AFA National Report

June 1, 2011

Role Models

Their peers were probably still asleep when, on a recent Saturday, AFJROTC cadets in Clinton, Md., assembled to hear two members of the Thomas W. Anthony Chapter (Md.) inspire them through stories about their lives and their Air Force careers.

Col. David Koontz, commander of 11th Security Forces Group at JB Andrews-NAF Washington, Md., and retired CMSgt. Joseph L. Hardy, the AFA Maryland state president, spoke to 75 cadets at Surrattsville High School in March.

The two speakers stressed the importance of studying science, technology, engineering,and math,encouraging the cadets to take challenging classes; it’ll make a difference when you enter the job market, they told the students.

They spoke about the CyberPatriot program and passed out brochures to a dozen students who expressed interest in forming a team for the next competition.

But what were the cadets most interested in? Koontz’s and Hardy’s personal experiences.

AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt (center) makes a point during a meeting of the association’s Senior Leader Advisory Group in April. Listening to the discussion are O. R. Crawford (left) and George Douglas (right). (Staff photo by Eric Chang Lee)

Hardy, for one, recounted growing up on a North Carolina farm, in a family with eight children. He told the cadets that when he finished high school, “I had no money and no hope.” He went on to a 30-year military career, starting first in the Army and then on to the Air Force, along the way earning a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude and a master’s degree in procurement and acquisition management.

Hardy said afterward that he wanted the students to know “no matter what your circumstances, … you can make it.”

The Two Cyber Champs

The Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot III National High School Cyber Defense Competition concluded April 1 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center outside of Washington, D.C., with the Civil Air Patrol’s Team Wilson named as the All-Service Division champions and Team Mantrap from Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver, N.J., named as winners of the Open Division.

Team Wilson beat more than 450 other teams originally registered, while Team Mantrap bested 186 entrants to take home the President’s Trophy.

Team Wilson comprised cadets Josh Dovi, Reid Ferguson, Evan Hamrick, Isaac Harding, Michael Hudson, and Shawn Wilson. Nina Harding coached them.

Team Mantrap’s members were Chris Barry, Adam Cotenoff, Josh Eddy, Jack Kelleher, Colin Mahns, and Jared Katzman. Their coach was Amanda Galante.

Each championship winner received a $2,000 scholarship from Northrop Grumman, CyberPatriot’s presenting sponsor.

AFA National Director John Timothy Brock of the Central Florida Chapter later attended the Civil Air Patrol Florida Wing Conference April 16. Brock recognized the CAP winning team, which is from the Orlando CAP Squadron.

He then helped present framed citations to the Team Wilson cadets and coach and re-presented the CyberPatriot Commander In Chief Trophy to them.

CyberPatriot provides high school students with experiential learning about cyber security, prepares them to be the nation’s next cyber defenders, and encourages them to study science, technology, engineering, and math.

An ISR Update in Tennessee

At a gathering co-sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Huntsville, Ala., nearly 300 people attended a presentation by recently retired Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, former Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance.

Chapter Aerospace Education VP Russell V. Lewey reported that Deptula talked about “Current and Future Challenges in Joint ISR,” saying that intelligence disciplines must move beyond individual excellence toward integration.

Deptula’s examples of successful integration included the Navy’s hunter-killer submarines and P-3 surveillance aircraft armed with anti-ship Harpoon missiles. Deptula challenged programmers and planners to consider ISR an integral part of operations, to drive and shape intelligence for joint decision-makers, Lewey said.

Lewey counted representatives from more than 20 companies in the audience for this luncheon presentation.

Local chapters of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, the National Military Intelligence Association, and the National Defense Industrial Association co-hosted the event with the Tennessee Valley Chapter.

“Welcome to Your New Job”

Retired Maj. Gen. Mark A. Pillar addressed a dinner meeting of the Southern Indiana Chapter in Bloomington, Ind., in March, recounting his dramatic first day on the job, back in 2001, at US Strategic Command.

Today a resident of Columbus, Ind., Pillar is a Vietnam War veteran who transferred to the Reserve in 1978 and held numerous leadership positions in the 434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom ARB, Ind., before retiring in 2008.

Pillar called his chapter presentation “Welcome to Your New Job” and described his first day 10 years ago, as mobilization assistant to the commander at STRATCOM, Offutt AFB, Neb. With other Guardsmen and Reservists, he was to participate in regularly scheduled training that simulated an attack on the US: the annual Global Guardian nuclear readiness exercise.

Maryland State President Joe Hardy (second from left) and Col. David Koontz (far right) spoke to the AFJROTC unit at Surrattsville High School, Md., for a Thomas W. Anthony Chapter outreach program. L-r are cadet Christan Jones, cadet Michael Carter, and retired Lt. Col. Daryl Umstead, senior aerospace science instructor.

However, this time it happened to be the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

As the group assembled, terrorists struck the World Trade Center in New York City. Pillar described how the exercise shifted from simulation to actual crisis.

Chapter President James Fultz wrote that Pillar’s firsthand account of events that day made chapter members feel like witnesses to history. “Many of those at the chapter meeting that night felt it was one of our finest presentations,” Fultz said.

Also at the meeting, Jacob Huston received an AFA Civil Air Patrol Cadet award. He is from the CAP Monroe County Composite Squadron, Indiana Wing.

Ten Exclamation Points

In his e-mail describing the Pilot for a Day program at JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., McChord Chapter President Tommy L. Carson rapped out 10 exclamation points in a row. He was that enthusiastic about it.

Pilot for a Day takes place at several Air Force bases, and at McChord is hosted by the 4th Airlift Squadron. It brings seriously ill children and their families to the base for a close-up look at the Air Force. The aim is to give a child the chance to momentarily set aside worries about illness and medical treatment.

Owain Weinert, a nine-year-old with leukemia, became pilot for a day in February, with a local Fox news station tagging along to record his visit.

In his flight suit and cap, Weinert took part in the kid-oriented activities with gusto. He held on to a fire hose as a torrent of water rushed from it. At the explosive ordnance disposal unit, he worked the joystick on a bomb disposal robot and cheered at the EOD team’s explosion demonstration. He watched the security forces squadron’s military working dog lunge at a trainer’s heavily protected arm.

In the pilot’s seat of a C-17, he called out, “Pull back” and yanked on the yoke like he was reeling in a fish. With great animation, he explained to the TV reporter that he’d been in the cockpit of a commercial airliner before but this experience far outclassed it. “This is awesome—I mean, wow,” he exclaimed.

The McChord Chapter’s Community Partners foot the bill for this program, with the chapter’s Robert Branscomb heading the fund-raising effort. In the McChord area, the program takes place several times a year and has been receiving regular newspaper coverage.

The Young and the Old

In North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Chapter’s March meeting highlighted the young and the old: Kelsey Lynch, an AFJROTC cadet, and Ernest A. Andrews, a World War II veteran.

Lynch, from T. C. Robertson High School in Asheville, N.C., thanked the chapter for paying for her utility uniform, helping her attend an AFJROTC Aerospace and Technology Honor Camp.

Guest speaker Andrews was drafted into the Army in June 1943 and served in the 1st Infantry Division, participating in the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. Andrews spoke about his training, the Normandy invasion, as well as his injuries during battle, encounters with German soldiers, and his unit’s march across Europe.

“This … old soldier wowed the membership with his enthusiasm and spirit,” wrote Chapter Secretary William D. Duncan Jr.

The month before, Duncan, Chapter Treasurer Alicia Hughes, and Communications VP Tary Wiley had stepped forward to volunteer when a Western Carolina University professor visited community groups in the Asheville area, seeking judges and trophy sponsors for a science fair.

Tennessee Valley Chapter’s guest speaker, retired Lt. Gen. David Deptula (right), chats with chapter member Otha Vaughan.

The three chapter members served as judges for 10 projects entered into the Region Eight Western Regional Science Fair, held at the university in February.

The chapter members presented three aerospace excellence award medals to winners in the junior and senior high divisions: Jason Rogers of Waynesville Middle School for his project on an eco-friendly battery made from materials found at home; Justin Coye of Brevard Middle School, for his project called “How to Lift a Top Gun”; and Forest Beaudet of Madison Early College High School, whose project replicated capabilities of an infrared camera on an airplane.

It’s Back

Last year, it had to be canceled when not enough teams signed up, but this March, the Chuck Yeager Chapter’s annual AFJROTC competition in Parkersburg, W. Va., came back to life: Five schools took part in the meet, held at Parkersburg South High School.

Teams came from South Charleston (W. Va.) High School; Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, W. Va.; Nitro (W. Va.) High School; and Springboro High School in Ohio.

For the out-of-staters—who traveled nearly 200 miles from their school, located south of Dayton, Ohio—it was well worth the trip. Springboro took home the most hardware: trophies for overall champion, as well as for first-year unarmed drill and advanced armed drill.

Parkersburg South—hometown favorites—equaled that number, with the grand champion traveling trophy and the top awards for first-year color guard and advanced drill. Nitro cadets took home top honors for advanced color guard, while South Charleston received the trophy in the inspection category.

Chapter President Ira Latimer noted that the chapter’s drill meet is open to units from all service branches.


Catching up before the AFA Senior Leader Advisory Group meeting gets under way are (l-r): Tom McKee, Bob Largent, Gene Smith, George Douglas, and Monroe Hatch. (Staff photos by Eric Chiang Lee.)

AFA’s Senior Leader Advisory Group at their latest meeting (front row, l-r): Tom McKee, Boyd Anderson, Mary Anne Thompson, Sandy Schlitt, George Douglas, Monroe Hatch, and Dave Blankenship. In the back row, l-r: Gene Smith, Bob Largent, Joe Sutter, Marty Harris, and Ollie Crawford.

Sandy Schlitt (fifth from left) conducts the SLAG meeting. Around the conference table: Monroe Hatch (far left), Marty Harris, Gene Smith, Ollie Crawford, Schlitt, George Douglas, Dave Blankenship, James Lauducci, Tom McKee, Mary Anne Thompson, Boyd Anderson, Bob Largent, and Joe Sutter.

During the SLAG meeting, AFA Executive Vice President David Buckwalter (left) adds a portrait-plaque of AFA’s immediate past board chairman, Joe Sutter (right), to the display of past AFA national leaders.

Joe Sutter stands next to the display of AFA’s past board chairman and presidents. The display hangs in AFA’s board room.

Bob Largent takes a closer look at Sutter’s portrait-plaque. In the background (l-r): Sandy Schlitt, Joe Sutter, Monroe Hatch, Tom McKee, Mary Anne Thompson, Dave Buckwalter, and Gene Smith.

Cadets at Surrattsville High School listen to Col. David Koontz during a Thomas W. Anthony Chapter outreach program.

Central Florida Chapter’s John Timothy Brock (fifth from left) helps present a CyberPatriot trophy to the All-Service Division winners, Team Wilson. Left to right are: Josh Dovi, Reid Ferguson, Evan Hamrick, Michael Hudson, Brock, Isaac Harding, CAP Southeast Region Commander Col. James Rushing, and coach Nina Harding.

A big crowd turned out to hear retired Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula address a luncheon co-sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Chapter.

Retired Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula (center) and officials who sponsored the meeting where he spoke (l-r): Rick Driesbach, Stan Miler, Guy Broadhurst, Deptula, Jeff Gronberg, Vic Budura, and Gary Connor.

Ernest Andrews speaks at a Blue Ridge Chapter meeting.


2nd BG. Aug. 17-20 at the Academy Best Western in Colorado Springs, CO. Contacts: 2nd Bombardment Group Reunion, C/O CTCM-ACR, PO Box 25806, Colorado Springs, CO 80936 or Sherry or Kaitlyn (719-380-1412) (

5th Aerial Port, Evreux-Mildenhall. Aug. 18-21 in Fairborn, OH. Contacts: Bill Bishop ( or Lee Jarrett (

13th Fighter-Interceptor Sq. Aug. 31-Sept. 4 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO. Contact: Ray Ball, 1406 Farm Mkt Rd. 1499, Paris, TX 75460 (903-785-7777) (

39th BG, Guam (1945). Aug. 3-7 in Dayton, OH. Contacts: Liz Van Kampen (608-385-0923) ( or Peter Weiler (941-377-2451) (

39th Fighter Sq Assn, including 31st Pursuit Gp, 35th Fighter-Interceptor Wg, 39th Flying Tng Sq, and 39th, 40th, and 41st FS, all eras. Oct. 12-16 in Bellingham, WA. Contact: L. Haddock (719-687-6425) (

48th FS, FIS, and FTS. Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at Columbus AFB, MS. Contact: Joe Onesty, 455 Galleon Way, Seal Beach, CA 90740 (562-431-2901) (

489th BG, (WWII). Sept. 7-13 in Dayton, OH. Contact: Bill Smith, 6016 Yarmouth Dr., Dayton, OH 45459 (937-435-1585) (

613th, 847th, 848th Sqs and 511th AC&WG. Sept. 19 at the Isle Casino Hotel in Biloxi, MS. Contact: Don Simmons (972-231-6518) (

Tan Son Nhut Assn. Oct. 6-9 at the Blake Hotel in Charlotte, NC. Contact: Rich Carvell (870-932-8085) (

UNT 87-06. Sept. 6-8 at the Tuscany Casino in Las Vegas. Contact: UNT 87-06, PO Box 874, Box Elder, SD 57719.

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.