Thursday, April 26, 2012

K2Share Joins CyberPatriot as Cyber Silver Sponsor

AFA today announced that K2Share LLC has joined the list of prestigious sponsors supporting AFA’s education initiative, CyberPatriot, the national high school cyber defense competition.

K2Share is a veteran-owned small business and trusted cybersecurity partner to the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense. As a provider of information technology-based business solutions, they specialize in systems security engineering and integration, managed services, and e-learning solutions.  In addition, K2Share offers extensive capabilities in software design, on-site technical assistance, custom content creation, application management and support services. 

K2Share joins CyberPatriot as a Cyber Silver sponsor, heightening the reach and influence of the nation’s largest and fastest growing youth cyber challenge.

ISR Enterprise: Recap of Air Force Breakfast Session with Lt. Gen. Larry James

AFA had another successful Air Force Breakfast this morning, with Lt. General Larry D. James, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, as the guest speaker.

In his position, Gen. James is responsible to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight, and leadership of Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. He leads more than 20,000 ISR officers, enlisted and civilians across the Air Force ISR Enterprise.

At today’s event, Gen James highlighted the current role of the Air Force ISR enterprise, the capacity and capabilities they have in the globally integrated ISR system, the progress it continues to make and the challenges of the way ahead.

He described the global ISR enterprise as possibly “the most capable intelligence apparatus that the department has” with over 20,000 people strong across the globe, setting up an “impressive worldwide capability.” This says a lot of the department that flies 1500 hours worth of ISR across the globe each day, providing direct support not only for the Air Force, but all other services and other government agencies.

“It’s a national system that supports national needs … across the globe,” he added.

But he went on to discuss some of the tremendous success of ISR aircraft, such as the MC-12 and the RC-135, as the Air Force has been fully submerged in pushing ISR capacity to the war fight.

The latter part of his speech highlighted the challenges the department has been tasked to uncover. The challenges came out of the Secretary of the Air Force’s ISR Review requested of the department last spring.

He painted a picture of the future ISR enterprise, describing it as one that will be a network-centric, sensor-agnostic environment that focuses on how to pull data to answer the problem you have been given. It would also be an all-domain effort, spanning over space, airborne and cyber domains.

Among the challenges that they face include: transporting the data while keeping it secure; developing the ISR personnel; identifying the tool sets needed to handle the “big data problem” (the massive quantity of data); and many more.

The audio recording for this event can be found here:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

AFA Announces Spring 2012 Civil Air Patrol Educator Grants

AFA recently announced the 20 recipients of the Civil Air Patrol Educator Grant, an education initiative funded by AFA and managed by the Civil Air Patrol Headquarters.

