AFA National Report

April 1, 2011

Desert Storm Anniversary

The Central Florida Chapter’s 27th annual black-tie Air Force Gala noted the 20th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, spotlighting some of the milestone events and major players from that war. The gala always serves as the culmination activity for the Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Fla., this year held Feb. 17-18.

Gala Chairman John Timothy Brock opened the evening by introducing several VIPs in the audience, including Air Force Undersecretary Erin C. Conaton and the new vice chief of staff, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove.

Chapter President William A. Yucuis, as master of ceremonies, then led the after-dinner tributes to Desert Storm veterans and equipment teams.

At the Air Force Gala, Central Florida Chapter’s John Timothy Brock (left) and William Yucuis (right) present the chapter’s donation to AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt (second from right) and George Muellner, AFA’s vice chairman for aerospace education. (Photo by Dan Higgins)

During Desert Shield, USAF Red Horse and Prime Beef civil engineers created airfields and other base infrastructure from barren desert, Yucuis told the audience. Also, two types of equipment—Lockheed Martin’s LANTIRN (Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night) and Northrop Grumman’s JSTARS—though still in development, were pressed into service. In addition, two groups of key personnel, the “Black Hole” air campaign planners and the B-52 Operation Senior Surprise team from Barksdale AFB, La., were instrumental to success.

The chapter designated all of these groups as Ira Eaker Historical Fellows.

Its highest honor went to retired Gen. Charles A. Horner, the Desert Storm air campaign planner. Yucuis told the audience that Horner was “a true legend of airpower.” The chapter named Horner an H. H. Arnold Fellow.

The gala this year raised $10,000 for the Air Force Memorial Foundation and $65,000 for AFA’s aerospace education efforts. The chapter’s total contribution to aerospace education programs nationwide, over nearly three decades, comes to more than $2.5 million.

May We Introduce You to AFA

When newly elected US Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) began meeting with constituents in his Huntsville, Ala., district office in January, Tennessee Valley Chapter officers stepped forward to introduce him to AFA.

Chapter President Frederick J. Driesbach; Guy L. Broadhurst, the chapter VP; and Russell V. Lewey, chapter secretary, met with the congressman, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Science and Technology Committee.

Driesbach described the chapter’s vision and mission and the scope of its members’ defense and Air Force knowledge. He suggested that Brooks join the Air Force Caucus. He presented the congressman with an AFA membership and invited Brooks and his district director, Tiffany Noel, to attend a chapter meeting.

Lewey reported that Brooks “expressed an understanding and support for a strong defense” but said difficult budget decisions lay ahead.

Partners Supporting USAF

It was Page 1 news when the head of 20th Air Force served as guest speaker for a Cheyenne Cowboy Chapter luncheon in Wyoming this February.

Maj. Gen. C. Donald Alston, from F. E. Warren Air Force Base, attended the chapter’s Community Partners Recognition Luncheon with his wife, Ana.

“Twentieth Air Force depends a great deal on three communities: Cheyenne, Great Falls, and Minot,” said Alston, listing the cities in Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota, where the 20th’s ICBM wings are located.

He told the local business leaders, “There are very few communities that understand the intricacies of our military missions, especially our nuclear deterrence mission.”

According to the F. E. Warren base newspaper, Alston got specific: “Warren depends on a range of counties across three states for miles of roads, sometimes in austere conditions.”

Chapter President Irene G. Johnigan, too, had praise for the Community Partners. They act as “the catalyst behind” the chapter’s programs in support of Warren airmen, she told the audience.

In Local News

A local ABC television news program in North Carolina recently delivered an “Armed Forces Salute” to Tarheel Chapter members Joyce W. Feuerstein and Lewis E. Feuerstein.

The three-minute segment, aired by Channel 11 in the Raleigh-Durham area focused on their ties to North Carolina State’s AFROTC Det. 595 in Raleigh. It showed a chapter meeting in progress, attended by several cadets, and featured comments about the Feuersteins’ support for the unit.

