AFA National Report

March 1, 2011

Another Success in San Antonio

For Air Education and Training Command, the news about their symposium only gets better. Last year, they set an attendance record. This year, they broke it. More than 3,800 people gathered in San Antonio for the annual conference, held in January, and one of the big draws was the technology exposition, organized by the Alamo Chapter.

Air Force Association Chairman of the Board S. Sanford Schlitt was a guest of honor for the two days of events, along with keynote speakers Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley, Gen. Douglas M. Fraser, head of US Southern Command, and CMSAF James A. Roy.

The symposium featured some 100 presentations, organized into categories such as training and educational innovations, national security, and leadership. Topics ranged from North Korea’s “nuclear diplomacy” and the US response to the earthquake in Haiti, to using social media and USAF recruiting.

As for the exposition, former AFA Board Chairman John J. Politi and Alamo Chapter Executive Vice President Michael P. Nishimuta headed the chapter’s team effort. Politi rounded up sponsors, while Nishimuta worked with vendors. The two lined up 133 exhibitors.

At an AETC symposium luncheon, AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt (second from right) is introduced by Gen. Douglas Fraser to 2nd Lt. Darrell Moyers. At right is Gen. Edward Rice Jr., AETC commander. Fraser heads US Southern Command. Moyers is from the 17th Training Wing, Goodfellow AFB, Tex. (Photo by Joel Martinez)

Politi noted that the first symposium five years ago had so few exhibits, it could hardly be called an expo. He said Gen. William R. Looney III, then AETC commander, asked the chapter to get involved in the symposium and expo, knowing that AFAers had experience in this area. The chapter stepped in for the second symposium and has steadily built it up ever since.

The chapter has many tasks in the symposium-expo project. It arranges for some of the presentations given by speakers from the defense industry, for example. It pays for part of the AETC formal ball that serves as the culminating event. Chapter member David Pope, assisted by SMSgt. Cynthia Barrowman, put together an executive-level dinner for Air Force VIPs, including major command vice commanders in town for their own conference, held in conjunction with the symposium.

This year, the chapter even spurred a competition among military booths, with Chapter President Randy Coggins awarding first place to the 59th Medical Wing for a professional display that got the message across. The booth highlighted critical care air transport team (CCATT) capability.

Most of the nearly 4,000 airmen at the symposium and expo were attracted to high-tech items displayed by Lockheed Martin, BAE, and Alenia North America, Politi said in a telephone interview. The airmen, he said, had “a ball playing with the simulators.”

Also In San Antonio: Cyber Salute

In December, a team of high schoolers from San Antonio received recognition from the city and the Alamo Chapter as the area’s top finishers in initial rounds of AFA’s CyberPatriot III competition.

Several organizations, including the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, SAIC, and Boeing, honored Jose Banda, Robert Flores, Mario Puente, Lawrence Roberts, and Clint Sierra from the Alamo Colleges’ Information Technology and Security Academy with a luncheon.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro presented the students with the inaugural Mayor’s Cyber Cup. The five team members earned it by scoring the best among 21 teams in the area. According to Michael P. Nishimuta, chapter executive VP, San Antonio had more teams competing in CyberPatriot than any other city in the US.

Gen. Richard E. Webber, 24th Air Force commander from Lackland AFB, Tex., gave the luncheon keynote address. He spoke about the importance of building a workforce capable of protecting the nation’s information security.

The Alamo Chapter presented each student on the winning team with a $1,000 scholarship. The students also received personalized Air Force-style bomber jackets from NCI Corp.

CyberPatriot competitions aim to inspire high school students to take up careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.

Swipe This Idea

Military personnel typically accumulate a hodgepodge of educational credits both military and civilian.

Fort Wayne Chapter President John Kirkwood, a retired Air Force colonel and adjunct professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Ind., knows this well. He says the school found this out, too, when some 400 Army Guardsmen, airmen from the ANG’s 122nd Fighter Wing, Reservists, and veterans enrolled.

IUPFW Chancellor Michael A. Wartell began various approaches to making the university “military friendly” and turned to the Fort Wayne Chapter.

With the group’s approval, Kirkwood got involved in selecting a military-student services coordinator for the university, and “vet rep” Joyce Vaughan began the job in November. Among the first things she determined was that the school needed help in evaluating Community College of the Air Force transcripts and also needed more common access card readers.

By swiping a CAC through such a reader, a military member can access service records. This helps school officials determine benefits and grant due credit, particularly for military training, schooling, and experience.

The Fort Wayne Chapter voted to act as a bridge between the university and the local 122nd FW. Kirkwood and Chapter Treasurer Paul A. Lyons then took Vaughan to meet officials in the wing’s field support squadron.

As a result, the 122nd lent the university six CACs from excess inventory in January and designated a point of contact for the school.

Essentially, IUPFW now has what Kirkwood jokingly calls “a hotline”—the ability to directly telephone the right person at the Guard unit for help in “decoding” anything military.

With a Grant From AFA

The Scott Memorial Chapter president, Alan H. Gaffney, periodically visits local Air Force JROTC and Civil Air Patrol units, distributing complimentary issues of Air Force Magazine and talking up AFA’s mission and programs.

At Dupo Community High School in Dupo, Ill., Gaffney has strived to build a relationship with the AFJROTC unit headed by retired Maj. Michael T. Conley, the senior aerospace science instructor, and retired SMSgt. John D. Solomon, the ASI. So in November, when Conley was looking over a list of available grants on the AFJROTC headquarters website, it was no wonder that AFA’s AFJROTC grant caught his eye.

The $250 awards promote aerospace education-related activities, anything from buying textbooks or DVDs to field trips. The Dupo AFJROTC unit applied for funds to take cadets on an excursion with its partner Columbia (Ill.) High School to the St. Louis Science Center. Just a couple weeks later, AFA selected the unit and nine others nationwide to receive the grants.

In December, 28 students spent all day at the Science Center and its planetarium. The grant covered their transportation, admission, and lunch. The kids had been studying astronomy, and Conley commented that even though they had read textbooks and looked at PowerPoint presentations beforehand, the planetarium program was able to “put a lot of meaning” into the information.

Rickenbacker Remembered

Joined by several members of Ohio’s Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker Memorial Chapter, AFJROTC cadets from Westland High School in Galloway, Ohio, conducted their annual graveside memorial ceremony for the chapter’s namesake.

World War I ace Edward V. Rickenbacker, a native of Columbus, Ohio, was a race car driver before volunteering for military service. During the war, he started out as a military driver in France but soon talked his way into flight school in Tours. He eventually earned 26 aerial victory credits, four of them for balloon busting, and also received the Medal of Honor. After World War I, he led Eastern Airlines, guiding it through a period of huge growth. He died in 1973, at age 82.

Chapter member Melvin H. Gerhold, who retired from the Air Force and became an AFJROTC instructor at Westland High in 1966, organized the first Rickenbacker memorial service in the mid-1970s as a way to educate youngsters about the legendary pilot from their area.

More than two dozen cadets participated in the latest remembrance, held at Greenlawn Cemetery in October, the month of Rickenbacker’s birth. The ceremony included a color guard and prayers led by student chaplain Kathryn Snyder. Cadets Haley Maynard and Daria Mosel had researched Rickenbacker’s life story and read their paper to the audience gathered at his grave site.

The cadets’ aerospace science instructor is retired SMSgt. Clement L. Francis Jr., a chapter member.

Some of the chapter members attending the service had been present at some of the first memorials. This included Robert Dean, Richard J. Luckay, and Richard H. Coots Jr., who helped conduct the event one year as a Westland High School AFJROTC cadet himself. Gerhold, the original organizer, died in December 2010.

Home-for-the-Holidays Ball

The Scott Memorial Chapter pointed the way to an AFA AFJROTC grant that allowed these students to visit the St. Louis Science Center—especially its planetarium.

The Falcon Chapter in Jacksonville, Fla., helped the local Northeast Florida Chapter of the US Air Force Academy Parents Association carry out its annual all-service military ball in December. The black-tie formal takes place when cadets from five service academies—including the Merchant Marine Academy—are home for winter break.

This year, Falcon Chapter President Robert V. Bilik was among the guests.

Earlier last year, Anne Bloch, the local parents group president, had made several presentations about the event to the Falcon Chapter, seeking their support.

Chapter donations of $200 eventually sponsored tickets for five cadets to attend the ball, held at Naval Station Mayport.

Attendance increased from 120 midshipmen and cadets in 2009 to 185, this past December, reported Greg Bloch of the parents group.

More Chapter News

In Indianapolis, the Central Indiana Chapter hosted an AFA booth at a veterans appreciation event, sponsored by US Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) and the Military-Veterans Coalition of Indiana. Held at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service facility at the former Fort Benjamin Harrison, the November event included a luncheon and information fair with booths for veterans’, state, and federal organizations. They provided information on health care, benefits, and finances. Central Indiana Chapter VP Milford E. Compo and member Harold F. Henneke manned the booth. Compo said they highlighted AFA’s support for science, technology, engineering, and math activities and the CyberPatriot program in local high schools.

William W. Spruance, 1916-2011

Retired Brig. Gen. William W. Spruance, an AFA National Director Emeritus, died in his sleep Jan. 15. He was 94.

Born in Wilmington, Del., he was commissioned in 1939 on graduation from Princeton University. He first served in the Army’s Second Armored Division, but during World War II transferred to the Air Corps and began flying transports over the “Hump” in the China-Burma-India theater.

After the war, he became an official in the Delaware political arena. He was a founding member of the state’s Air National Guard, retiring in 1976 as the state’s assistant adjutant general for air.

He survived a T-33 crash in 1961 and thereafter gave numerous presentations on flying safety and crash survival.

Along with his untiring commitment to AFA, General Spruance had also been chairman of the board of trustees of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

AFA’s National Committees for 2010-11

Executive Committee. S. Sanford Schlitt (Chairman), Robert W. Drewes, W. Lee Evey, Justin M. Faiferlick, George K. Muellner, Joan Sell, Leonard R. Vernamonti, Michael M. Dunn (ex officio).

Finance Committee. Leonard R. Vernamonti (Chairman), Stephen J. Dillenburg, Frank Gustine, Michael McLendon, John J. Murphy, Michael J. Peters, John Toohey, S. Sanford Schlitt (ex officio).

Membership Committee. W. Lee Evey (Chairman), John T. Brock (Vice Chairman), Jeffrey L. Fanto, William R. Looney III, Ronald W. Mielke, Paul Neslusan, Arthur J. Rooney, Richard Stultz, Gayle White, Justin M. Faiferlick (ex officio).

Strategic Planning Committee. Donald R. Michels (Chairman), Fred F. Castle, Peter Jones, Peter Robinson, Nora Ruebrook, Todd I. Stewart, James Hannam (advisor), Scott P. Van Cleef (advisor), William A. Williams (advisor), S. Sanford Schlitt (ex officio).

Audit Committee. Wayne R. Kauffman (Chairman), Kristin E. Garland, T. Michael Moseley, Kent Owsley, Scott P. Van Cleef, Lance S. Young, S. Sanford Schlitt (ex officio).

Force Capabilities Committee. Richard E. Hawley (Chairman), Ronald E. Keys (Vice Chairman), John D. W. Corley, Monroe W. Hatch Jr., Paul V. Hester, John P. Jumper, Arthur J. Lichte, William R. Looney III, Lance W. Lord, Gregory S. Martin, Thomas G. McInerney, Thomas S. Moorman Jr., T. Michael Moseley, Gerald R. Murray, Lloyd W. Newton, John A. Shaud, Lawrence A. Skantze, Charles F. Wald, S. Sanford Schlitt (ex officio).

Senior Leadership Advisory Group. John R. Alison, L. Boyd Anderson, David L. Blankenship, Stephen P. “Pat” Condon, O. R. “Ollie” Crawford, George M. Douglas, Michael J. Dugan, Richard B. Goetze Jr., Martin H. Harris, Gerald V. Hasler, Monroe W. Hatch Jr., James M. Keck, Victor R. Kregel, Robert E. Largent, James R. Lauducci, William V. McBride, James M. McCoy, Thomas J. McKee, John J. Politi, Jack C. Price, John A. Shaud, R. E. “Gene” Smith, Joseph E. Sutter, Mary Anne Thompson.

Aerospace Education Council. George K. Muellner (Chairman), James Hannam (Vice Chairman), William D. Croom Jr., Emil M. Friedauer, Edward W. Garland, Grant Hicinbothem, Susan Mallet, Mary J. Mayer, Rodney J. McKinley, Richard J. Ragaller, Maxine Rauch, Marvin L. Tooman.

Field Council. Justin M. Faiferlick (Chairman), Leanne Babcock, James Callahan,Terry Cox, Mark J. Dierlam, David Dietsch, John Hasson, Jeff Platte, James Simons, Charles G. Thomas.

Development Committee. Angela M. Dupont (Co-chairman), Larry Lawson (Co-chairman), Craig E. Allen, L. Boyd Anderson, Lance Bleakley, O. R. “Ollie” Crawford, Skip Dotherow, George M. Douglas, Edward W. Garland, Clarence N. “Buster” Horlen, Steven R. Lundgren, Gerald R. Murray, John F. Phillips, David L. Vesely, Jerry E. White, Thad A. Wolfe, Terry Zwicker, S. Sanford Schlitt.


Visiting the AETC expo’s L-3 booth are (l-r): Thomas McClain, Gen. Edward Rice Jr., AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt, and Lenny Genna. McLain and Genna are with L-3, a title sponsor of the expo, which was organized by Alamo Chapter members.

At the AETC symposium’s luncheon are (l-r): Gen. Douglas Fraser, AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt, Gen. Edward Rice Jr., and Alamo Chapter President Randy Coggins. (Photo by Joel Martinez)

AETC expo organizer John Politi (left), former AFA Board Chairman and now an Alamo Chapter member, gets a visit during the expo from Golden Triangle Chapter President Rick Johnson (right) and Col. Barre Seguin, 14th Flying Training Wing, Columbus AFB, Miss.

AFJROTC cadets from Westland High School in Galloway, Ohio, prepare for their memorial service to honor Eddie Rickenbacker. Several members of the Rickenbacker Chapter attended the ceremony.

Westland High School AFJROTC cadets (l-r) Hayley Maynard, Daria Mosel, and Kathryn Snyder at the Rickenbacker memorial ceremony. Robinson Abreu holds the book of prayers and readings.

In San Antonio, the Information Technology Security Academy’s CyberPatriot team shows their $1,000 grants presented by David Pope (far left), the Alamo Chapter’s Aerospace Education Foundation president. Also pictured: Alamo Chapter President Randy Coggins and Richard Perez (far right), Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce president.

At the luncheon celebrating San Antonio’s winning CyberPatriot teams, Alamo Chapter President Randy Coggins (at the podium) presents Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, with a AFA membership.

Recruiting for AFA, Central Florida Chapter’s Richard Ortega (far right) visits with 1st Lt. Andrew Peloquin and 1st Lt. Marlo Peloquin. Andrew Peloquin is with the AFROTC detachment at the University of Central Florida. Marlo Peloquin is a KC-135 pilot stationed at MacDill AFB, Fla.

Unit Reunions

3rd Field Hospital, Saigon, including former patients and medical, support, and attached staff. Sept. 9-10 at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago. Contact: Duane Thompson (888-348-7398) (

13th BS, all eras. May 19-23 at the Doubletree Hotel in Washington, DC. Contact: Jerry Dorwart (970-416-1691) (

55th ARS, Forbes AFB (1955-63). May 19-22 in McKinney, TX. Contact: Don Mathers, 2930 SE Skylark Dr., Topeka, KS 66605 (785-267-2645) (

55th and 58th Weather Recon Sq. June 8-10 in Branson, MO. Contact: C. R. Layton (918-446-6945) (

100th BW, Pease AFB, NH. Oct. 12-16 in Dayton, OH. Contact: Alan Jankowski, 20 Carmarthen Way, Granville, OH 43023 (740-587-4116) (740-975-1119) (

340th BW. Sept. 8-11 in Branson, MO. Contact: R. Barnhill, 277 Sandhill Rd., Lonoke, AR 72086 (501-676-2305) (

354th Tactical Fighter Wg, Desert Storm (1991). May 27-30 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Contact: Joe Barton (

455th/91st SMW. Sept. 21-25 in Bountiful, UT. Contact: Dave Schuur (410-987-7520) (

485th Tactical Missile Wg. June 9-12 in Layton, UT. Contact: Stu Flood (801-725-9222) (

601st Tactical Control Assn, Germany. Oct. 19-23 in Oklahoma City. Contact: Hap Haggard, 6860 E. Rosewood St., Tucson, AZ 85710 (520-591-1966) (

667th, 932nd, 933rd, and 934th AC&WS Iceland Radar sites. May 29-June 2 in Nashville, TN. Contact: William Chick (

AF Public Affairs Alumni Assn, all retired, active duty, and civilians, including band members. May 12-14 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield, CA. Contact: John Terino (703-239-2704) (

AF Tech. Applications Ctr. May 12-15 at the Lions Gate Hotel in McClellan Park, CA. Contact: Charlie Penn (916-391-6956).

Air Rescue Assn and Pedro Rescue Helicopter Assn. Oct. 19-23 in Branson, MO. Contacts: Marilyn Nicholas (316-686-0430) ( or Ken Pribyla (703-619-1385) ( (

Arizona State University AFROTC Class of 1961. May 12-13 in Tempe, AZ. Contact: Jay Norton (480-897-0379) (

Army Air Corps Pilot Classes (WWII). Sept. 8-11 in Charleston, SC. Contact: Stan Yost, 13671 Ovenbird Dr., Fort Myers, FL 33908 (239-466-1473).

Battle of the Bulge veterans. Sept. 20-25 in Columbus, GA. Contact: Ralph Bozorth, 608 Treaty Rd., Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 (484-351-8844) (

Cadets, including support personnel. April 29-May 1 at Silver Wings Field in Eureka Springs, AR. Contact: Errol Severe (479-253-5008) (

C-130 personnel who were stationed at Dyess AFB. April 28-30 in Abilene, TX. Contact: Capt. Sarah Scaglione (325-696-3078) (

Ground Electronics Engineering Installation Agency/Mobile Depot Agency/Engineering Installation. June 14-16 at Treasure Bay Casino Resort in Biloxi, MS. Contact: Skip Klinger (

Jolly Green Assn, and all members of rescue community. April 31-May 1 at the Ramada Beach Resort in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Contact: Lee Massey (850-863-3131) and for reservations (800-874-8962).

PA AACS. July 12-14 at the Hampton Inn in DuBois, PA. Contact: Ed Rutkowski (814-371-7167).

Pilot Tng Class 56-M. April 27-30 at the LaQuinta Motel in Webster, TX. Contact: John Mitchell (703-264-9609) (

RAF Alconbury baseball team, including all Alconbury and B-66 personnel (1959-61). May 27-29 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Franklin, TN. Contacts: Carol Bartolomucci ( or Arlene Marcley (

TAC Recon Assn, all personnel and aircraft types. Sept. 22-25 at the Hilton Double Tree Hotel in Austin, TX. Contact: Charlie Loflin (512-249-1954) (

USAF Helicopter Pilot Assn. June 22-25 in Jackson, WY. Contact: L. Allred, PO Box 81, Afton, WY 83110 (307-885-5233).

Seeking members of the UPT Class 71-06 for a reunion. Contact: J. D. Caven, 474 Brookhaven Ln., Sunrise Beach, MO 65079 (573-374-8275) (

Unit reunion notices should be sent four months ahead of the event to, or mail notices to “Unit Reunions,” Air Force Magazine, 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209-1198. Please designate the unit holding the reunion, time, location, and a contact for more information. We reserve the right to condense notices.