Friday, April 29, 2011

New CyberPatriot Video! Registration for CPIV Now Open!

CyberPatriot, is gearing up for its new season! Registration for CyberPatriot IV is now open, inviting students from ALL U.S. high schools or accredited home school programs to participate in this exciting competition while space is still available. (Registration ends October 8, 2011.)

video 

CyberPatriot was created to inspire high school students toward careers in cyber security or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. It offers valuable skills for students, providing hands-on learning about technology and cyber defense, emphasizing teamwork and leadership, and exercising skills in problem-solving and critical thinking. But most importantly, it’s fun!

Pass this on to your local schools, and start forming teams in your area today! LEARN MORE!

Monday, April 25, 2011

AFA Salutes 2011 Team of the Year

Last week AFA announced the Air Force First Sergeants as being honored as the 2011 Team of the Year!

Each year the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, along with the major command-level command chief master sergeants, selects a specific Air Force career field to be recognized as the “Team of the Year.” They then select individual members within that career field who are professionals who clearly display superior technical expertise, attract the praise of their superiors and provide leadership and inspiration to others.

Last year's Team of the Year was the Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft Sensor Operators, and the 2009 team was comprised of Airmen in the explosive ordnance disposal career field.

AFA is always pleased to pay tribute to these Airmen and their important contribution to the Air Force by hosting a Team of the Year Awards Ceremony and Reception, in addition to an exclusive four-day program that also includes visits with Air Force Leaders at the Pentagon, a visit with individual team member’s congressman on Capitol Hill and other special events throughout the nation’s capital.

This year's ceremony will take place at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Va., on May 2, 2011, at 6 p.m. Come show your support for the 2011 Team of the Year!

Learn more about the five individuals who will represent the First Sergeant family for the 2011 Team of the Year Award at http://www.afa.org/media/press/TeamOfYear_2011.asp.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

May Air Force Breakfast Session

AFA just announced the speaker for the May Session of Air Force Breakfast Series!

Erin Conaton, Under Secretary of the Air Force, will be the guest speaker for the next session of the AFA Air Force Breakfast Program Series, to be held on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel.

Ms. Conaton is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force on behalf of the Secretary of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its more than 334,000 men and women on active duty; 176,000 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve; 170,000 civilians; and their families. She also oversees the Air Force's annual budget of more than $110 billion and serves as acting Secretary of the Air Force in the Secretary's absence.

From 2007 until her current appointment, Ms. Conaton served as the Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services, where she directed the overall operations, strategic planning and substantive agenda of the committee, to include drafting and overseeing the annual defense authorization bill.

Please register online at http://afamaybreakfast.eventbrite.com/.
(For additional information, contact Sarah Piggott at spiggott@afa.org.)

The Sheraton Crystal City Hotel is located at 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington VA, 22202.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

AFA NATIONAL DIRECTOR PRAISES TEAM WILSON – CYBERPATRIOT III TOP NATIONAL AWARD WINNER

(Submitted by Richard A. Ortega, VP Aerospace Education, AFA Florida Region)

During the CAP Florida Wing Conference held April 16, 2011, John T. “Tim” Brock, AFA National Director, addressed the leadership of the Florida CAP Wing. Tim recognized the members of the Orlando CAP Squadron’s renowned Team Wilson, the "All Service Division" winners of AFA’s CyberPatriot III National High School Cyber Defense Competition held April 1, 2011 in Washington, D.C. Members of Team Wilson included Cadets Josh Dovi, Reid Ferguson, Evan Hamrick, Michael Hudson, Issac Harding and Mrs. Nina Harding (Team Wilson Coach). Tim commended the cadets for their brilliant performance that enabled them to qualify as one of the seventeen teams selected from a national pool of 700 original teams. After an exhausting day-long competition "Team Wilson" emerged triumphant as the First Place Winners of the "All Service Division" National contest.


From left, Cadets Josh Dovi, Reid Ferguson, Evan Hamrick, Michael Hudson, Isaac Harding and the Team Coach, Nina Harding
proudly accept framed certificates from Col. James Rushing, CAP Southeast Region Commander and the AFA Overall Trophy Cup from
John T. Brock, AFA National Director.