The CAP Educator Grants are each up to $250, and provided to teachers who are members of either the Air Force Association or the Civil Air Patrol. From designing model airplanes and launching rockets, to visiting Air Traffic Control towers and bases, AFA and CAP are helping teachers promote public awareness of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in national security. The initiative funds classroom activities or materials that benefit the entire group of students and promote knowledge of aerospace power. Grants can be applied toward field trips to aerospace museums or Air Force bases, or for books, DVDs or videotapes on aerospace topics.
“AFA is committed to supporting education initiatives, especially in the subjects of science, technology, and aerospace, which are critical for sustaining 21st century jobs in fields fundamental to U.S. air power and national security,” said George Muellner, AFA Vice Chairman of the Board for Aerospace Education. “Our partnership with CAP and these specific grants directly uphold that commitment, and we are pleased to be able to recognize, support and award some of the nation’s great educators who are also creative in their approaches to the traditional curriculum.”
Congratulations to all the recipients! Below are the grant recipients:
  • Melanie Byers, Kettering Middle School, Kettering, OH
  • Dan Caron, Aviation and Aerospace Education Center at Winnipesaukee, Gilford, NH
  • Carla Chin, San Jose K-8 Catholic School, Jacksonville, FL
  • Bonnie Dertz, Freeport Middle School, Freeport, IL
  • Brandi DeSandro, Pike County Indian Education, Goshen, AL
  • Cristin M. Dillard, Banks Primary School, Banks, AL
  • Geri Evans, Bluff Park Elementary, Birmingham, AL
  • Catherine S. Grimes, Phoenix Ranch Pre-K-8 School, Simi Valley, CA
  • J. B. Groves, III, Wharton County Junior College, Richmond, TX
  • Lt. Col. William Guth, North Clarion School District, Tionesta, PA
  • Rebecca Hill, Maxwell Air Force Base K-8 School, Maxwell AFB, AL
  • Donald B. McKeon, PhD, North Florida Rotary Youth Camp, Tallahassee, FL
  • Joan Marquez, Curington Elementary, Boerne, TX
  • Andrew Notarfrancesco, St. Malachy K-8 Catholic School, Philadelphia, PA
  • Patrick J. Scholle, Deep Run High School, Glen Allen, VA
  • Stuart Sharack, Aerospace Adventurers, Juliet Long School, Gales Ferry, CT
  • Donna Smith, Russell Elementary School, Smyrna, GA
  • Angela Standord, Gardner Math-Science-Technology Magnet School, Hot Springs, AR
  • Jessica Walker, Goshen Elementary School, Goshen, AL
  • Heather N. Watkins, Brunswick High School, Brunswick, GA

Note from AFA President -- Nuclear weapons

I have been seeing “trial balloons” in the press about the Administration's desire to go to lower numbers of nuclear warheads … beyond those listed in New START. Some of the numbers are as low as 300 warheads. [For example see:]
This should worry all of us for several reasons. 
  1. Is there a strategy change that supports further cuts? Those that I speak with say … well … we could just target cities … and 300 is way more than we need. I frequently remind those who support this that the Law of Armed Conflict, Geneva conventions, and other international agreements … and our own moral principles … prohibit the intentional targeting of civilian non-combatants. And … yes, there will be innocents that die in a nuclear attack, but the fact remains that we should never plan to target and kill non-combatants.
  2. The view of some is that “lower is better” … despite the strong evidence that we can go too low. A very low number of nuclear weapons reduces stability; makes it more likely that a potential adversary could deliver a knock-out  first strike; and gives incentives to cheating. Further if one looks at the nuclear age and measures casualties of war world-wide, one will find this is the safest period of any 65 year period of time in the modern history of the world. Nuclear weapons at sufficient levels as well as the assurance they have been tested and will work, have made world war too horrible to consider.
  3. Most of the proposals are for further arms reduction agreements with the Russians. However, the numbers cited are considered “strategic weapons limitations” and do not include tactical nuclear weapons – of which the Russians have many times more than we have. To exclude tactical nukes plus those strategic and tactical weapons of the Chinese and others leaves out categories of weapons that could threaten our survival as a nation, as well as our friends and allies.  Negotiations over very low numbers need to include all nuclear armed countries – and a healthy sense of skepticism about the bad behavior of a few rogue states.
  4. We have not yet gotten to the numbers agreed upon in New START. We have until 2018 to reach the 1550 limit; 700 deployed missiles and bombers; and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers. The rush to go lower – at a time when North Korea is expanding its stockpile, Iran is intent on building its first weapon, and the PRC is building new launch vehicles and warheads – seems to many like unilateral disarmament.
  5. Deterrence theory actually considers that the US will respond with force that will inflict upon an adversary more damage than he considers acceptable. Low numbers may cause a potential adversary to judge that either the US won’t respond to an attack or it won’t have the capability to respond – thereby making our nuclear forces less credible. This makes us more vulnerable and less secure.
  6. Every nuclear nation (save perhaps North Korea) has the capability to create more nuclear weapons per month than does the US. This is as a result of underinvestment in our industrial base. To go to very low numbers does not provide us the margin to quickly return to higher numbers (if ever necessary) in comparison to our major adversaries.
  7. Very low numbers of nuclear weapons also pose a significant risk if we discover a vulnerability or unforeseen technical problem with a weapon or delivery system. Very simply, we will further reduce any hedge to protect against “unknown unknowns”.
  8. Finally, we must realize that our nuclear stockpile provides security for many nations around the world through our bilateral and multilateral security treaties.  For example, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and the 26 members of the NATO alliance rely on US deterrence for their security.  Going too low negates some of that implied deterrence and may cause other nations to invest in and build their own nuclear weapons. 
All of the above is very important … even critical to our security. Everyone who is concerned about national security should understand this.
For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association
"The only thing more expensive than a first-rate Air Force is … a second-rate Air Force."  --  Senate staff member

