Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Upcoming AFA Mitchell Institute Forum to feature 18th USAF Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley (Ret)

The Mitchell Institute and the American Enterprise Institute’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies will discuss airpower’s role in an increasingly uncertain world.
  • WHO: 18th USAF Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley (Ret) (bio).
  • WHAT: Airpower’s unique role in an uncertain world.
  • WHY: Whether considering the impact of sequestration, demands associated with sustaining combat operations and challenges involved with building the future force—the men and women of the US Air Force face an exceedingly difficult set of circumstances. General Moseley will discuss these variables in the strategic context of airpower’s role in empowering America’s global priorities in an effective, sustainable fashion. 
  • WHEN: Thursday, December 5, 2013 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 
  • WHERE: Sheraton Pentagon City, 900 S Orme St, Arlington, Va, 22204
All Mitchell Hours are free to the public. To register for this event, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mitchell-hour-december-5th-tickets-9531847011. For additional information, contact Doug Birkey at dbirkey@afa.org.

The Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies is an independent, non-profit research, studies, and analysis organization founded by the Air Force Association. It takes its name from America’s most famous and arguably greatest airman, Brig. Gen. William Mitchell. The Institute seeks to carry on, in the modern day, General Mitchell’s tireless and dedicated effort to expand airpower thinking and increase public awareness of the need for this unique military instrument. For more information, visit http://www.afa.org/mitchellinstitute.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

AFA Sends Letter to Senate Armed Services Committee over Military Justice Improvement Act

The Air Force Association has joined fellow military organizations in opposition of the provisions of S.967, “The Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013”. A letter was sent to the offices of the Honorable Carl Levin (MI), Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC); the Honorable James Inhofe (OK), Ranking Member, SASC and the members of the SASC earlier this week.

AFA and its peer organizations believe that the proposed changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) will negatively affect a commanding officer’s ability to protect their Airmen. This proposed change poses a threat to our national security by compromising a commander’s ability to maintain good order and discipline in his or her command, and could potentially result in fewer prosecutions and convictions of sexual misconduct.

The letter was signed by AFA’s Chairman of the Board George Muellner, a retired Air Force lieutenant general, as well as over 100 general officers and five former Chief Master Sergeants of the USAF.

“The key to stopping sexual assault in the military is holding commanders at all levels accountable for their command climate,” said Muellner. “Stripping away UCMJ authority from commanders would deprive them of the necessary leadership role that accountability demands of leaders.”

The full text of the letter can be found on the AFA website, and will be considered as the Senate debate of the FY14 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) continues, along with similar letters of retired officers gathered by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN) and the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Top 5 Reasons to Attend AFA's Pacific Air & Space Symposium

The Air Force Association's 2013 Pacific Air & Space Symposium is just one week away; it will take place November 21-22, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. The two-day event will feature forums, panels, and plenty of opportunities to network with the Air Force's most influential leaders and experts.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Attend:
  1. Great Speakers: 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.
  2. Current topics: This annual symposium focuses on the global role of the Air Force in the world today and will cover an array of topics, including Airmen in the Rebalance, Space Command Update, the Future of Air & Space Operations in the Pacific, and Space Resilience Moving Forward. As the national strategy calls for a rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, this conference will address some of the challenges associated with it.
  3. Air Force Ball: The annual ball on November 22nd is a grand night with awards including the Schriever Fellowship and the Thomas D. White Award. The evening's program entertainment includes a band and lots of fun!
  4. Free for Military Members: All military members on Active Duty and DoD civilian personnel can attend the symposium free of charge.
  5. Supported by the Air Force: The Air Force has given official approval of attendance to the symposium. Please see the full statement below.
It's not too late to register! Register today to avoid the long lines at the symposium.

Conference Approval Statement
"Official Air Force participation in the AFA-hosted Pacific Air and Space Symposium, 21-22 Nov 13, is approved with the following caveats:
Personnel outside the greater Los Angeles area who may be considering spending TDY funds to attend this conference must remember that FY14 Spending Control Actions and AF Sequester Guidance regarding TDY travel remains in effect and that all travel must be assessed and appropriately approved as "mission critical". Invited speakers are authorized to attend at AF expense.

For personnel inside the greater Los Angeles area, supervisors may approve attendance subject to workload and mission requirements, and if approved, attendance should be at no cost to the Air Force."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Air Force Wounded Warrior Office and Air Force Association Announce New Partnership

Air Force senior leaders, Wounded Warriors, and Air Force Association staff met during an AFA-hosted Warrior Mixer in Colorado Springs on October 30, 2013. Daniel Ginsberg, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and AFA's Executive Vice President retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard Newton, presented a joint memorandum of understanding regarding AFA's Wounded Airman Program (WAP). The new agreement gives AFA access to work with the Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) office to directly support Airmen and meet their family needs beyond what the Air Force can currently provide.

WAP will provide specialized equipment, financial aid, and other quality of life assistance to Airmen throughout the various stages of their service. Moving forward, AFA plans to utilize its nation-wide network of chapters and members to raise money and awareness to fulfill the needs of our Wounded Airmen.

The Warrior Mixer was held during an adaptive sports camp at the Air Force Academy, in conjunction with Corona, which is a biannual meeting of 4 star generals. Lt. Col. Susan Black, chief of the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program opened the evening, and was followed by the MOU announcement, as well as testimonials from warriors who have been involved in the program and now serve as mentors. One of these was MSgt Christopher Aguilera, to whom AFA presented a sports-equipped wheelchair for the 2012 Warrior Games.

General Newton addressed the crowd, thanking the local AFA Lance P. Sijan Chapter for their support of the program, recognizing the resilience of the Warriors and their caregivers, and the work of AFW2. “This MOU is an important document—symbolic of our commitment to caring for all Airmen and their families. It is our turn to serve the Airmen who have put themselves in harm’s way to fight and win our Nation’s wars. AFA is here to step up as the Force looks for ways to be more efficient and innovative at a smaller scale, while maintaining airpower superiority. It is our duty to step in and provide services where we can, and we are here for you: the warriors, caretakers, and families.” Newton closed by calling Mrs. Paula Roy, AFA’s Director of Airmen and Family Programs, to the front to surprise SrA August O’Niell with an adapted handcycle to continue his training and recovery at home. 

Lt Gen Newton, Marsha Gonzales, SrA August O'Niell, Paula Roy, Lt Col Susan Black, and Dave Shiller pose after surprising O'Neil with a recumbent handcycle at the MOU announcement.

"What an amazing evening! The Air Force Association announced the signing of the MOU with the Air Force pledging to support ‘care beyond care’ for our Wounded Airmen who have given so much,” said Roy. “I will never forget the look on SrA O'Niell's face when I announced that AFA would be presenting him with an adaptive hand cycle to aid in his rehabilitation. I felt so humbled to be with our Wounded Warriors! They are an inspiration to everyone!"

To learn more about the program, or to donate to the cause, visit: http://www.afa.org/AFA/InformationFor/Military/AFP/WoundedAirmanProgram.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Air Force Association Honors WWII Doolittle Raiders

The World War II Doolittle Tokyo Raiders were honored this weekend with a final toast at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The ceremony was attended by three of the four living Raiders: retired Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” E. Cole, retired Lt. Col. Edward J. Saylor, and retired Staff Sgt David J. Thatcher. The Air Force Association was privileged to be one of the sponsors of the event.

On April 18, 1942, 80 men led by then-Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle flew 16 B-25 bombers on a secret mission to raid Japan in retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor. The group, later dubbed the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, succeeded in the first air raid strike on the Japanese Home Islands and revitalized American morale by showcasing Japanese vulnerabilities.

AFA’s current President, retired Gen. Craig McKinley, and former AFA Chairman of the Board retired Col. Joe Sutter attended the invite-only ceremony, along with Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh.

“AFA is honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of this monumental moment in airpower history,” said McKinley. “The men on stage were part of an extraordinary mission in the darkest days following Pearl Harbor when U.S. morale was at its lowest. They took the battle to the enemy and gave us hope. They are indeed a part of the greatest generation and we owe them our deepest gratitude.” 

“This final roll call gave a poignant reminder that the decision to do the final toast now was certainly a wise one. We will not have these heroes with us much longer,” said Sutter. “The Tokyo raid was not only a turning point of the war in the Pacific, but also a critical milestone in airpower history, demonstrating the impact of strategic bombing. Jimmy Doolittle went on to found the Air Force Association, ensuring the lessons of airpower are not forgotten. We continue to honor his legacy and the memory of his Raiders.”

In 1947, Jimmy Doolittle became the first elected leader of the Air Force Association, an organization he helped create in order to advocate for a separate United States Air Force service. His statue graces the entrance of the AFA building in Rosslyn, Va. AFA honored the Doolittle Raiders with their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. 

For more information on this past weekend’s event, read the in more depth article from Air Force Magazine.

The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders after sharing their last and final toast at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Nov. 09, 2013 in Dayton, Ohio.(U.S. Air Force photo/Desiree N. Palacios)

Monday, November 11, 2013

AFA Honors Veterans and Their Legacy of Service

Each year, the nation devotes this day to honoring its Veterans and their service to our country. AFA salutes the heroism of the generations of men and women who’ve sacrificed to protect our freedoms. 

This day was first proclaimed as Armistice Day, commemorating the signing of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year. It was designated to honor those who fought in what was to be the “war to end all wars.” In 1954, Congress changed it to honor all American Veterans, to include those who fought in the wars that followed.

Millions have displayed noble service as part of the U.S. armed forces, maintaining constant vigilance defending America. Our Airmen, along with Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, continue to remain focused on missions around the world. On this day of celebration and reflection, we thank everyone who has worn a U.S. military uniform – past and present – for their honorable commitment.

AFA believes the nation should always make it a priority to recognize and honor its military members for their selfless service, which is why this Association will always advocate on behalf of veterans and the benefits earned through years of sacrifice and service. We commend their display of courage, we value their reliability and allegiance, and we honor their memories. The men and women of the U.S. Military have freely chosen to protect us all, and we are forever indebted. We use this holiday to say "thank you."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

AFA EVP Testifies at Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission Hearing

On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, AFA's Executive Vice President Dick Newton testified at a hearing for the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. Below is his opening statement:
"Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, it is an honor to be here with you, and with my fellow colleagues. I know we are all committed to the defense of the nation, those who serve and have served, and their supporting loved ones.

"AFA supports work resulting in a compensation package for our all-volunteer force allowing us to recruit and retain the quality of Total Force Airmen our national security demands

"Our Airmen and retirees deserve every dollar they earn. However, military compensation costs continue to climb at unsustainable rates, and, if not addressed, they will consume our warfighting spending over the next few decades. We must find ways to slow the rate of growth in compensation costs.
"These are challenging times. The force is coming home from thirteen years of war...actually over two decades for the United States Air Force...to a nation that is struggling with pervasive financial crises. And we understand this. Yet...this nation's global national security commitments and obligations continue to increase in scope and complexity. 
"This combined with DoD's ever increasing resource constraints have brought about a new reality.

"Recognizing this environment of change, AFA seeks to join you in your efforts to find the right solutions as we examine retirement and compensation.

"We understand this Commission was formed to address rising personnel costs in a defense budget in which readiness and modernization accounts are under intense pressure. More importantly, we should not break faith with our Active Duty, Air National Guard, Reserves and family members, and grandfather in all who have served.

"We need bold leadership to make tough choices through an informed decision-making process. Timely and accurate data via surveys will be required to discover what today’s service members value, and where we may find innovative ways to meet their needs.
"AFA urges a whole-of-government approach where an enterprise-level, broad-based, human capital focus is the starting point for reform. Congress should be just as diligent examining the entire federal employment and benefits system as it is focused on our men and women in uniform.

"However, with last year's grounding of 13 combat squadrons, lost opportunities for real-world training and numerous course cancellations, our Air Force is at a crossroads. We are at a place where we must decide what kind of Air Force we need to fight and win our nation’s wars. Do we want to retain an Air Force that continues to be second-to-none? Sending Airmen to battle without the best training and equipment we can give them could imperil the mission and jeopardize lives. This is why our work here today is important. No matter how these issues play out, we at AFA want to be a part of the solution, and we welcome this discussion.

"AFA, its members, stakeholders and, indeed our Airmen, are committed to keeping faith with the American people, by providing them with an Air Force that is capable, ready and resourced appropriately for the future.

"I look forward to your questions."

For more information on AFA's stance on this topic, contact AFA's Director of Government Relations Kristine Robbins at krobbins@afa.org. and visit http://www.mcrmc.gov/.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Registration for CyberPatriot VI Closes With Over 1,500 Teams in All 50 States

The Air Force Association announced today that CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, has drawn 1,566 teams for its sixth season of competition, representing a nearly 30% growth from last year. This year, teams represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Germany, Italy, The Republic of Korea, and Japan.

New to the competition this year is a middle school division featuring 69 middle school teams from 23 states. This new pilot track is being offered in response to an increase in interest among younger students in the cybersecurity and STEM fields. 

Teams are now gearing up for the first online round of competition, which will be held November 15-17.This round uses the CyberPatriot Competition System developed by the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS) at the University of Texas at San Antonio, to allow hundreds of teams to compete at the same time. During the round, teams compete online to identify and solve vulnerabilities in simulated computer networks. Combined scores from this round and a second online round in December will determine which teams advance to the Semifinals where they will have a chance to win all-expenses-paid trips to the National Finals Competition in Washington, D.C. in March 2014.

For teams not advancing to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition, a state and regional recognition round will be held to determine top teams in each area that were not national finalists. The Regional Recognition Round will be powered by Leidos’ CyberNEXS.

“CyberPatriot is the nation’s largest and fastest growing youth cybersecurity challenge,” said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner. “Its unique structure allows us to provide a hands-on learning environment that engages students in the curriculum and excites them through the element of competition. We are particularly excited this year to bring personal and professional growth for middle school participants by teaching them technical skills as well as the value of teamwork, leadership, and critical-thinking, right alongside high school students.”

CyberPatriot is presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, with founding partners SAIC and the CIAS at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Other sponsors include Cyber Diamond Sponsors AT&T Federal, Cisco, Microsoft, Raytheon, USA Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Cyber Gold Sponsors URS, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver Sponsors Air Force Research Laboratory, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and University of Maryland University College. 

More information is available at www.uscyberpatriot.org or from the CyberPatriot staff at info@uscyberpatriot.org.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Upcoming AFA Mitchell Institute Forum: The Department of Defense in an Era of Constrained Budgets: Smaller and Less Capable is Not the Only Option

The Mitchell Institute will discuss a concept known as the Macgregor Transformation Model--an approach that promises a reduction in the overall size of the Department of Defense; a substantial reduction in operating costs; and an increase in combat capability.

WHO: Retired Navy Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, retired Air Force Lieutenant General David Deptula, and retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor.

WHAT: Discussion of operational innovation in a constrained budget environment. 

WHY: As sequestration erodes military readiness, eliminates weapon systems, and reduces personnel, the Services need to consider organizational change. Preserving the status quo with fewer assets will result in significantly reduced combat capability - a risky proposition given the burgeoning array of challenges America faces around the globe. Our panel will discuss an alternate path forward through the lens of the Macgregor Transformation Model (MTM) - an approach that allows for a reduction in the overall size of the Department of Defense; affords a substantial reduction in operating costs; and yields an increase in combat capability.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 

WHERE: Capitol Hill Club
300 First St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

All Mitchell Hours are free to the public. To register for this event, go to http://19novembermitchellhour.eventbrite.com/. For additional information, contact Doug Birkey at dbirkey@afa.org

The Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies is an independent, non-profit research, studies, and analysis organization founded by the Air Force Association. It takes its name from America’s most famous and arguably greatest airman, Brig. Gen. William Mitchell. The Institute seeks to carry on, in the modern day, General Mitchell’s tireless and dedicated effort to expand airpower thinking and increase public awareness of the need for this unique military instrument. For more information, visit http://www.afa.org/mitchellinstitute.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Acting Secretary of the Air Force to Speak at November 18th AFA Air Force Breakfast

The Air Force Association is proud to announce an upcoming AFA Air Force Breakfast featuring guest speaker Eric Fanning, Acting Secretary of the Air Force. The event will be held on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

Eric Fanning is the Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. He was confirmed as the 24th Under Secretary of the Air Force on April 18, 2013, and began to serve in the additional role of Acting Secretary of the Air Force June 21, 2013. He is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its more than 333,000 men and women on active duty, 178,000 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, 182,000 civilians, and their families. He also oversees the Air Force's annual budget of more than $110 billion. For Mr. Fanning’s full bio, visit the USAF website.

AFA’s AF Breakfast Program is a monthly series that provides a venue for senior Air Force and Department of Defense leaders to communicate directly with the public and the press. Past speakers include Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh, former Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley; Dr. Jamie M. Morin, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller; and Gen. William Shelton, Commander, Air Force Space Command.

Please register online at https://afanovbkfstseries.eventbrite.com/. For additional information, contact 
Mary Ellen Dobrowolski at mdobrowolski@afa.org.

The Key Bridge Marriott is located at 1401 Lee Highway Arlington, Virginia 22201.