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.

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