AFA National Report

Sept. 1, 2011

Think Big, Plan Big

The Frank Luke Chapter hosted the Southwest Region Conference in Litchfield Park, Ariz., with AFA representatives present from Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada.

The three-day event not only covered AFA regional business but also offered guest speakers and panel discussions on Air Force, space, and cyberspace topics, with a local focus.

Retired Lt. Gen. John F. Regni, superintendent of the US Air Force Academy until his retirement in 2009, led the roster of speakers. He is today director of Science Foundation Arizona, a nonprofit based in Phoenix that encourages investment in science through administration of research, development, and education grants.

Werner J. A. Dahm, a former Air Force chief scientist, was another keynote speaker. He is now director of Arizona State University’s Security and Defense Systems Initiative.

A panel of military personnel included Brig. Gen. Jerry D. Harris Jr., commander of Luke Air Force Base’s 56th Fighter Wing; Col. Jose R. Monteagudo from the 944th Fighter Wing at Luke; Col. Kirk W. Smith from the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB, N.M.; and Col. Gary Brewer, from the 161st Air Refueling Wing at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport.

A local newspaper covering the conference reported that the military panelists spoke about the F-16 phaseout at Luke, solar power on base, increasing the number of Reserve personnel in the 944th, and missions carried out by the air refueling unit.

Other panels covered the CyberPatriot program, the defense industry, and deployment of Luke airmen.

AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt (second from right) goes over the agenda at the Southwest Region Conference in June in Litchfield Park, Ariz. He was a keynote speaker. L-r: Karel Toohey; Southwest Region President John Toohey; Arizona State President Ross Lampert; and Scott Chesnut, conference master of ceremonies.

Several exhibitors—Raytheon and the Civil Air Patrol among them—took part in the conference. It received coverage by Arizona Aviation Journal, which quoted Luke Chapter’s aerospace education VP Scott Chesnut on the six months of planning that went into the event: “We thought big,” he told the magazine, “and planned big.”

Can You Do That for Me

Sponsored by the Lance P. Sijan Chapter in Colorado Springs, the seventh annual Space and Cyberspace Warfare Symposium took place June 14-16 in Keystone, Colo.

Featured speakers included Gen. William L. Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, and Lt. Gen. Michael J. Basla, AFSPC vice commander, both from Peterson Air Force Base. Some of the other speakers came from the NRO, DIA, Army Space and Missile Defense Command, and Microsoft.

CMSgt. Ira D. Cutting hosted the Enlisted Professional Development sessions, with members from all military branches in the space and cyberspace fields taking part. Cutting is the enlisted space operations functional manager in AFSPC’s Manpower, Personnel, and Services Directorate.

Three days of symposium activities also included an awards luncheon and banquet. At the luncheon, Operational Excellence Awards went to Maj. Vincent B. Smits, from AFSPC headquarters, and MSgt. Bryan E. Neumann, from 24th Air Force.

The O’Malley Award Banquet, where the chapter spotlights leadership in space operations, honored Brig. Gen. David D. Thompson, director of air, space, and cyberspace operations at AFSPC. He is the 12th recipient of this chapter award, named for Gen. Jerome F. O’Malley, head of Tactical Air Command at the time of his death in an airplane crash in 1985. O’Malley’s daughter, Sharon Burg, addressed the audience that evening, before joining Shelton in presenting the award.

The Sijan Chapter’s symposium originated in 2004, when Gen. Lance W. Lord, then head of Air Force Space Command, returned to Colorado from AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Florida, inspired to create a similar conference focusing on space warfare. “Can you do that for me?” he asked the Sijan Chapter leadership.

Russell J. Anarde was among those stepping up to the plate. He served as chairman for that first symposium. Chapter Secretary Hank Scarangella and Tom Ocvirk co-chaired this year’s events, with Chapter President Kevin Estrem as advisor.

Attendance through the years has hovered around 300, reported Estrem.The symposium received a comprehensive writeup in a blog by Don Jewell in GPS World magazine.

At the Air Force Academy, AFA National Secretary Joan Sell watches cadet Tania Buda add the Outstanding Squadron streamer to Cadet Squadron 22’s guidon. The unit received AFA’s Outstanding Squadron Trophy during graduation activities and was honored at a reception. At far right is cadet Michael Shaw.

Successful Day’s Work

The Highpoint Chapter of New Jersey recently received $1,500 from a military relief group. The amount represented the chapter’s share from a fund-raising effort in May, held to benefit military personnel.

The chapter president, Chaplain Richard Ball, with help from chapter veterans affairs VP Murlin Lower, spent the day at this all-services event organized by the local, county-focused Armed Forces Relief Committee.