Cadet C. J. Elliott said on camera, “They attend, really, all of our functions: the drill meet that we put on, the military ball that we have at the end of the year. So they’re at everything. They make themselves very visible.”

The AFA banner was part of the feature story’s images, and Joyce was identified as an AFA member. The association even figured into the couple’s love story: They met at an AFA meeting in 1999, the reporter said, and married 16 months later.

Joyce is the chapter’s secretary, and Lew is the veterans affairs VP.

Under 35 Runs the Show

The goal? Attract younger people to an AFA event. The method? Here’s what worked for the Paul Revere Chapter of Massachusetts: Give the job of organizing a road race to some “youngsters.”

That’s how state aerospace education VP Joseph P. Bisognano characterized 1st Lt. Erin Kendall and Ryan Lafferty, who pulled together the chapter’s inaugural Veterans Day 5K walk and 5K and 10K runs, last November.

Chapter members Mary K. Zeger and Steve Fuss—whom Bisognano called “seasoned” AFAers—lent a hand.

But it was Kendall and Lafferty who headed a team of 25 volunteers. They worked for six months with the Bedford Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., ironing out the typical road race details: measuring the course, arranging road closures, designing the race t-shirt, securing insurance, staffing water stations, and handling registration.

Bisognano said, “The results speak for themselves: 430 participants, including 60 military and civilians from Hanscom and a profit of more than $7,000,” earmarked for deployed personnel and their families.

The event was videotaped for a local Internet production by Steve Katsos and posted on YouTube.

It’s not on the 10-minute video clip, but Bisognano pointed out that the chapter also held a postrace barbeque for some 200 VA patients. Only “youngsters” would have the energy to do that after running six miles.

Star Donation

The Central Oklahoma (Gerrity) Chapter, in Oklahoma City, donated $1,000 to the Starbase program held at Will Rogers World Airport.

Rick Buschelman presented the funds to Pamela Kirk, Oklahoma ANG Starbase program director.

Starbase began in 1993, when the National Guard Bureau and state governors combined forces to conduct programs, often at military sites, to help at-risk students. The program aims to provide education and develop values, self-esteem, skills, and self-discipline.

This was the Oklahoma-Gerrity Chapter’s third donation to Starbase, and Buschelman reported that it would be used to buy motors for model rockets that the students will build and launch during their week-long course held at a 137th Air Refueling Wing classroom at the airport.

More Chapter News

In January, the Thomas W. Anthony Chapter hosted its annual awards luncheon at JB Andrews, Md., with Central Region President Jeffrey Platte as guest speaker. Maryland State President Joseph L. Hardy received the Chapter Member of the Year award. Cheryl A. Nagel, chapter secretary, was presented with a 2010 AFA National Medal of Merit. Col. Kenneth R. Rizer, commander of 11th Wing and Andrews, and CMSgt. Anthony Brinkley, the wing’s command chief master sergeant, were named as the chapter’s Presidential Awards recipients.

At a Thomas W. Anthony Chapter awards luncheon are (l-r) Chapter President Charles Suraci, Col. David Koontz (who accepted an award for Col. Kenneth Rizer), John Thomas, Command CMSgt. Anthony Brinkley, and Sam Bass.

At JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, several Hawaii Chapter members attended a commemoration of the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. President Nora Ruebrook and Treasurer Lance Bleakley were among the attendees at the Jan. 14 event, held in the main base chapel and sponsored by the Hickam African-American Heritage Association. Re-enactors portrayed President Ronald Reagan’s Nov. 2, 1983, signing of the law establishing the federal holiday in King’s honor.

AFA Conventions

April 29-30

June 2-5

June 25

Sept. 17-18

Sept. 19-21

South Carolina State Convention, Columbia, S.C.

California State Convention, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

North Carolina State Convention, Raleigh, N.C.

AFA National Convention, Washington, D.C.

AFA Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Washington, D.C.