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Anniversary of Doolittle Raid

In April 1942, four months after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II, 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers took off from the USS Hornet headed for Japan. In a mission designed and executed by then-Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, the Doolittle raiders volunteered to bomb Tokyo.

We had recently lost the Battle of Wake Island and faced great hardships in the Philippines, with Japan able to boast its territorial gains. But on April 18, 1942, things changed. This day we launched long-range strike to the heart of Japan in the world’s most horrific war, boosting morale to the troops of World War II and the American public back home still grieving over the tragic loss of life at Pearl Harbor.

Today, may we take time to remember the daring young men who showed great courage and sacrifice (not all of them survived the raid) in one of the most daring operations of its time to be undertaken by the United States in the Pacific War. It’s equally important to remember U.S. allies in China who enabled the Raiders’ escape upon landing, and in turn many were persecuted.
USS Hornet (CV-8) launches Army Air Force B-25B bombers,
at the start of the first U.S. air raid on the Japanese home islands.
(Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection.)

USAAF B-25B bomber lines up for takeoff from USS Hornet (CV-8).(Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection.)
During AFA's 2009 Air & Space Conference, several members of the Doolittle Raiders were among the selected groups for the AFA Lifetime Achievement Award. These awards are handed out annually, and recognizes not a single achievement, but a lifetime of work in the advancement of aerospace. Below is a video AFA created in honor of the Doolittle Raiders: 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Note from AFA President -- WMD and Ballistic Missiles

I have several exchanges with a number of you on the progress (or lack thereof) of Iran to enrich uranium and build nuclear weapons.  Most of the information on this subject is classified … however, there was one piece that crossed my desk this week that sheds light on many countries’ progress in this area.  It is the Director of National Intelligence’s report to Congress.  It covers more than just Iran … and looks at ballistic missile developments, also.
[It’s 9 pages long.  Recommend printing it.]

For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association
"The only thing more expensive than a first-rate Air Force is … a second-rate Air Force."  --  Senate staff member

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Volunteer Appreciation: 10 Years of Service

Below is an appreciative blog posting from a young Airman, Captain Robert Wray, who has volunteered with AFA conferences for 10 years now. AFA has been so grateful for his time, talent and dedicated service. His work with us has been immeasurable and has resulted in a decade of successful conferences. We've been so appreciative of his services that we honored him with a Volunteer Appreciation Award earlier this year at our February Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando.
(Left to right: Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley; AFA Volunteer Robert Wray;
and AFA Chairman of the Board, Sandy Schlitt, at AFA's 2012 Air Warfare Symposium.)
Guest blogger, Robert Wray:

"I joined the Air Force Association as a cadet in Arnold Air Society back in 2002. I liked to volunteer, but to volunteer and work with like-minded pro-military individuals - whether they served or not - was a no-brainer. Through Arnold Air Society, I was asked to volunteer at the 2003 AFA National Convention so that I could learn how to host my own events within the Arnold Air Society. I did well and have been volunteering ever since. I really enjoyed getting to meet the AFA employees and the diverse group of personnel who attend these conferences. I met a life member, Chief Master Sergeant Norm Marous, who despite being retired for almost two decades, still serves on the Vandenberg AFB Honor Guard. He gave me pointers about going on active duty and inspired me to join the Honor Guard - which I have volunteered with for all 6 years of my career.

Ultimately, volunteering with the AFA has been about the people and the opportunities. As a junior officer, I only get to see a small sliver of the national defense picture and work with limited types of professionals. At the AFA conferences, I get to meet people from all over the world, talk to senior researchers, academicians and industry members. I have also been fortunate to work directly with senior military leaders from all over the world. The different perspectives I encounter are invaluable and a welcome change to the sometimes myopic focus required of Air Force members at the tactical level like me. In the end, when I see a successful conference come to a close, I take pride knowing that not only did I work hard (and have a little fun), but I became a better person and officer through the experience.

I hope my efforts allowed guests to learn and develop too."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Month of the Military Child

As April is the Month of the Military Child, we use this time to highlight the role of military children in the Armed Forces community. The month-long tribute to military children is especially key in today’s environment as resilient families deal with the challenges of frequent moves and school transitions and manage long separations.

The nation’s 1.8 million military children help build communities with their youthful energy and excitement for life on bases and in cities around the country. It’s important to remember the sacrifices children must make in their developing days as they help support their mothers and fathers – the men and women who defend this country in times of war and peace.

We encourage all communities to participate in this month dedicated to acknowledging the importance of the military children in the lives of our armed forces. Military children are at the heart of military families and, in their own way, serve and sacrifice in support of their military parent. On behalf of the Air Force Association it’s a privilege to recognize and applaud these specific dependents for the daily sacrifices for they make in supporting America’s military.

Volunteer Appreciation Month

Here at AFA, we’ve acknowledged April as our Volunteer Appreciation Month, giving us an opportunity to thank the many men and women who help make us the Force behind the Force. As a grassroots membership organization, AFA relies heavily on the support of our members throughout the world who volunteer their time and guidance to carry out the many initiatives we aim for. It is because of their commitment that we can thoroughly EDUCATE the public about the critical role of aerospace power in the defense of our nation, ADVOCATE aerospace power and a strong national defense, and SUPPORT the United States Air Force, the Air Force Family, and aerospace education. 

For the remainder of this month, we will try to highlight a few of our volunteers (whether individuals or chapters). Volunteers are the strength and backbone of the Air Force Association. Since our founding, they have been instrumental in the fulfillment of the AFA mission. These volunteers inspire many through profound leadership, countless hours and immeasurable amounts of energy to AFA. We wholeheartedly thank them for all they do for Air Force Association.

Upcoming AFA Events in DC

We’ve got some great events coming up this month at AFA Headquarters. Hope you can catch them:

1) AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies welcomes General Ron Fogleman (ret), the 15th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, as a guest speaker for a Mitchell Hour.

Title: Discussing National Security Priorities with General Ron Fogleman

Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Time: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Location: AFA’s national headquarters at 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA, 4th Floor Boardroom.

To register online for this event, go to

2) AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies welcomes Dr. Linton Wells II, Director of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP) at National Defense University (NDU), as the guest speaker, covering cyber, for a Mitchell Hour.

Title: Cyber Strategies, Tactics and Challenges in Today’s Evolving Environment with Dr. Linton Wells II

Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Location: AFA’s national headquarters at 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA, 4th Floor Boardroom.

To register online for this event, go to

3) The April session of AFA’s 2012 Air Force Breakfast Program will have Lt. Gen. Larry D. James, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, as the guest speaker. In his position, Gen. James is responsible to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight, and leadership of Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2012

Time: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Location: Crystal City Marriott, 1999 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202. (Hotel entrance: 20th & S. Bell St)

To register online for this event, go to

Monday, April 9, 2012

Note from AFA President -- Iran, Iowa, PRC, Revolutions

There have been lots of pieces on Iran these past few weeks.  One that takes the middle of the road is by Doyle McManus and appeared in the Los Angeles Times.  The concluding paragraph of the piece is as good a summary as any:

“The goal [of negotiations] would be to find a way to freeze Iran's nuclear work where it stands — which means that on Groundhog Day two years from now, I just might be writing another column to explain why Tehran is still, oh, about 18 months from a nuclear weapon.”
Second, a piece in the Des Moines Register caught my attention.  In it the Register argues that planned cuts to the Air National Guard may be good for Des Moines in the long run.  One paragraph was particularly interesting:  
“This [trying to keep the status quo] is a natural response from elected officials and community leaders who fear the economic consequences of federal spending cuts. It also illustrates why it is so hard to cut federal spending. For every person who believes a federal dollar is wasted there is another person who believes that dollar pays for something essential. Politicians try to have it both ways: They rail about ruinous budget deficits in the abstract but defend to the death local programs and projects paid for with the red ink.”

Third, the Economist has published a piece on China’s Military Rise.  In the piece the magazine states the pace and nature of China’s military modernization is cause for alarm.  A quote from the piece:
“Much of its [PRC’s] effort is aimed at deterring America from intervening in a future crisis over Taiwan. China is investing heavily in “asymmetric capabilities” designed to blunt America’s once-overwhelming capacity to project power in the region. This “anti-access/area denial” approach includes thousands of accurate land-based ballistic and cruise missiles, modern jets with anti-ship missiles, a fleet of submarines (both conventionally and nuclear-powered), long-range radars and surveillance satellites, and cyber and space weapons intended to “blind” American forces. Most talked about is a new ballistic missile said to be able to put a maneuverable warhead onto the deck of an aircraft-carrier 2,700km (1,700 miles) out at sea.” [Note – and aircraft carriers/5th generation fighters]
You can find the op-ed at:

Fourth, a piece by George B. N. Ayittey appeared in the New York Times. The author is an economist and president of the Free Africa Foundation, is the author of “Defeating Dictators.” The piece, entitled “After Revolutions, Beware of the Crocodiles.” A quote from the piece:

“Toppling a dictator is only the first step in establishing a free society. The next step is dismantling the dictatorship itself. It is analogous to a defective vehicle with a bad driver. After sacking the driver, the vehicle itself must be fixed or the new driver will quickly land in a ditch.

In far too many countries, the second step is either not attempted or botched, which leads to a reversal or hijacking of the revolution. This happens when a “crocodile liberator,” like Charles Taylor of Liberia, turns out to be far worse than the dictator he claims to have overthrown. It can also occur when quack revolutionaries flaunting fake democratic credentials hijack revolutions to stay in power and pursue their own megalomaniacal agendas.”

For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association
"The only thing more expensive than a first-rate Air Force is … a second-rate Air Force."  --  Senate staff member

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Note from AFA President -- Kissinger, Friedman, Clarke

A few op-eds for your review:

First, Dr. Henry Kissinger has penned an intriguing piece about the so-called Arab Spring that appeared in the Washington Post.  In it, he posits (among other points) that humanitarian intervention into Middle East revolutions will prove unsustainable, unless linked to a concept of American national security.  Like Dr. Kissinger, the piece is a bit convoluted … but, then again, so is the subject.  You can find the piece at:
Secondly, Tom Friedman has an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Why Nations Fail.”  He takes the title from a new book with the same title by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson.  A quote from the piece to interest you:
“Our analysis,” says Acemoglu, “is that China is experiencing growth under extractive institutions — under the authoritarian grip of the Communist Party, which has been able to monopolize power and mobilize resources at a scale that has allowed for a burst of economic growth starting from a very low base, but it’s not sustainable because it doesn’t foster the degree of “creative destruction” that is so vital for innovation and higher incomes.”

Third, Richard Clarke has a piece in the New York Times entitled:  “How China Steals Our Secrets.”  A quote from the piece: 
“Many companies do not even know when they have been hacked. According to Congressional testimony last week, 94 percent of companies served by the computer-security firm Mandiant were unaware that they had been victimized. And although the Securities and Exchange Commission has urged companies to reveal when they have been victims of cyberespionage, most do not.”

As always, I look forward to your comments.

For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association

"The only thing more expensive than a first-rate Air Force is … a second-rate Air Force."  --  Senate staff member