one, will miss Jack. He possessed a huge intellect and served passionately in a number of key positions … including an important one in getting the Viet Nam Memorial built. He had a huge heart … and was a great friend of veterans, the Air Force and the Air Force Association. He will be missed.

For your consideration.

Colleagues, Hearty Season's Greetings.

With year 2010 winding up, five years after the December 7, 2005 formal
launch of Cyber into the US Warfighting mission, a Cyber Assessment is
timely. Cyber grows more quickly than many thought five years ago, and imbues
warplanning and citizen awareness, Congressional and budget awareness.

In almost every pertinent sense the US is at war in Cyberspace. Call it
guerilla war, irregular war, insurgency, low intensity war, but it is war.
Julian Assange and Wikileaks is one aspect of the war. Each of the Twelve
Principles of War applies. TOE and Order of Battle apply. Doctrine and the
lessons of old from Napoleon, Esposito, Summers, and Thucydides apply. Think
Aviation in 1924, and in the Spanish Civil War where Hitler tested his

We are in the First Cyber War. It is crude and evolving. The Second Cyber War
will be worse.

May I offer these 12 End of Year Cyber Assessment Points for your comment?
What is omitted? What is misstated and needs correction? Correction, Addition welcome. Think, "The Twelve Cyber Points of Christmas" :)

1. There is unmet need for Citizen Preparedness for worst cases. This has some weight as a need, though experts differ on how urgent; [Name deleted] regards it as very urgent.

2. Quantum Technology is a looming game changer, further driving Moore's Law, eg Quantum Encryption, Quantum Computing (Schrödinger's Cat is Back).

3. Doctrinally the Electric Power Grid is part of Cyberspace, within Cyberspace; eg, this follows from "Cyber as the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum", and, as a practical matter, since Cyber and the Grid are so intertwined, as now being examined in the cutting edge work by Frank Kramer and James Woolsey.

4. Cyber Recruiting Data is still not "Racked and Stacked" quarterly or monthly so that All Hands have view of Accessions, losses to Civ World, progression in Rank, Distribution of Cyber skill codes; rather, this across the board info is scattered in silos. But a full warfighting domain (per DEPSECDEF) needs this summary.

5. Total Cyber Warfighting Budget is not "Racked and Stacked" so that warplanners can make trade-offs among the Air, Cyber, Land, Sea and Space Domains; Budget data is scattered and siloed; again, per DEPSECDEF Cyber is fully a warfighting Domain yet dollar tradeoffs are impeded for lack of summed total budget data: this impedes HASC, SASC, NSC as well as the Services. The US fights cross-domain and multi-domain; dollar tradeoffs cross-domain and multi-domain are a clear unmet need. This impedes treaty discussions the US may have internationally on Cyber.

6. There are important Lessons Learned from the Forward Edge of the Cyber Fight, now in Afghanistan. In military combat terms, while Cyberspace is seamless and universal, from the groundfight perspective there is a Forward Edge in Afghanistan, where cyber targets in the AOR are defended and attacked, a vital source of Lessons Learned. For an historical analogy, Think: Aviation in the Spanish Civil War, where Germany tested its air weapons.

7. Education in Cyber Hygiene and Cyber Skills is not well understood and well led nationally, according to experts who study US education and have spoken with cyber leaders. Many initiatives are afoot nationwide but not well understood and coordinated. At the Five Federal Military Academies, cyber is taught, but field and seaborne training linking cyber defense and offense to precision strike weapons and to the reach back piloting of UAV's is lacking; for example, at USMA in summer combat training, components not yet in place are use of handheld targeting and control and live video streaming devices to attack targets and to defend that weapon system against full cyber counterattack.

8. Overclassification Abounds in Cyberspace channels throughout US Government and has to be corrected. There is perhaps and understandably concern and tension regarding protecting funding and bureaucratic turf involved; the cost is lost unification in command and action. A Statute to force re-classification is probably required. This runs counter to the heightened security concerns caused by Wikileaks, but US unity of command and data exchange remain hampered by overclassification, and to some degree, some may see in the Wikileak's content some indication that there is overclassification.

9. In the cyber commands there is uncertainty still as to what offensive cyber fires are permitted.

10. There is lack of Unity of Command in Cyber Defense nationally, given DHS and DOD and some DOE and ownership of Cyber activities; the power grid as a part of Cyberspace exacerbates Unity of Command issues. FERC is a factor, with pricing control of the Grid.

11. In general the US does not "Train Like it Fights" in cyberspace, including the power grid. One reason is restraint in full-on cyber attack by "Red Teams." This applies to Electric Power Companies, to some extent still in Defense commands, and to citizens. A factor is a desire not to "spook the herd" by fully stating cyber and grid dangers.

12. A glaring oversight is that Cyberspace is omitted from the Title 10 US Code Congressional guidance to war fighters; Air, Land, Sea and Space are in Title 10; Cyber is not. For reasons of plain consistency and uniform guidance the omission is not easy to defend. The Statute needs to be amended to incorporate Cyber into the Basic Guidance which Title 10 constitutes; an explanation for the absence is that Cyberspace is an intelligence Domain, not a Warfighting Domain, but DEPSECDEF has laid that argument to rest: Cyberspace is fully a Warfighting Domain.

Thank you for consideration, any feedback, correction.

Blessings this Season.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Grateful, PRC x 2, CRS study

AFA members, Congressional staff members, Civic leaders, DOCA members, welcome to 2011. I know we all wish 2011 will be a better year than 2010. In thinking about that, just before Christmas, I penned a short piece … to hopefully make us stop and be both thankful and grateful as … those who are defending us. You can find the piece at:

Secondly, there has been lots of news lately on China. In the first piece (see below), ADM Willard expresses concern over the PRC deployment of a ballistic missile designed to threaten US aircraft carriers. This is another reason why the nation needs a modern, long range strike capability.

Thirdly, as the Daily Report mentioned on Monday, the PRC has unveiled its 5th generation fighter. This is the same fighter cited by Sec Gates as not being deployed until 2020. Perhaps … we hope so. The best analysis of the aircraft … plus some great photos has been done by our friends at Airpower Australia. It can be found at: [Note: I don't endorse some of the comparisons between the J-20 and US aircraft.]

Finally - an AFA staff member sent me some stats from a Congressional Research Study report on Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs).

"Here are some stats from CRS. We've spent $34B on MRAPS from FY06-FY10 and are on track to acquire 16,000 for the Army and Marines. 8,000 are slated to be assigned to inactive status - most are less than 2yrs old. This is an "Interesting" amortization of an investment. How much would it have cost to acquire say … another lot of F-22s or a long-range bomber that would be in service for several decades? I know we don't want kids getting blown up, but perhaps a more prudent idea would be to invest in capabilities and strategies that don't rely on projecting vulnerability and attrition." [Highlighting is mine.]

The staff member makes a great point … when we focus on today, tomorrow gets neglected …

[To partially answer the staff members' question - a multi-year contract for 60 F-22s at 20/year would have cost approx $9B … and would have provided a hedge against risk (real or imagined) in the F-35 program.]

For your consideration.


Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association


Head of US Pacific Command says China moving toward deploying anti-carrier missile
By Associated Press

December 28, 2010, 12:15 a.m.

BEIJING (AP) — China is moving closer to deploying a ballistic missile designed to sink an aircraft carrier, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command said in newspaper interview published Tuesday.

Adm. Robert Willard told Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper that he believed the Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile program had achieved "initial operational capability," meaning that a workable design had been settled on and was being further developed.

Known among defense analysts as a "carrier killer," the Dong Feng 21D missile would be a game-changer in the Asian security environment, where U.S. Navy aircraft carrier battle groups have ruled the waves since the end of World War II.

The DF 21D's uniqueness is in its ability to hit a powerfully defended moving target with pinpoint precision — a capability U.S. naval planners are scrambling to deal with.

The system's component parts have likely been designed and tested, but U.S. sources have not detected an over-water test to see how well it can target a moving ship, Willard said.

Years of tests are probably still needed before the missile can be fully deployed, he said. The system requires state-of-the-art guidance systems, and some experts believe it will take China a decade or so to field a reliable threat.

The missile is considered a key component of China's strategy of denying U.S. planes and ships access to waters off its coast. The strategy includes overlapping layers of air defense systems, naval assets such as submarines, and advanced ballistic missile systems — all woven together with a network of satellites.