Tim explained that our nation is critically dependent on cyber systems for industry, commerce, communication, and national defense and the importance of cyber systems is rapidly increasing. He further explained that our nation is increasingly vulnerable to disruption of our computers and networks. He also explained that AFA has been instrumental in creating America's largest and fastest growing High School students, AFJROTC and CAP cadets Cyber Defense competitions.

Tim thanked the CAP local, state, and national leaders for their outstanding contributions to the success achieved this program. He indicated that the Central Florida Chapter of the Air Force Association takes great pride in providing financial support to the Squadrons in CAP Group 4 and specially in motivating CAP Cadets to achieve academic excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Finally, Tim joined Col. James Rushing, Florida CAP Southeast Region Commander in the presentation of framed citations to the cadets and Mrs. Harding. Tim then re-presented the CyberPatriot Commander-In-Chief Trophy to Team Wilson.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Governor of New Jersey Recognizes CyberPatriot Champions

CyberPatriot III officially ended April 1, where the top scorers of each division were annoucned and awarded. But the winners continue to get recognized throughout their home states.

Governor Chris Christie, of New Jersey, congratulated “Team Mantrap” of Red Bank Regional High School on Twitter yesterday for being crowned the CyberPatriot III Open Division National Champions.

Out of an original 186 Open Division registrants, “Team Mantrap” (Mantrap is an industrial term in cyber security parlance) was the top scorer in their division, which was comprised of students from public, private, parochial and home schools not associated with any military organization (i.e., Junior ROTC and Civil Air Patrol).

“Congrats to team Mantrap at Red Bank Regional High for becoming CyberPatriot III national champions,” the governor said via Twitter, April 14, 2011. “Keep up the good work.”

To read more about “Team Mantrap,” click here.

Registration for CyberPatriot IV is now open! For more information, check out www.uscyberpatriot.org.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Note from AFA President -- April, the Month of the Military Child

AFA members, as many of you know, this month is the month of the military child. AFA has recognized this with a press release you can find here: http://www.afa.org/media/press/AFA_Honors_Military_child.asp

But to honor the month, I want to tell you a story … one that very few people know.

When I was President of the National Defense University (NDU), I frequently bragged about the NDU library, calling it the "best library in the world." I had reason to … as, before I took over, it had won an award as the best library in government. One night, at a social event at my home, I asserted the above praise, and my dear wife responded: "If your library is so great, ask them to find the origin of the term 'Military Brat.' I think the term is an acronym."

[Many of you may know that the term Brat is a common reference to children of military members. It is a term of endearment – referring to a group who endure hardships, frequently move, change schools, leave behind friends, put up with frequent deployments, long absences of their parent(s), and (sometimes) inadequate government housing.]

Well – it turns out my wife was right … and the NDU library came through. A researcher there found a book written in 1921 which described the origins of the term. It came, like many of our military traditions, from the British Army. It seems that when a member of the British Army was assigned abroad and could take his family (mostly in India), the family went with the member in an Admin status entitled: BRAT status. It stands for: British Regiment Attached Traveler. Over the years, it was altered to refer only to the children of the military member (the wives of the British Army [who were all males] objected to the term referring to them). And the term not only stuck, but in many cases was adopted world-wide.

I can't emphasize too much the support role of families to our military. They move all over the world. Continuity of education, friendships … and even living conditions are often lacking. The success of the military is dependent upon the safety and support of their family members.

That is why one of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force's top five priorities is: Developing and Caring for Airmen and their families. Family members' motto is exactly the same as that of the Air Force Association: The Force behind the Force.

Please share this note with as many others as you can.

Respectfully,
Mike

Michael M. Dunn
President/CEO
Air Force Association

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Air Force Breakfast Session with Gen Reno

This morning, AFA was part of another great session of the Air Force Breakfast Series, where military industry professionals and media come together to hear top issues from Air Force leadership.

April’s speaker was Lt. General Loren M. Reno, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support for Headquarters U.S. Air Force.

As far as tooth and tail goes, “logistics is more than tail” was a point Reno reiterated throughout the 30-minute session.

Gen Reno holds responsibilities of leadership, management and integration of Air Force logistics readiness, aircraft and missile maintenance, civil engineering and security forces, as well as setting policy and preparing budget estimates that reflect enhancements to productivity, combat readiness and quality of life for Air Force people.