Central Florida Chapter leaders and guests at the USAF Gala included (l-r): John Timothy Brock, the gala chairman; AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt; Air Force Undersecretary Erin Conaton; Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Philip Breedlove; and William Yucuis, chapter president. (Photo by Dan Higgins)

At the Thomas W. Anthony Chapter awards luncheon are (l-r): Member of the Year Joseph Hardy, AFA Executive VP David Buckwalter, Central Region President Jeffrey Platte, Medal of Merit awardee Cheryl Nagel, 11th Security Forces Group Commander Col. David Koontz, and Chapter President Charles Suraci.

At the Thomas W. Anthony Chapter awards luncheon, Central Region President Jeffrey Platte challenged members to get more involved with their chapter.

In Wyoming (l-r), Cheyenne’s Mayor Rick Kaysen, Ana Alston, Chapter President Irene Johnigan, and Maj. Gen. C. Donald Alston, 20th Air Force commander, helped the Cheyenne Cowboy Chapter honor its Community Partners. (USAF photo by 1st Lt. Brooke Brzozowske)

For the Central Oklahoma (Gerrity) Chapter, Rick Buschelman (right) presents a donation to Pamela Kirk, Oklahoma ANG Starbase program director.

At JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, re-enactors create the moment when President Reagan established the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. L-r: TSgt. Shilyn Bell, Carole Reynolds, SSgt. Xavier White, TSgt. Rodney Cathcart, SrA. Sean Joseph, and TSgt. Steven Drew (seated).

US Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) (second from right) meets Tennessee Valley Chapter, Ala., leaders (l-r) Russell Lewey, Guy Broadhurst, and Frederick Driesbach.

AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt (in Air Force shirt) meets Civil Air Patrol cadets during a visit with Group 7, Florida Wing, on Jan. 19 in Homestead, Fla.

AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt (front seat) flew a glider during his visit with the Civil Air Patrol unit in Homestead, Fla.


20th Fighter Wg Assn, 20th FG, FBW, TFW, FW (1930s-present). Oct. 26-30 in San Antonio. Contact: David Skilling (770-429-9955) (

60th Troop Carrier Gp, 10th, 11th, 12th Sq, at Rhein Main and Dreux AB (1951-61). Sept. 18-21 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Contact: Charles Dawes, 7544 Statecoach Ln., Vacaville, CA 95688 (707-448-6085) (

87th Aerial Port Sq Assn. July 7-10 at the Hope Hotel and Conference Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. Contact: Charles Hampton (859-946-8873) (

303rd Air Refueling Sq. Sept. 21-25 in Branson, MO. Contact: Bill Young (318-746-3637) (

351st BG (WWII). June 16-19 at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel and Conference Center in Virginia Beach, VA. Contact: Deborah Eason, 3722 Sussex Dr., Milledgeville, GA 31061 (478-453-7388) (

B-57 Canberra Assn. Sept. 15-19 in Cocoa Beach, FL. Contact: Bob Winklepleck, 3091 Southern Oaks Dr., Merritt Island, FL 32952 (321-449-7322) (

Berlin Airlift Veterans Assn (1948-49). Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Fort Worth, TX. Contact: J.W. Studak, 3204 Benbrook Dr., Austin, TX 78757 (512-452-0903).

SAC Elite Guard. June 9-11 in Omaha, NE. Contact: Bill Gdovic (402-953-3863) (

Sewart AFB. June 2-5 at the Nashville Airport Marriott in Nashville, TN. Contact: Don Dallenbach (615-826-2212) (

Seeking personnel from the 376th Air Refueling Sq. for a reunion. Contact: Bill Bryan (360-692-3609) (

Seeking F-100 crew chiefs/maintainers, 431X1C. Contact: Joe Gordy (970-301-6336) (

Seeking members of UPT Class 69-05, Reese AFB for a reunion. Contact: Jim Finley, 6257 E. Skyline View Dr., Claremore, OK 74019 (918-607-1547) (

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.