Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 1 of AFA's 27th Annual Air Warfare Symposium

AFA’s 27th Annual Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition has official begun! This premier winter event provides an opportune environment to learn about challenges in airpower today from the top echelon in Air Force leadership.

This two-day symposium, held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida, will have speakers addressing everything from tensions created from budget cuts to priorities from different commands of the Air Force. But altogether, we had today and will have tomorrow great dialogue and in-depth views of issues facing air warfare.

The event kicked off with a great opening statement from Gen William M. Fraser of Air Combat Command. "These conferences provide us an opportunity for this critical time, operationally and fiscally," he said. Gen Fraser went on to speak about the importance of Agile Combat Air Power and the need for key modernization programs, commenting on China’s Chengdu J-2 – a fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft prototype.

"Put warfighters, not the bottom line first," he added.

Later in the day we had a great panel on Contested Air Battlespace with Gen Gary L. North, Gen Mark A. Welsh and Lt Gen Donald C. Wurster.

"Air dominance doesn't just mean freedom from attack, but freedom to attack," said Gen Welsh, Commander of US Air Forces in Europe.

“Don't allow the enemy to take off,” added Gen Gary North, Commander of Pacific Air Forces, when addressing preventive conflict.

Chief Master Sgt Roy gave an enlisted perspective, expressing the challenges that many airmen face. Chief Roy detailed his initiative to build initial resiliency skills among our airmen. "People matter, lives matter...communicate and care for people,” said Chief Roy, on fostering a resilient culture.

Directly following his presentation, AFA Chairmen of the Board Sandy Schlitt invited Chief Roy back to the stage, surprising him with AFA’s first-ever Chief Airey Fellowship award – recognizing the great leadership Chief Roy has displayed in this highest-ranking position held by an enlisted officer.

Next up was Vice Chief of Staff Gen Philip Breedlove, who highlighted the priorities of the Air Force operations. "Our nation demands and relies on us to fight across the full spectrum of conflict, not just the wars we find ourselves in today," he said.

We also had presentations from Gen William Shelton, Gen C. Robert Kehler, Gen Donald Hoffman, Gen Douglas Fraser, Lt Gen Charles Stenner and Lt Gen Harry Wyatt.

AND just a few doors down, CyberPatriot had 12 teams from the competition's All Service division preoccupied defending several computer systems from hackers. The All Service semifinal round of competition is being held in conjunction with the Air Warfare Symposium, where each of these teams are vying for the five available spots in the finals!

--- And that was all just in the first day!

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