During his session, Gen Reno covered his top three priorities, which for the most part fell in line with the top priorities of the Air Force as stated by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Secretary of the Air Force.

Presently, Gen Reno’s top three priorities:

1. Continue to strengthen the nuclear enterprise
2. Support the joint and coalition team to win today’s fight
3. Sustaining transformation

*To strengthen the nuclear enterprise, we much enforce the standards of precision and liability, he said, while improving culture of critical self-assessment and securing t he positive inventory control of nuclear-related materials.

*To fulfill Priority 2, he said we must provide resilient, refreshed and ready forces. With transitional programs and goals, the Airman’s shift from the combat mindset to the home life must be well supported.

*As for sustaining transformation, he put an emphasis on expeditionary combat support systems, which merge base level and wholesale logistics systems and deliver hard net-savings for the Air Force.

When asked about the flight line of the future, he said he saw even better partnerships than the ones we currently have with our contractors and industry providers. The expectations of contractors, however, will remain the same to him: they must fulfill promises and use their expertise to find innovative ways to reduce their costs/prices.

The Air Force is the U.S. military’s largest user of fuel and has been exploring alternative fuel sources and synthetic fuel programs over the past decade. Reno said they have now certified all of their engines to fly on the Fischer-Tropsch process, but the biggest issue holding them back is that there are no suppliers of great output here in the US. The F-T process has received intermittent attention as a source of low-sulfur diesel fuel and to address the supply or cost of petroleum-derived hydrocarbons. “We’re ready if industry makes it available,” he said.

They have also made great progress with a biomass-derived blend — half regular JP-8 jet fuel and half a fuel made from a nonfood flowering plant. But found the same problem with the lack of U.S. providers.

A challenge to industry?

The Air Force Breakfast Program is always a great opportunity for energetic dialogue with senior Air Force and Department of Defense leaders. Past speakers include Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley and General Gary L. North, Commander of Pacific Air Forces. The next session will be May 11, 2011, with Under Secretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton.

Monday, April 11, 2011

AFA Honors the Military Child

It's Month of the Military Child!

This April highlights the 25th anniversary of Month of the Military Child, a legacy of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. With approximately 1.7 million American children with a parent serving in the military, AFA is proud to acknowledge the important role military children play in the armed forces community.

The impact of a decade of war is unquestionably felt among the sons and daughters of the men and women serving our country. More than 900,000 military children have had a parent deploy multiple times. They are experiencing long-term, multiple deployments of parents, in addition to the typical stressors associated with relocation and adjusting to new communities.

AFA reinforces that military children are key parts of the armed forces community. They provide the support of home and instill a drive in the men and women that fight for our country.

“A vital part of AFA’s mission is to support the Air Force family, which certainly includes the sons and daughters of the men and women in uniform,” said Mike Dunn, President of AFA. “During these hard times of conflict around the world, when children are separated from their parents more frequently, it’s very important to recognize them for their courage, character, sacrifice and resilience.”

AFA is a firm supporter of the Air Force family and works to shed light on military family issues through education and advocacy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Armed Forces Salute Local Couple

AFA has more benefits than we even knew!

In 1999, Lew and Joyce Feuersteins of Raleigh met at an Air Force Association meeting, and 16 months later, they married! The Air Force had been part of their lives for decades and they now share their experiences with Air Force ROTC cadets from NC State. This couple has been recognized as local heroes by Raleigh's channel 11 as they continue to this day to stay involved with cadets and Air Force leaders in their community!

Check out this video on ABC: http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/video?id=7940370

Monday, April 4, 2011

CyberFutures Wrap-Up

What an exciting two-day event!

CyberFutures culminated Friday evening with an unforgettable ceremony, where the winners of CyberPatriot III were announced! Congratulations to the following teams for placing:

Open Division Champions: Red Bank Regional High School, Little Silver, NJ
Second place: Westview High School, San Diego, CA
Third Place: Alamo Area Acadamies, San Antonio, TX

All Service Division Champions:
Orlando CAP Squadron, Orlando, FL
Second Place: Buena High School Army JROTC, Sierra Vista, AZ
Third Place: Clearfield High School AFJROTC, Clearfield, UT

Friday's agenda had another line-up of top cyber security experts addressing new strategies for the new domain! Military leadership gave us an in-depth look at how the armed forces are addressing cyber concerns and challenges. Maj Gen David Senty, Chief of Staff for Cyber Command, opened up Day 2 of the CyberFutures Conference with a presentation on maneuvering in cyberspace. Lt Gen William Lord, Chief, Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer; Lt Gen Michael Basla, Vice Commander of Air Force Space Command, and Maj Gen Edward Bolton, Director of Cyber and Space Operations, each brought their perspectives on the emerging threats and the current and future challenges associated with operating in cyberspace.

We also had Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist of Google Vinton Cerf present at CyberFutures. (Cerf is also recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet".) Cerf discussed building resilient systems as well as some of the advancements we’ve made in communicating over the InterPlanetary Network in space – for the first time storing data rather than just transmitting it in the network.

James Richberg, Assistant Deputy Director for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, discussed the obstacles in guarding networks from cyber intrusions. DNI leads intelligence integration across the 16 federal organizations that comprise the Intelligence Community and serves as the principal adviser to the president and the National Security Council on intelligence issues related to national security.

Check Air Force magazine's Daily Report for more coverage for CyberFutures! Transcripts from the CyberFutures Conference and Technology Exposition will be available at www.afa.org later this week.

AFA wants to thank everyone who made CyberFutures such a successful inaugural event! And congratulations, again, to the CyberPatriot teams!

Friday, April 1, 2011

CyberFutures - Day One

Cybersecurity is a vital role in not just national defense, but countless other divisions. The first day of AFA’s inaugural CyberFutures Conference was a great success as we explored the newest domain with a remarkable line-up of speakers representing government, military, industry and academia.

We started the day off with Gordon Snow, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, as he outlined the FBI‘s cyber mission and joint agency efforts. Snow’s division pursues cyber terrorists and national, state and criminal threats. He made the goal of the FBI’s Cyber Division clear: Make investigations proactive, then predictive, then preventive.

Maj Gen Ronnie Hawkins, Vice Director of Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) followed, focusing on strategies for strengthening national cyber security – specifically looking at the human perspective.

“All of us operate on a cyber network, all of us are connected, and all of us are at risk.”
Gen Hawkins’ focus: we must be proactive and preventative.

The CyberPatriot panel gave a great presentation, outlining the many great advantages of experiental learning in an exciting environment, as well as the need for more students to be involved in STEM fields.

CyberPatriot is the premier national cyber defense high school competition that is changing the way teenagers view cybersecurity. It gives them hands-on experience in cyber defense while giving them the opportunity to compete against their peers in an exciting environment.

“We want to open this up to every kid…even starting at the elementary level. We need a pathway to get people into this field,” said Natalie Granado, Associate Director of Training for CIAS, UTSA.

Diane Miller, Director of Operations of Cybersecurity Group for Northrop Grumman, expanded on the industry role in furthering the role of cybersecurity in today’s youth. This program offer technical training in skills that are valuable to where careers are available. Through industry volunteerism, participating in CyberPatriot helps strengthen the future cyber defense workforce and encourage students to explore careers in cybersecurity.

Our exhibit hall includes the latest in cyber technology from industry leaders such as Generay dynamics, Raytheon, Boeing Company, Center for Cyberspace Research, CIAS, SAIC and the Air Force Research Institute.

The afternoon portion of Day One had Greg Schaffer of the Department of Homeland Security speak on the national strategic challenge. Martin Libicki, senior management scientist at RAND Corporation, with an extensive background on the impacts of information technology on domestic and national security, defined cyber deterrence and cyberwar and the biggest challenges associated with each.

Melissa Hathaway, senior advisor at Harvard Kennedy Schools Belfer Center, identified challenges in defending the enterprise, asking the question: Should Internet providers be held to higher security standards as essential communications?

We had another panel looking at the industrial approach to dealing with cyber defense and closed with author/constultant Winn Scwartau, who illuminated the potential danger of smart phones. Biggest threat to mobile phones: The half a million apps available with very little security measures, says Schwartau.

And that was all in the first day! We are excited to start DAY TWO now!

Make sure you follow us on Twitter @AirForceAssoc to get updates throughout the conference!