Pavinci’s Italian Grill, a restaurant-marina on Lake Hopatcong, N.J., hosted the fund-raiser. Displays set up in its parking lot included a vintage Jeep, a water tank on wheels more commonly known as a “water buffalo,” a “Deuce ’n-a-Half”—which is the nickname for a 2.5-ton Army truck—and equipment from the fire department. Other draws? Live entertainment: A different band played every hour from early afternoon until 11 that night. A video clip of the performance by at least one band, Rock-It Science, appears on YouTube.

Lower noted that the Highpoint group had been specifically invited to participate in this fund-raiser because it is the area’s only Air Force presence.

Indeed, Ball worked the fund-raiser not only as an AFA representative but also in his role as a former Army chaplain. He met 30 veterans, personnel about to be deployed, and family members seeking guidance from a clergyman, and folks needing advice from someone familiar with the military bureaucracy. Ball stayed at the fund-raiser until 1:30 a.m.

Donations at evening’s end totaled $6,000—actually less than last year, Ball reports—divided among local military organizations representing the four armed services. The chapter will use its share to aid Air Force families in the area, Lower said.

Mountaineer Leadership

Through the annual Mountaineer Cadet Officer Leadership School in West Virginia, the Chuck Yeager Chapter has helped train cadets to excel in Air Force JROTC.

MCOLS takes place in the “Mountaineer State,” at Concord University in Athens, W. Va. Over the course of five days, cadets take classes in leadership; develop skills through drill and ceremonies; enhance physical fitness with intramural sports; and increase confidence through such exercises as orienteering, water safety, and rope-bridge crossing.

The latest MCOLS session in June involved 185 cadets from 18 high schools in five states: Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Retired Lt. Col. Jay Thompson from E. C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Va., led MCOLS.

The chapter provided all the awards for the graduation pass-in-review ceremony, attended by Central East Region President Jeff Platte. Among the award winners were: Grace Charlton, from Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Va., named Outstanding Cadet; Will Johnston, E. C. Glass High School, Outstanding Cadre Cadet; and Fernando Munoz, from Dobyns Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tenn., and Kendra Ferguson, North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem, N.C., both taking home trophies as Outstanding Flight Cadre.

MCOLS in West Virginia got its start in 2001, organized by David F. Slaughter, then the Yeager Chapter’s aerospace education VP. He is now a member of the Gen. Bruce K. Holloway Chapter (Tenn). Some 40 cadets attended that inaugural session.

In Anchorage, Alaska, the Eleventh Air Force Memorial gets a clean-up from volunteers led by Edward J. Monaghan Chapter members Anita Porter, fourth from left; Suellyn Novak, in hat; and John Cloe, next to her.

Gabreski Scholars—and More

New York’s Long Island Chapter presented a jam-packed program for its awards luncheon in East Farmingdale.

Held at a theme restaurant called the 56th Fighter Group, the third annual Francis S. Gabreski Scholastic Grant luncheon began with the dedication of one of the facility’s dining rooms in the name of Gabreski. A two-war ace—28 aerial victories in World War II and 6.5 in Korea—Gabreski commanded the 56th Fighter Group from 1949 to 1951 and was a Long Island Chapter member until his death in 2002. Several Gabreski family members were on hand for the room dedication.

Chapter Aerospace Education VP Alphonse A. Parise and US Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) presented Gabreski Scholastic Grants to Catherine Manett from Patchogue-Medford High School in Medford, N.Y., and Stacey Forte from Brentwood (N.Y.) High School. Both students are AFJROTC cadets. Each received $1,000.

Chapter President Fred Di Fabio presented plaques of appreciation to Israel; Steve Bellone, who is a Babylon (N.Y.) town supervisor; and Jeff Clyman, president of the American Airpower Museum, also located at Republic Airport. The awards acknowledged their support for chapter activities and veterans’ issues.

Susan Ohlinger, a fifth-grade teacher at Burr Intermediate School in Commack, N.Y., was named Chapter Teacher of the Year.

Other presentations included three Jubilee of Liberty Medals for Normandy veterans. The Normandy Regional Council originally bestowed the medals in France to American vets attending the 50th anniversary in 1994 commemorating World War II’s D-Day landing. Since then, the medals have been presented in the US to Normandy veterans who weren’t able to attend that first ceremony.

Di Fabio said the chapter has arranged 18 Jubilee ceremonies over the past 14 years, recognizing more than 300 local veterans. Media coverage of these chapter ceremonies led three more vets to come forward recently. Receiving recognition at this chapter luncheon were: John McMullen from Plainview; Seymour Bosworth from South Hampton; and Michael Bonchonsky of Huntington.

Maj. Scott Clyman, 79th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C., was guest speaker for this chapter luncheon. He spoke to the audience of some 100 guests about his experiences as an F-16 pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“AFA Burritos”

From Alamogordo, N.M., the Fran Parker Chapter President Lt. Col. Matthew Martin e-mailed a photo with a tempting title: AFA Burritos.

Turns out, chapter members handed out 600 of those filled flour tortillas at Holloman AFB, N.M., as part of a celebration on May 6 called “Spring Fling.”

The 49th Wing’s airmen at the base received that day off to celebrate their success in an operational readiness exercise. In late April, the wing earned an “Excellent” rating from the Air Combat Command inspector general team, after proving an ability to rapidly deploy Holloman’s F-22s, with 400 personnel, and more than 220 tons of cargo.

Spring Fling included sports events, music, and food, with the Fran Parker Chapter covering the cost of the burritos and joining the 49th Force Support Squadron in making and serving them.

Chapter members offered the Mexican food, along with salsa and guacamole, at the Holloman bowling alley, which was celebrating the grand opening of its cantina in conjunction with Spring Fling.

“We’re thrilled to have the support of the AFA to kick it off to a great start,” said 49th FSS Commander Maj. Chris Busque.

In addition, chapter members helped out at the Spring Fling’s various sports events, providing bottled water and distributing copies of Air Force Magazine.

Tending the Memorial in Anchorage

In June, Edward J. Monaghan Chapter members in Anchorage, Alaska, led a cleanup of the Eleventh Air Force memorial at Merrill Field, located near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The memorial marks the site where Army Air Corps personnel landed Aug. 12, 1940, as forerunners of what would become Eleventh Air Force, famous for having driven the Japanese from the Aleutians in World War II.

John H. Cloe, Community Partners VP, explained that the chapter spearheaded fund-raising to construct the memorial, which was dedicated in 2001. The chapter now has overall responsibility for its upkeep and recently received a $1,500 matching grant from the state of Alaska for this effort, he said.

University of Alaska-Anchorage AFROTC cadets partner with the chapter to maintain the monument. In the most recent cleanup, five cadets turned out: Ashley and Zack Beegle, Jeff Elmore, Travis Shultz, and Kaleigh Wotring. Boy Scouts Lucas and Tyler Ryynnannen and their father, Dan, joined in. From the chapter, Suellyn Novak, Chapter Secretary Anita Porter, and Cloe helped wield rakes, brooms, towels, and trowels to clean the black granite edifice and landscape the area.

Nowak coordinates the chapter’s continuing involvement with upkeep for this memorial.

More Chapter News

The Mercer County Chapter in New Jersey received mention in The Trenton Times newspaper after members helped decorate more than 2,000 gravesites for Memorial Day, reports then-Chapter President Stewart Zitzner. The AFAers joined with Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts to carry out this project.

In California, the Orange County/Gen. Curtis E. LeMay Chapter and other military-oriented groups helped pay for some Buena Park High School AFJROTC cadets to attend an annual summer encampment at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., in July. While in a dining facility on base, they had a chance to meet Lt. Gen. James M. Kowalski, command of Air Force Global Strike Command, who was visiting Vandenberg. One of the cadet chaperons for this AFJROTC event was Donald Zweifel of the General Doolittle Los Angeles Area Chapter.

H. B. Henderson, 1925-2011

AFA National Director Emeritus Harry B. Henderson died July 10 in Newport News, Va. He was 85 years old. Nicknamed “Buzz,” he was born in Pahala, Hawaii, on Dec. 26, 1925. After high school in Hardin, Mont., he joined the military for World War II, becoming a Navy aviator and serving in the Pacific. After the war he graduated from the University of Southern California and in 1950 was called to active duty from the Naval Reserve for the Korean War. He later became Convair’s assistant chief test pilot for F-102s and F-106s and then corporate manager of Aeronautical Systems for General Dynamics. He remained with the company for 37 years before retiring in 1992. Henderson served as president of AFA’s San Diego Chapter, state president, Central East Region president, and a national committee member before being elected to the board of directors in 1984.

Patricia Teevan, 1943-2011

Patricia Teevan, Air Force Magazine’s former director of advertising and industry relations, died Aug. 7 in Arlington, Va. She was 68 years old. She had worked for AFA for 40 years and before her retirement in 2006 had been nicknamed “the dean” of the staff. Although she began her career with AFA in 1966, her name first appeared on the magazine’s masthead in May 1972, when she became the advertising service manager. Ms. Teevan played a key role in AFA events, gathering sponsors and exhibitors for the National Convention and other symposiums. She was a native of Massachusetts.


At the Air Force Academy, AFA National Secretary Joan Sell stands beside Christopher Stephens, cadet; Chamara Wijesinghe, CS-22 squadron commander; Lt. Col. Tracy Patterson, air officer commanding; MSgt. Steve Honda, academy military trainer; and TSgt. Adam McNeill, academy military trainer.

Air Force Academy Cadet Squadron 22, winners of the AFA Outstanding Trophy, in front of the academy’s Cadet Chapel.

Pictured with the Outstanding Squadron Trophy are: TSgt. Adam McNeil, AFA Colorado State President Brian Binn, CS-22 Sqaudron Commander Jonathan McMann, CS-22 Squadron Commander Chamara Wijesinghe, Lt. Col. Tracy Patterson, and MSgt. Steve Honda.

Gayle White, a past Colorado state president, shakes hands with a member of Cadet Squadron 22 as he and Brian Binn (right) present AFA coins to Outstanding Squadron members.

Space and Cyberspace Warfare Symposium attendee Louverture Jones hits his shot at a golf tournament held in conjunction with the conference. Colorado State President Brain Binn observes.

Symposium activities included presentation of the General Jerome F. O’Malley Distinguished Space Leadership Award. L-r: Sharon O’Malley Berg, daughter of O’Malley; Gen. William Shelton, AFSPC commander, Mrs. Thompson; Brig. Gen. David Thompson, award recipient.

Volunteers running symposium registration included (l-r) Sharon White, Judy Arnold, Janet Calkins, Ewa Folden, and Debbie Estrem.

High Point Chapter receives proceeds from a fund-raiser. Front row (l-r): Mike Kleinwaks, Reserve Petty Officer 1st Class Mitch Ellicott, High Point Treasurer Bob Nunaman, and Mary Lower. Back row (l-r): Hopatcong Borough Councilman Richard Bunce, Chapter President Chaplain Richard Ball, Steve Millian, Monte Lower, Pavinci’s Grill owner Mario Ferra, and Robert Haffner.

At the Long Island Chapter’s Gabreski awards luncheon are (l-r): Al Parise, Fred Di Fabio, US Rep. Steve Israel, Seymour Bosworth, Michael Bonchonsky, John McMullen, and Steve Bellone. Bosworth, Bonchonsky, and McMullen received Jubilee of Liberty Medals for Normandy Invasion vets.

Burritos, anyone? Alamogordo Chapter members helped pass out burritos at the Spring Fling at Holloman AFB, N.M.

Ben Santerre, third from right, receives a Community Partner plaque at the Southwest Region Conference. L-r: AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt; Scott Chesnut, Luke Chapter VP for aerospace education; Howard Price; John Toohey, Southwest Region president; and Joe Marvin, Luke Chapter president.


7th/42nd ACCS. Sept. 16-18 at Bay St. Louis, MS. Contact: Dianne Calmes (228-216-1083) (

20th FW Assn, all units (1930-present). Oct. 26-30 in San Antonio. Contact: 770-429-9955 or

23rd Flying Tiger Assn, all units (1942-current). Nov. 10-13 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, FL. Contact: Jeff Hogan (910-922-1774) (

49th Fighter Sq, 49th FIS (1941-present). Oct. 6-9 at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio. Contact: Bob Thomalen (845-225-2445) (

58th Fighter Assn, all associated units. Oct. 4-9 at the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Airport in Savannah, GA. Contact: Jean Kupferer, 2025 Bono Rd., New Albany, IN 47150 (812-945-7649) (

81st Fighter Wg, all units (January 1942-December 1993). Oct. 18-21 in Biloxi, MS. Contact: Sharon Palmer, 70 Rilla Ln., Sequim, WA 98382 (360-683-4697) (

376th Air Refueling Sq. Oct. 4-6 in Bossier City, LA. Contact: Bill Bryan (360-692-3609) (

Air War College Class of 1972 & 1982. Oct. 27-28 at Maxwell AFB, AL. Contact: Kathy Escaravage (334-953-5190) (

AF Veterans Assn. Oct. 5-8 in Dayton, OH. Contact: Cliff Johnson, 1779 Wilmington Rd., Cedarville, OH 45314 (937-766-5398) (

Misty, Operation Commando Sabre. Oct. 192-23 at Destin Beach, FL. Contact: Jack Doub (229-415-3579) (

Vietnam Security Police Assn, including Thailand. Oct. 5-9 in Dayton, OH. Contact: Dennis Evans (866-672-6533) (

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.