Thursday, November 29, 2012

Upcoming Mitchell Institute Event: Strategy in a Time of Austerity

AFA's Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies welcomes Dr. Andrew Krepinevich, defense policy analyst and President of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), as the guest speaker for an upcoming Mitchell Hour. The topic of his discussion is “Strategy in a Time of Austerity.”

This Mitchell event will take place on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at AFA’s national headquarters.

Dr. Krepinevich is a recognized intellectual leader within the national security community. As president of the CSBA, he leads a team who has helped inform and shape the public discourse on the matters of strategy, defense planning and military investment options for the 21st century; and formulated concepts of operations to address the emerging anti-access area denial threats. During this Mitchell Hour, he will discuss his most recent article, “
Strategy in a Time of Austerity: Why the Pentagon Should Focus on Assuring Access”—published in the November/December 2012 issue of Foreign Affairs.

Mitchell Hours are free to attend. 
For more information, visit

DOD Space Policy

The latest space policy document coming out of the Pentagon appears to have drawn a line in the sand on all types of deliberate interference with space systems, highlighting that deliberate interference with US DOD space systems will be deemed “irresponsible” during peacetime and possibly “escalatory” during crises.

Read the full article in Space News:
Pentagon Draws the Line on Deliberate Satellite Interference

(If interested, additional reading on the subject can be found here:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

AFA Thanksgiving Statement

Thanksgiving is a special time and opportunity to show our appreciation and gratitude to the men and women of the U.S. military for their unyielding support to this nation. As we work to tackle the economic challenges, we pause for this occasion to speak of our appreciation to servicemen and women addressing the global challenges this nation faces. Their sacrifice and valor is unmistakable, and we wholeheartedly thank them. In addition, we are appreciative to our military family – the spouses, children and family of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guardsmen – who have had to sacrifice for our nation as well. We truly admire their courage.

And finally, we are so very thankful for the members and volunteers of AFA who put great time, dedication and effort in carrying out the many AFA initiatives year-round. With great pride we recognize that their continual support has been instrumental in fulfilling the goals in our mission: to educate, to advocate and to support on behalf of the Air Force. We could not be the “force behind the force” without them.

On behalf of AFA, we wish a joyous and peaceful Thanksgiving to all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Global Warfare Symposium: Session Summaries

The 2012 Global Warfare Symposium, held in Los Angeles, CA on November 15-16, focused heavily on space-based ISR. More information on the speakers and content can be found in the audio podcasts ( in the Daily Report archives, and in upcoming issues of Air Force Magazine. Below is a recap of the remarks made by the many high-caliber speakers at this year’s symposium.


Space Superiority: And Enduring Source of American Strength - Dr. Jamie Morin, Undersecretary of the Air Force

Dr. Morin kicked off the symposium stressing the Air Force’s role as THE space force, with space focus as a fundamental pillar of air superiority.  Looking at our accomplishments over the past century including the work in the private sector, Morin remarks that the “advances of today stand on the shoulders of innovative engineers” and will continue to with Airmen at the core. In the question and answer session he mentioned that 20% of the FY13 Air Force investment budget is for space, and that the cost of mission assurance is avoiding the cost of failure. “The best way to avoid a space Pearl Harbor,” Morin says, “is to know it’s coming.”

Faster-Better-Cheaper, Transformation, COIN, Pivoting, Rebalancing, etc. (How About a Longer View?) – Bran Ferren, Co-Chairman, Applied Minds, LLC

Ferren took an unconventional, high level, long range look at technology in his engaging talk. Using GPS as an example of a program with a series of progressions starting with no interest to one of our most valuable assets. That said, he advises the Air force to make the commitment today to get off reliance on GPS in the next 10 years before it’s used against us. “Innovation has never come out of requirement,” he states, and we have a bad model currently of not rewarding success but punishing failure. With more risks, the faster we move and the more we learn. If the Air Force can focus on education and great thoughts within a “259 year vision,” then we will “put the world on notice that America is not just a soundbite nation”. Ferren suggested starting with fixing acquisition, fundamentally changing ISR and creating survivable communications. Ferren got mixed reviews from the audience, but he certainly shook things up.

The Asia Pivot in the Context of US Grand Strategy – Dr. Adam Grissom, Senior Political Scientists, RAND Corp.

Dr. Grissom first described grand strategy as an evolving idea made up of ends, ways and means, like the U.S. Constitution. The golden era of American grand strategy for him was in the 40s and 50s during the Truman and Eisenhower years, while the turning point is now. Our previous approach, he suggests, is no longer sustainable, and our level of deficit spending is no longer viable. The challenge he sees for the United States is to start on a sustainable path, avoid the cycle of instability leading to fiscal pressure and retrenchment. The USAF is central in addressing this, and has played a role in the past. For Grissom, it’s about numbers: a combat Air Force can be everywhere at once.

Panel: The Challenge of ISR Across the Extended Domain: Moderated by Lt Gen Ellen Pawlikowski, with John Celli of Space Systems/Loral, Dr. Walter Scott of DigitalGlobe, and Kay Sears of Intelsat General

In this industry panel, speakers ended the day with offering advice for leveraging commercial industry to yield affordable solutions to move forward. Cost-effective option are out there for ISR, and the Air Force will have to get creative.


Air Operations in Israel’s War Against Hezbollah – Dr. Benjamin Lambeth, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

Starting with a RAND Study in 2007 and a letter of support, Lambeth dove into Israel’s air offensive,  the “rocket wars” and the move to ground strength. Was the Lebanon campaign that much of a setback for Israel he asks? The bottom line: even the most cable air weapon imaginable can never be more effective than the strategy it is expected to support. The report can be found here:

USAF Global Posture-- Dr. Stacie Pettyjohn, Associate Political Scientist, RAND Corp.

Dr. Pettyjohn looked at the extensive and global posture of the Air Force in terms of a posture triangle of strategic anchors, support links and forward operating locations. Our international basing options will depend on our close security partners, regime type and access relationships with other nations. She predicts that emerging partners will want a US presence, but on a less permanent basis, while periodic or continuous rotation of forces will be a good fit for other partners.

Space Command Update – Gen William Shelton, Commander Air Force Space Command

“There’s not anything we do in the Air Force that doesn’t involve space and cyber” said General Shelton to start. General Shelton continued with an overview of the current state of satellites (aging), sustaining capabilities, and the future focus. For an information-focused command going forward the Air Force will have to take advantage of the nontraditional IRS collected on sensors and pods of aircrafts and study possible alternatives for wideband communications with commercial services.

Air Force ISR –Lt Gen Larry James, DCS, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

General James looks to the worldwide strategic focus across air, space and cyberspace with future air-centric ISR. While efforts shift to the Pacific, James reminded us that intelligence never left the Pacific, and will become less associated with a platform. With an airborne perspective, the way ahead will include non-traditional ISR on stealth platforms with the ability to do standoff operations. With current crowd-sourcing, intelligence is already available via twitter, facebook, and cameras on cell phones. He stressed the need for the right information at the right time to the right person to make the right decisions using our resources.

The Space Mission –Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX

Shotwell introduced the audience to SpaceX’s test and capabilities while framing the conversation with space competition in the private sector for work with the USAF. By including SpaceX and other competitors, the Air Force could increase launch capability by 50%, along with increased buying capacity and power for mission assurance. The focus in space will be getting data and intelligence to the warfighter.

America’s Secret Mig Squadron –Col Gaillard “Gail” Peck, USAF (Ret,), Author and USAF Fighter Weapons School Instructor

Colonel Peck also spoke at the 2012 Air and Space Conference on this topic. His involvement with this formerly secret project led to a book on the subject that goes into great detail on how the USAF adapted and learned to fight Migs. Check out his book:

State of the Air Force –Michael Donley, Secretary of the Air Force

Secretary Donley concluded the symposium with an emphasis on Asia Pacific and the Middle East with a smaller, leaner, but agile, flexible and technologically-advanced force. He reinforced the need for space-based ISR and reminded us that airpower is well suited to meet the challenges of geography and distance.

During the awards dinner the following were awarded:

Gen Bernard Schriever Fellowship to Lt Gen Susan Helms
Gen Thomas D. White Space Award to Lt Gen Ellen Palikowski
Michael Wilson Scholarships to Cadets Daniel Myers and William Schimmel

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Veterans Day Poem

Below is a poem submitted from an AFA member from our Paul Revere Chapter, based in Massachusetts, written for Veterans Day. It's a form of tribute and thank you to his fellow Veterans and servicewomen and men.