At its most capable, the DF 21D could be launched from land with enough accuracy to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 900 miles (1,500 kilometers).

That could seriously weaken Washington's ability to intervene in any potential conflict over Taiwan or North Korea, as well as deny U.S. ships safe access to international waters near China's 11,200-mile (18,000-kilometer) -long coastline.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu on Tuesday referred questions about Willard's comments to military departments, but reiterated China's insistence that its expanding military threatens no one.

"I can say that China pursues a defensive national policy. ... We pose no threat to other countries. We will always be a force in safeguarding regional peace and stability," Jiang told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference.

While China's Defense Ministry never comments on new weapons before they become operational, the DF 21D — which would travel at 10 times the speed of sound and carry conventional payloads — has been much discussed by military buffs online.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Excitement for 2011

As each year passes, AFA continues to be actively engaged in reaching out to the public. We are dedicated to our mission and look for new and exciting ways to successfully carry them out.

From the AFA’s many initiatives to the burgeoning popularity of the Air Force Memorial, 2010 was an outstanding year.

Each conference had a terrific turnout as we fulfilled the key components of our mission: to educate, advocate and support on the behalf of the Air Force family. We started 2010 off with a strong presence in Orlando at the Air Warfare Symposium in February – held in conjunction with the finals of our high school CyberPatriot competition. We had an exceptional show of support and it was a great commencement to a full year of successful events.

Our 2010 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in September was the biggest we’ve ever had, with 45 different conference addresses, workshops and forums. It had a record number of attendees and exhibitors who have already expressed an interest in returning next year.

And AFA ended the year with the Global Warfare Symposium and the annual Air Force Ball in Los Angeles in mid-November. Held at the Beverly Hilton, this endeavor is always a great way to highlight some important Air Force topics, ranging from the nuclear enterprise and cyberspace to expeditionary forces and space.

The Air Force Memorial had an exciting year and is getting ready for its Hollywood debut. In early October, Paramount Pictures shot footage for their upcoming 2011 summer blockbuster, Transformers 3, on the Memorial grounds. Along with various official ceremonies, concerts and events, the Memorial hosted a 4th of July concert set against the sparkling fireworks over the Capitol, boasting over 4,000 guests. On a more somber note, the Memorial’s Veterans Day ceremony was a moving experience for everyone who attended and was a fitting tribute to military heroes.

AFA continues to reach out in many different ways to educate the public about aerospace issues, which include several initiatives such as CyberPatriot, the Air Force Breakfast series and the Mitchell Institute. The 2010 CyberPatriot competition expanded to include any high school student in the nation. With that extension, we are able to reach out to younger generations and encourage studies in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This year’s competition reached over 600 teams and continues to gain momentum.

The Air Force Breakfast series continues to allow Air Force leadership to interact with industry leaders, the media and the public. And the Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies has sponsored important research and published several papers then discussed in the widely attended Mitchell Hours.

AFA’s efforts to advocate can be seen in our discussions on Capitol Hill, Mike Dunn’s Notes from the President, Air Power Advocates groups, media outreach and fast-growing social media activity. Our top issues remain a priority, and our newest Statement of Policy stands as a testament of those issues. As always, we continue to offer scholarship opportunities and support for all those in the wide reaching Air Force family.

And we can’t forget the great content exhibited by Air Force Magazine. As one of the world’s foremost publications in the fields of defense and aerospace reporting, Air Force Magazine reports on important aerospace news and developments and provides authoritative background material.

Now that 2011 is on its way, we are excited to watch past initiatives cultivate and new initiatives unfold.

Our first session of the Air Force Breakfast Series will be next Wednesday, January 12, 2011, with Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley as the guest speaker. Seats are filling up fast, so register if you want to attend.

Our first symposium of the year (the Air Warfare Symposium) is quickly approaching – February 17-18, 2011 – in Orlando, and planning is underway for our newest conference, CyberFutures.

The CyberFutures Conference and Technology Exposition will take place March 31 – April 2, and will focus on the challenges the new domain of cyber space brings to every organization. The Conference will also be held in conjunction with the Championship Round for CyberPatriot, where the six-month-long competition declares its winners.

So as we head into 2011, we hope you remember to check back with us as we carry out our many programs and initiatives. As an independent, nonprofit, civilian education organization, we will continue to promote public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation.