Thursday, August 29, 2013

AFA’S 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition Offers Networking and Professional Development

[Note: All uniformed military personnel and DOD civilian employees can attend the conference free of charge.]

The 2013 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition is just 18 days away. This one-of-a-kind event offers extensive opportunities for networking and professional development with a full agenda of speaker sessions, workshops and panels addressing today’s challenges in the aerospace community.
Speaker Highlights Include:
  • Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Eric Fanning
  • Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral James Winnefeld
  • Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Mark Welsh
  • Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, James A. Cody
  • Annual Four Star Forum with the CSAF and many of the MAJCOM Commanders
Meet bestselling authors at our multiple book signings:
  • Dr. Sydney Savion, Camouflage to Pinstripes
  • Candy Kyler Brown, What I Never Told You
  • Jerry Yellin, The Blackened Canteen
Attend one of the panels focused on topics such as:
  • The USAF’s Role in the Joint Arena
  • El Dorado Canyon
  • Long-Range Strike
  • The Nuclear Enterprise
  • Managing an Air Force with three previous Secretaries of the Air Force
The full conference agenda can be found here.

The 2013 Air & Space Conference will be held September 16-18, 2013, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, just across the river from Alexandria and minutes from downtown Washington, DC. Hear the latest updates on the Air Force and aerospace community in one of our 55 conference sessions; see over 80 exhibitors in our 50,000 square feet of exhibit space and network with colleagues at one of our many receptions.

AFA will also be hosting a Spouse and Family Forum on Monday, September 16, which will feature a full day of speakers, panels, resources, and discussions on issues facing Air Force families today. This event is free and open to the public, and we encourage anyone interested to register online in advance.

Official Air Force participation has been approved for the conference. All military members on Active Duty and DoD civilian personnel can attend the conference free of charge. Additionally, the exhibit hall is free and open to the public. Registration is required

Free shuttles sponsored by Northrop Grumman, are available from the Pentagon, JB Andrews, JB Anacostia-Bolling and the King Street Metro stop. Register now online and visit the Air & Space Conference website for more information.

Monday, August 26, 2013

AFA Announces Agenda for 2013 Spouse and Family Forum

The Air Force Association will host a Spouse and Family Forum on September 16th, 2013 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The day-long agenda includes speakers, panels, resources, and discussions on a variety of issues facing Air Force families today. The forum’s keynote speaker will be Holly Petraeus, with other speakers including Betty Welsh, spouse of the Chief of Staff of the USAF, and Athena Cody, spouse of the Chief Master Sergeant of the USAF.

This year’s Spouse and Family Forum, held alongside AFA’s 2013 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition, is aimed at empowering spouses. Free buses will be provided for transportation to the Gaylord Convention Center from the Pentagon, Andrews AFB, Bolling AFB, and the King Street metro station.

"I am very excited about our upcoming Spouse and Family Forum with our theme being Spouse Empowerment,” said Paula Roy, AFA’s Director of Airmen and Family Programs. “Our agenda is filled with dynamic speakers that will inspire attendees to be a change agent to better their lives and the lives of our military family."

Registration for the forum is free and open to the public. We encourage attendees to register online in advance, but on-site registration will also be available between 8:00a.m.- 9:00a.m. before the event begins.

For more information and to register, visit

AFA’s annual Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition will be held from September 16th – 18th, 2013. This conference is a one-of-a-kind event where AFA brings together Air Force leadership industry experts, academia, government officials, and current aerospace specialists from around the world to discuss the issues and challenges facing America and the aerospace community today. To learn more about the 2013 Air & Space Conference, visit our website.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Nellis AFB Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp, July 29-August 1, 2013

By: Caitie Craumer, AFA Manager of Airmen & Family Programs

As part of the reorganization of the cycle of care for wounded airmen, AFW2 has restructured their adaptive sports camp schedule to use sports beyond training for the Warrior Games as an important part of the physical and mental health of Airmen. By allowing these wounded warriors to participate in new social settings, on a team, and as mentors, Airmen learn skills they can take back home and adapt to their needs. It’s an inspirational process to be a part of, and truly rewarding for the participants.

AFA staff was on hand to participate, along with representatives from the Las Vegas-based Thunderbird Chapter, including Chapter President Robert Cunningham who attended and was recognized at the Welcome Ceremony. Mr. Cunningham was able to meet some of the Airmen in the program, and watch the archery practice on the third day of camp. For some of the warriors, the camp was literally adaptive. For one Airman who only had use of one arm, he used a bow braced against his legs while seated on the ground, with incredible aim. Others used weights and straps for balance in discus and shot put, and some with use of their legs learned to play seated volleyball and wheelchair basketball. Along with swimming, track, cycling, and yoga, there was something for everyone of every level of ability, which was the aim.

The team was well taken care of at Nellis. The staff was professional, helpful, and hospitable. The Thunderbird crew gave the warriors a tour on the last day, and leadership stopped by multiple times throughout the camp. 

I was given the opportunity to talk about AFA and our Wounded Airman Program, and connect with the local AFA members, like Bob Sullivan, who, in his work with the USO, made sure that the airport knew of the warriors’ arrivals, and brought water for the athletes, which was much appreciated in the summer heat! 

AFA National hosted the welcome ceremony at the hotel, which was the first time many of the warriors were meeting each other. Mentors gave testimonials, and Airmen from Nellis were able to participate as well. This was a great way to kick off the week, and was much appreciated, as budgets are tight for most of the Airmen participating. The chef at the Tropicana, a former Marine, even donated extra food for the team. It was a great week, and I was honored to be a part of it. There is definitely a place for AFA at all future camps! They will be held regionally to give all wounded Airmen the chance to participate.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Air & Space Conference News and Updates

AFA's Air & Space Conference is 32 days away, register today! The conference will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center September 16-18, 2013.

Air & Space Conference News and Updates:

  • Official Air Force Participation has been approved; please see the full statement at the bottom of the email. All military members on Active Duty and DoD civilian personnel can attend the conference free of charge. Additionally, the exhibit hall is free and open to the public. 
  • AFA has secured a discounted room block at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.Reserve your room before our room block closes on August 23rd!
  • The Air & Space Conference offers dozens of addresses throughout the three day event check out all the great speakers on our agenda!
  • AFA, along with the Air Force's Airman and Family Care Division (A1SA), will host a Spouse and Family Forum on Monday, September 16th. More information can be found on our website
  • Free Shuttles are available from the Pentagon, JB Andrews, JB Anacostia-Bolling and the King Street Metro stop 

Join the conversation with Air & Space Conference speakers, exhibitors, and attendees by using our hashtag #ASC13! Be sure to follow AFA on Facebook and Twitter to stay connected to conference news and updates!

Conference Approval Statement:

"Official Air Force participation in the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition 2013, National Harbor, Maryland, has been approved IAW the most recent AF Sequester Guidance and the 12 Dec 12 Conference Policy Guidance.
Centralized TDY funding will be made available for winners of a limited number of awards and appointed council members. POC for centralized funding is Mr. Doug Benskin, SAF/AARA, Comm 703-695-3254, DSN 225-3254. Travel orders (using centralized funding) must be entered into DTS NLT 31 Aug 2013. Invited speakers and other individual attendees may participate in a funded TDY status only if local funding is determined to be available and appropriate; local travel approval authorities must determine whether individual participation at AF expense is mission critical IAW AF Sequestration Guidance.

For general questions about AF funded participation, call Lt Col Heather Meyer, SAF/AA, Comm 703-693-9503, DSN 223-9503."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

AFA Mourns the Loss of Gen David C. Jones, USAF (Ret.)

The Air Force Association mourns the loss of David C. Jones, a retired U.S. Air Force general, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and long-time AFA supporter. General Jones passed away Saturday, August 10, 2013, at the age of 92.

Prior to becoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1978, General Jones served four years as Chief of Staff of the USAF, responsible for administering, training, and equipping America’s Airmen as a part of the world’s most advanced defense system. In combat, the general was assigned to a bombardment squadron during the Korean War and accumulated more than 300 hours on missions over North Korea. In 1969, he served in the Republic of Vietnam as deputy commander for operations and then as vice commander of the Seventh Air Force.

The general earned a number of awards and decorations for his outstanding career, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit, among others. In 2008, he was honored with AFA’s Lifetime Achievement award for his extensive career supporting the advancement of aerospace power. General Jones also served as an emeritus member of the AFA Board.
General Jones dealt with every facet of the diversified missions of military forces committed to the defense of our country. AFA will continue to remember and honor his legacy of service.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Looking to Support STEM Education? Join CyberPatriot, the Nation's Largest High School Cyber Defense Competition

Have you got what it takes? Sign-up now before registration closes on October 10th!

Registration for the nation’s premier national high school cyber defense competition, CyberPatriot, is underway. Over 600 teams are already registered for CyberPatriot VI, representing every state except North Dakota, and including teams from Puerto Rico, Canada, South Korea, and Japan. Check out the latest promo video from CyberPatriot to learn more about the program: 

Established by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot was created to excite, educate, and motivate the students who will become our country’s next generation of cyber leaders. The program aims to inspire high school students to consider careers in cyber security and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future. CyberPatriot’s unique structure provides students hands-on learning about technology, emphasizing teamwork and leadership, and exercising critical-thinking skills.

How the Competition Works:
A CyberPatriot team consists of two to five students and a coach, but neither coaches nor students need any special technical background. CyberPatriot provides the training materials needed to prepare a team for a successful competition. Additionally, CyberPatriot will facilitate the assignment of volunteer technical cyber experts as mentors to teams who request them. The only cost to teams is a $385 entry fee, which includes access to the software and participant materials.

Preliminary rounds are conducted online from the teams’ home locations. The competition has a tournament-style tiered structure, so teams advance based on scores from each round until the top 26 teams are identified. Those top qualifying teams then receive all-expenses-paid trips to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition held in the Washington, DC area, in March 2014.

Teams also benefit from the expertise of the competition’s sponsors, including the Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot’s presenting sponsor, which has contributed mentors, internships and scholarship money to the competition. SAIC is a founding partner of CyberPatriot, along with CIAS at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

ALL U.S. high schools or approved home school programs are invited to participate. Teams register from public, private, parochial, charter, and home schools in the Open Division, while Junior ROTC units of all Services, US Naval Sea Cadet Corps squadrons, and Civil Air Patrol squadron compete in the All Service Division.

Registration closes October 10, 2013. For more information on the program and to register visit!

Monday, August 12, 2013

AFA Announces 2013 Outstanding Airmen of the Year

The Air Force Association recently announced the 2013 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. Each year, AFA salutes twelve outstanding enlisted personnel for superior leadership, job performance, community involvement, and personal achievements. AFA proudly honors these Outstanding Airmen at its annual Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition held in September in Washington, D.C.

“The Air Force Association is very proud to honor the commitment of these exemplary Airmen,” said George Muellner, AFA Chairman of the Board. “We salute them for their professional achievements and dedication and thank them for their continued service to our country.”

“These men and women have demonstrated exceptional leadership and performance,” said Craig McKinley, AFA President. “Each year we join the Air Force in recognizing the achievements of select distinguished Airmen. Their commitment to their jobs reflects the high standards that exist within the United States Air Force, and we look forward to seeing what else they accomplish throughout their careers.”

The program was initiated at the Air Force Association's 10th annual national Convention, held in New Orleans in 1956. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, a general officer, and selected Major Command chiefs form the selection board. The Air Force Chief of Staff reviews the selections. The Twelve Outstanding Airmen are awarded the Outstanding Airmen ribbon with the bronze service star device and wear the Outstanding Airmen badge for one year. They also serve on the Air Force Enlisted Council for one year. For more information, contact Lynette Cross at or call 1-800-727-3337 ext. 4807.

For a full list of the recipients including their bio's please visit our official press release at

• SMSgt. Ernesto J. Rendon, Air Mobility Command;
• MSgt. Andre S. Davis, Air National Guard;
• MSgt. Tessa M. Fontaine, Air Force Space Command;
• MSgt. Shawn J. Jones, Air Force Reserve Command;
• MSgt. Celeste C. Okokon, Air Combat Command;
• TSgt. Adam L. Gomez, Air Force District of Washington;
• TSgt. Jason D. Payne, Air Force Special Operations Command;
• SSgt. Joshua L. Hanna, Pacific Air Forces:
• SSgt. Joseph C. Senteno, Air Force Global Strike Command;
• SrA. Casey L. Anderson, Air Education and Training Command;
• SrA. Lauren A. Everett, US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa; and
• SrA. Steven C. Hedgepeth, Air Force Materiel Command.

We look forward to congratulating these Airmen in person next month at conference!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

AFA Announces 2013 National Teacher of the Year

 The Air Force Association is proud to announce Margaret Spigner, a dedicated teacher at West Ashley High School in Charleston, S.C., as the recipient of the 2013 National Teacher of the Year Award. 

Ms. Spigner was recently selected as the South Carolina AFA Teacher of the Year earlier this year, making her eligible for the national award. Ms. Spigner has been an educator for 31 years and is still as enthralled with her chosen profession as the day she first began teaching. For the last 26 years she has taught Honors and College Prep Marine Science, Biotechnology, Investigative Research, Biology, and Honors Environmental and Physical Science at West Ashley High School. Since 2004, she has been the Science Department Chair and is the Lead Teacher for National Board High School Science Candidates for Charleston County. 

“Congratulations to Margaret Spigner, AFA’s National Teacher of the Year,” said George Muellner, AFA’s Chairman of the Board. “Her enthusiasm and vision for STEM education sets an example for leadership amongst her colleagues. Ms. Spigner engages her students in the curriculum, and shows them opportunities for their future academic and professional careers. We appreciate Ms. Spigner, the many other qualified nominees for this award, and the many dedicated teachers across the country. They make a difference.”

The $3,000 award will be presented in September at AFA’s Air & Space Conference and 
Technology Exposition at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington, D.C. 

The National Teacher of the Year award recognizes classroom teachers at the national level for their accomplishments and achievements in building enthusiasm among K-12 students about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and preparing them to use these skills and contribute to tomorrow’s technologies. For more information contact Shannon Aud at

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Celebrate the Spirit of '45 Day Ceremony this Sunday, August 11, 2013

The annual Spirit of '45 Day Ceremony will be held this Sunday, August 11, 2013 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Spirit of '45 Day is a day of remembrance that honors the men and women who were "ordinary heroes" of the World War II generation, and sends a call to action for a renewed spirit of civic engagement, volunteerism, service, and loyalty to our nation. The ceremony is free and open to the public, and will be held from 9:45a.m.-11:30a.m. 

The keynote speaker for the event will be retired Army General Frederick Kroesen, who commanded a platoon and a company in Europe as part of the victorious allied WWII forces. He later commanded the U.S. Seventh Army and U.S. Army Europe, and became the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. 

Also speaking during the ceremony will be retired USAF Lieutenant General Richard Y. Newton, III, AFA's Executive Vice President; Dr. Robert Sutton, Chief Historian of the National Parks Service; retired Brigadier General Jack Nicholson, former Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission; US Navy Memorial Founder retired USN Admiral Bill Thompson; and Linda Mathes, CEO of the American Red Cross National Capitol Region.

The ceremony will conclude with a wreath laying and a performance of "Taps" which will kick off a series of similar ceremonies across the country. The series will conclude in the Punchbowl National Cemetery in Hawaii, and will include the display of a "Wall of Honor" banner featuring photos of WWII veterans. 

This year's Spirit of '45 Day ceremonies will also honor the memories of the late Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Frank Lautenberg, the last WWII veterans to serve in the US Congress, who co-sponsored Spirit of '45 Day when it passed unanimously in 2010.The annual cross-country "Tribute to the Greatest Generation" is one of the most powerful ways to remind America of the legacy of courage, sacrifice, and commitment to service exhibited by the men and women who took part in the greatest mobilization in history since the building of the pyramids. 

For more information about the Washington D.C. ceremony and how to be involved in other events throughout the country, visit

Spirit of '45 Day Ceremony Agenda

9:45 a.m. - Musical Prelude: West Point Alumni Glee Club (WWII songs)

10:00 a.m. - Welcome and Introduction - Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Alan Salisbury, MC
Presentation of the colors - US Coast Guard
National Anthem (West Point Alumni Glee Club. Jody Newton)
Pledge of Allegiance - WWII/youth leader(s)
Invocation (AVC/WWII Committee, Friends of the WWII Memorial)
Spirit of '45 Day - Warren C. Hegg, "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!"
"Why We Must Remember" Dr. Bob Sutton, Chief Historian, National Parks Service
Introduction of Keynote Speaker

10:20 a.m. - Keynote Address: General (Ret) Frederick Kroesen, Jr.

10:30 a.m. - Commentary
Homecoming - Brig Gen (Ret.) Jack Nicholson, former Sec. of the American Battle Monuments Commission
Navy/CG/MM Legacy - US Navy Memorial Founder Adm. USN (Ret.) Bill Thompson
Marine Legacy - Gen. USMC (Ret.) PX Kelley
USAF Legacy - Lt Gen (Ret.) Richard Y. Newton, III, Air Force Association Executive Vice President
Women in WWII - Brig Gen USA (Ret) Evelyn "Pat" Foote
Remembering the Caregivers - Linda Mathes, CEO American Red Cross National Capital Region

10:55 a.m. - In Memoriam
Commentary by representative of Senator Susan Collins (Tom Sturgeon)
Remembering Senator Frank Lautenberg - Jerry Yellin, WWII Veteran
Remembering Senator Daniel Inouye - Terry Shima, Japanese American Veterans Association, with Kenny Inouye and family

11:05 a.m. - Musical interlude - "Mansions of the Lord" (West Point Alumni Glee Club)

11:10 a.m. - Closing Ceremonies
Medal of Honor representative
Presentation of Wall of Honor Banner - Thad Jacarz, Vitas Innovative Healthcare
Wreath laying and "Taps" performed by Bugles Across America

11:25 a.m. "God Bless America" (West Point Alumni Glee Club and audience)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Air Force Association Announces David Deptula as the New Dean of Mitchell Institute

The Air Force Association proudly announces that David A. Deptula will join its staff as the Dean of the Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies. Deptula retired from the United States Air Force in October, 2010 at the rank of Lieutenant General and has continued to excel as a national security thought leader.

Deptula has significant experience in combat and leadership in several major joint contingency operations. He was the principal attack planner for the Desert Storm coalition air campaign in 1991. He has twice been a Joint Task Force Commander - in 1998/1999 for Operation Northern Watch during a period of renewed Iraqi aggression where he flew 82 combat missions, and for Operation Deep Freeze, supporting forces in Antarctica. In 2001, the general served as Director of the Combined Air Operations Center for Operation Enduring Freedom, where he orchestrated air operations over Afghanistan during the period of decisive combat. In 2005, he was the Joint Force Air Component Commander for Operation Unified Assistance, the South Asia tsunami relief effort, and in 2006 he was the standing Joint Force Air Component Commander for Pacific Command. In his final Service assignment, he served as the first Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)—a position in which he was responsible to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight, and leadership of Air Force ISR and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) capabilities.

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 one of America’s most famous pioneering airman, Brigadier General William Mitchell—an innovative leader who embraced the nascent air domain in a quest to provide the Nation’s leaders with an array of enhanced policy options. The Institute hosts a variety of events with top defense leaders, publishes special reports, and sponsors emerging talent.

"In an effort to better educate the public on the need for robust aerospace power, AFA’s Mitchell Institute hosts defense seminars and expert-based discussions among the nation’s most creative and well-respected airpower thinkers,” said George Muellner, AFA Chairman of the Board. “We are excited to welcome Dave Deptula to our team as a top expert on national security issues.”

“I look forward to leading AFA’s Mitchell Institute in a quest to help the public, the policy community, and the Nation’s leaders better understand the key options airpower affords the nation,” said Dave Deptula, the new Dean of the Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies. “The pairing of an increasingly complex security environment with a decline in resources for defense, makes General Mitchell’s tradition of promoting innovation in exploiting the advantages of operating in the third dimension especially important today.”
For more information on upcoming events, publication releases, and announcements from the Mitchell Institute, visit

Thursday, August 1, 2013

AFA Celebrates Air Force Day

On August 1, 1947, President Truman established Air Force Day "in recognition of the personnel of the victorious Army Air Forces and all those who have developed and maintained our nation's air strength." August 1 was chosen to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment, in 1907, of the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army.

Air Force Day came into being immediately after the signing of the National Security Act of 1947, although the status of the air element of the military was uncertain. Thus, although it was called Air Force Day, its first celebration was staged by the Army Air Forces and not by the U.S. Air Force.

Underlying the Air Force Day celebration was a need to increase "both official and public awareness of the priority of importance of air forces in any system of national security," according to Mr. Truman. "The great strategic fact of our generation is that the United States now possesses live frontiers -- the frontiers of the air -- and that the oceans are no longer sure ramparts against attack."

In his message to the nation on the first Air Force Day, Mr. Truman said, "I remind all of our citizens that the air power of the nation is essential to the preservation of our liberty, and that the continued development of the science of air transportation is vital to the trade and commerce of a peaceful world." This sentiment continues to ring true as we continue to celebrate and honor our Airmen and their families.