All That Veterans Protect
“Freedom Walk”
November 9, 2012

An older brother awoke, in the middle of the night.
To the sobbing cries of his little brother tike

What’s the matter, my little guy?
“Oh nothing…nothing at all” was the soft reply.

But the reason for the tears and a dream so severe,
Was the thought of war and the body counts to fear.

You see the town was safe and the childhood happy
Many thanks to those who were protecting our land

A little boy’s world could be enlarged so wide
Simply from a black and white TV at his side

The thought of war and nothing but death,
Was too much to bear beyond a little boy’s path

But the boy grew-up and also served his country,
Increased respect for God and Country

Many airmen and soldiers have gone to their graves
Sacrifices many, before even one could shave

We have our Veterans to thank this November day
Too many to count, their legacy intact, we should repay

That boy grew up, realizes each day, with modest intellect
That there is much to preserve and much to protect

Most of all the sacrifice of our Veterans
Their compassion complete!

Thank you my Veteran brothers and sisters for your protection
Your dedication repeats!

Your service, your bravery we cannot forget and certainly not just talk
As I watch a new little boy starts his freedom walk.

- K.M. Taylor
(Paul Revere Chapter, MA)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Words from an OAY: SMSgt Callaway

Just in time for the holidays, we've been fortunate to have several of the 2012 Outstanding Airmen of the Year (OAY) lend themselves to being guest bloggers. The distinguished title of OAY is given annually to 12 outstanding enlisted personnel for superior leadership, job performance, community involvement, and personal achievements. AFA honors the 12 Outstanding Airmen at our annual convention in September in Washington, D.C. 

In this blog series, the OAYs will share with readers their experiences as an OAY, offer a glimpse into some of their fears and give insight to their field of expertise.

The first guest blogger is Senior Master Sergeant Laura Callaway, of the 60th Medical Operations Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, California. Her duty title is "Physical Medicine/Emergency Department Support. SMSgt Callaway led the Air Force’s largest physical medicine and emergency departments and forged a clinical practicum with the University of California-Davis, which was identified as a career field benchmark. She secured a multi-year contract worth $2 million to ensure on-site care for veterans, reducing diverted care by 30% and saving $500,000. Sergeant Callaway cultivated the Air Force’s largest civilian physical therapy training exchange program, chartering agreements with five universities to work with 15 interns and saving the Air Force $600,000.

There are so many words to describe the amazing opportunity afforded to represent the outstanding enlisted men and women of today's Air Force. There are two things that immediately came with this honor and oddly
enough two of my greatest fears. Public speaking and being photographed...I know most people who know me would laugh at that statement as many have heard me "speak my mind" but it's funny how God and life put you in places for reasons.

I would say up until now that I have been able to speak about very specific, job related or personal events that are so close to me that I can ramble on for days about them. Now with a specific audience and an expectation I find myself out of my comfort zone. I am excited but nervous, anxious but intimidated...I don't want to disappoint anyone. I find myself listening to everyone from an educational point of view, trying to pick-up any "golden nuggets" they might throw out on how to speak eloquently. I am floored by the many different styles, I listened to a 75-year-old man speak about his past and the future, very specific, spelled out, 10-page speech. I listened to the Wing Commander, who was told an hour before that he would be speaking, and went to the podium with a couple of things jotted down on a napkin, hit it out of the park. I listened to our Command Chief speak to the newest members of our Air Force, warmed them up and made them feel relaxed, was able to pull ideas and topics from them and relate it to his goal. Then I spent the weekend stressing, reviewing, practicing and changing a 10 minute speech of my own. 

As for the 2nd fear, photographs...I have never liked having my picture taken, as long as I can remember. Don't really know why, just feel uncomfortable with lights, cameras, maybe it's the focusing part, but I am getting over it pretty quickly because it seems silly. And since I can't really find a problem associated with it to focus on I am working on just doing it. I think that as with the first, the fears are about trying to do or be my best and failing is not an option. A growing experience for sure and I would love to hear what others feel under the same situations... any ideas, notions, tricks?


Superintendent, Physical Medicine/Emergency Department
60 Medical Operations Squadron

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Global Warfare Symposium Wrap Up

A big thank you to all who attended AFA's 2012 Global Warfare Symposium. This year’s symposium was a great success. We hope attendees found this event to be a real benefit and helpful in their continued service and professional career. As always, it is our pleasure to provide this community another opportunity to network with highly skilled aerospace and Air Force professionals. 

We would like to thank all our attendees, members, corporate sponsors, speakers and the United States Air Force for a truly outstanding event.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Recap: Global Warfare Symposium

Key takeaways from Day 1 of GWS:

From Acting Undersecretary Jamie Morin:
  • In FY13, space investment makes up 20% of the Air Force investment budget - Dr. Morin
  • Through "efficient space procurement" or ESP, USAF thinks it can save more than $1.2 billion as it buys more AEHF and SBIRS satellites
  • Space future is bright: Greater coop with allies in space and closer partnerships with industry & "amazing innovative airmen."
 From Bran Ferren:
  • Advice from Bran Ferren of Applied Minds, LLC: Air Force should get off GPS in the next 10 years.
  • Innovation has never come out of US military's requirements process.
  • First suggestion: Fix acquisition, no matter how hard it is. No radical theories needed, only common sense
From Dr. Adam Grissom:
  • We must put the nation on sustainable path and avoid cycle of instability leading to fiscal pressure and retrenchment.
  • USAF's role in grand strategic challenge? It's about numbers. Combat Air Forces CAN be everywhere at once and have played that role in past.
From the Panel: Challenges of ISR Across the Extended Domain

  • There are definite cost benefits to partnering with commercial industry, but also challenges with security and flexibility.
  •  Comm. ISR offers: high-positional accuracy; near-real-time delivery; in-theater access; secure, yet shareable; and it is cost-effective.
  • Commercial communications to support Pacific pivot will require layered types of bandwidth and frequencies and ability to avoid jammers.
Check out Air Force Magazine's Daily Report for more highlights.

Day 2's agenda includes talks from Gen Shelton of Space Command; Gen James on  Air Force ISR; SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell; Col Peck (Ret) on America’s Secret MiG Squadron and two sessions from RAND’s Benjamin Lambeth and Stacie Pettyjohn. And ending the conference will be Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley giving conference attendees an update on the State of the Force.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GWS: Rebalance to the Pacific, and the Increasing Demands on Space and ISR

The time has come! AFA's 2012 Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles, CA begins tomorrow afternoon! This annual symposium focuses on the global role of the Air Force in the world today and will cover an array of topics, including the Pacific, China, Cyberspace, Industry, and Space. 

We have invited multiple speakers from around the Air Force, industry, and government. As always, our national symposiums attract the top echelon of USAF senior management and commanders, the aerospace community and academia.

Thursday's line up of speakers include Acting Undersecretary of the Air Force Jamie Morin, on Space Superiority; Bran Ferren, on Innovation; Dr. Adam Grissom, on the Asia Pivot; and a panel moderated by Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski on challenges of ISR.

For live updates on the conference, refer to AFA's social media channels:


And also Air Force Magazine:  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Letter to Congress: Stop Sequestration

Leaders of AFA, Association of United States Army (AUSA)and the Navy League of the United States teamed up to write a letter to Congressional leaders, urging them to act quickly in the lame duck session to avoid sequestration and solve the potentially devastating blow to our national security. 

Read it here:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

AFA Honors Veterans

Below is an official statement on behalf of the Air Force Association regarding Veterans Day: 

On Sunday, we honor our nation’s veterans. We deeply appreciate the service and sacrifice of so many. Their valor in wartime and readiness in peacetime respectively earned and preserved our nation’s freedom, along with the security of countless millions in allied nations. In addition, we extend our gratitude to our veterans' families, whose love, courage and support gives strength to the men and women in uniform.

Our nation can never fully repay them for their dedication, but must always take special care to honor our national commitment to their wellbeing and other earned benefits. Today, we simply say ‘thank you.’

Join us at the Air Force Memorial for our annual Veterans Day Memorial Ceremony, November 11, 2012, 11 a.m., One Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

CyberPatriot V’s All Service Division Completes First Round of Competition

CyberPatriot V – National High School Cyber Defense Competition has completed the first round of competition for its All Service Division, which consists of teams from Junior ROTC, Civil Air Patrol and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. During Friday and Saturday, November 2 – 3, competitors were scored on how well they strengthened their assigned simulated computer systems by finding and fixing security issues. The round was also the inaugural run of the new CyberPatriot Competition System (CCS), a new cyber training model. For the first time teams could receive real-time feedback of their scores along with a report of the scored problems they correctly solved.

More than 350 CyberPatriot teams competed online from the United States and as far away as the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Germany, Japan, and Korea. Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) Iredell Composite Squadron, from Statesville, North Carolina, was the first team to compete at 9:00 am, Friday morning. Misawa Air Base, Japan’s Robert D. Edgren High School’s Junior ROTC unit was the final team to compete on the system. 

This new system allows for more detailed feedback to the competitors that will enhance the educational value of the competition. Each year we work to advance the experience of our competitors. We think these capabilities in the new system will be a true asset in the preliminary rounds and further help develop career- and college-ready young adults. 

(More about CyberPatriot is available at

Saturday, November 3, 2012

AFA Note from the Chairman

First, one of the greatest values of democracy is the right to vote. Voting is one of our most important rights and responsibilities of citizenship. It is a right that has been passed down to us by generations of Americans who guaranteed this right through their sacrifice. So, please don’t take this right for granted, exercise your stake in the country and vote come Election Day.
The second issue, last week, the Air Force released a Request for Proposal for a new Combat Rescue Helicopter replacing the Reagan era HH-60 Pave Hawk. The average age of our current fleet is about 22 years and about 5,000 flying hours. The missions of this air vehicle include the recovery of personnel from hostile or denied territory, as well as the execution of humanitarian missions, civil search and rescue, disaster relief, casualty and medical evacuation, and non-combatant evacuation operations. The Air Force doesn't just use its resources to serve combat missions, it also uses them to serve mankind in any type of recovery, rescue and humanitarian mission.  It is our solemn, moral obligation to rescue downed or stranded personnel of all services. And for years, we have advocated for the recapitalization of this fleet as it nears the end of its service life and lacks the survivability, operational utility, range and payload required for today’s combat operations.
The third issue, Veterans Day is less than two weeks away – a day that celebrates the service of the men and women of all branches of our Armed Forces. Each year there are services held throughout the Washington, DC area, including one at our Air Force Memorial. We are again co-hosting a wreathlaying ceremony with Air Force Sergeants Association and the two speakers for the service are General Newton (EVP of AFA) and CMSgt (Ret) David Popp, AFSA’s deputy CEO. If you are in town, please do attend; it is open for all and begins at 11AM.
Finally, AFA’s annual Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles will be held November 15 – 16 this year. This symposium focuses on the global role of the Air Force in the world today and will cover an array of topics, including the Pacific, China, Cyberspace, Industry, and Space. We have an exceptional line-up of speakers and hope to see many of you there. (The agenda can be found here:  
For your consideration.
George K. Muellner
Chairman of the Board
Air Force Association

Friday, November 2, 2012

Presidential Proclamation Recognizing November as Military Family Month.

Yesterday, the President issued a proclamation recognizing November as Military Family Month.

It notes:

“Since our Nation's earliest days, courageous men and women of all backgrounds and beliefs have banded together to fight for the freedoms we cherish. Behind each of them stands a parent, a sibling, a child, a spouse -- proud family members who share the weight of deployment and make profound sacrifices on behalf of our country. During Military Family Month, we honor our military families and recommit to showing them the fullest care and respect of a grateful Nation.

“In our military families, we see the best our country has to offer. They demonstrate the virtues that have made America great for more than two centuries and the values that will preserve our greatness for centuries to come. With loved ones serving far from home, military spouses take on the work of two. Their children show courage and resilience as they move from base to base, school to school, home to home. And even through the strain of deployment, military families strengthen the fabric of each community they touch and enrich our national life as shining examples of patriotism."

We at AFA, since our establishment, have supported not just airpower, but also the Air Force family. We hope the nation uses this national opportunity to join us in thanking and empowering all military families around the globe.

Read the full statement here: