AFA National Report

Oct. 1, 2013

Just in Time

Columbia Palmetto Chapter’s president, Lt. Col. E. G. Shuler III, reports that an AFA Spouse Scholarship arrived just in time for his local recipient in South Carolina.

Tuition and fees at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, had just been hiked more than three percent, and scholarship recipient Kristy L. O’Neill was already working as a child care provider at a church in addition to juggling studies for a bachelor of science degree.

O’Neill’s spouse is SSgt. Timothy D. O’Neill of Det. 157, 495th Fighter Group, McEntire JNGB, S.C., where he works in the Electrical and Environmental Systems shop in F-16 maintenance.

AFA’s Spouse Scholarship program encourages Air Force spouses in the Total Force to pursue associate, bachelor’s, graduate, or postgraduate degrees. In June the association awarded $2,500 grants to a dozen recipients, including O’Neill, who plans to specialize in geriatric nursing.

Awards on TV

Hosted by the Carl Vinson Memorial Chapter, Georgia State AFA chapters held their annual awards luncheon to recognize outstanding performers in the community and from Robins and Moody Air Force Bases.

Robins honorees from the chapter’s hometown area of Warner Robins were: Capt. Sean Bojanowski, Capt. Marvin Brown Jr., and Capt. Matthew Krauss; AFJROTC cadet Auscia Williams; and Civil Air Patrol cadet Clayton Searcy.

From Moody in the Valdosta area, honorees were: Capt. Jacob P. Hess, 1st Lt. Bradley A. Schmidt, MSgt. Joseph Johnson, TSgt. Michael D. Sessions, and SrA. Christopher J. Bechtold; and AFROTC cadet Dustin Prosser.

Jason Heath, originally selected in April as the Carl Vinson Chapter’s Teacher of the Year, received the statewide honor at this awards banquet in August.

Heath teaches at Huntington Middle School in Warner Robins and told local television station WMAZ—in its coverage of the awards banquet—that his creativity in teaching science got him the nod.

See the coverage of the awards ceremony at: www.13wmaz.com. The video segment includes glimpses of the Active Duty audience members, Southeast Region President John R. Allen Jr., and Georgia State President Jacqueline C. Trotter.

Harry Truman: Beginning of the End

In August, Harry S. Truman Chapter members conducted their annual ceremony in Missouri, highlighting President Truman’s courage in hastening what Chapter Treasurer Robert E. Seibolt calls the “beginning of the end” of World War II.

On Aug. 6, 1945, the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and followed up with another dropped on Nagasaki three days later. The Japanese announced their surrender on Aug. 15, 1945.

“I was 10 years old in 1945,” Seibolt said, looking back on that historic period. “Some of it I didn’t understand.” But he had two brothers in the military, so he knew the significance of the President’s decision to use the bomb, he said.

Eight chapter members attended the observance this August at the gravesite of Truman and his wife, Bess, at the Truman Library and Museum in Independence.

Harry McLane, John Campo, Anita Seibolt, and Joan Boyd formed an honor guard for the ceremony. Chapter member Jerome E. Hughes spoke to the gathering, recounting events of Aug. 6, 1945, and describing Truman’s life in Independence, the town where he went to school and later lived in retirement.

Robert Seibolt said several library visitors watched the chapter’s commemoration and wreath-laying. The AFA members “took time to explain” Truman’s significance to the younger visitors. “That made it worthwhile,” he said.

CyberPatriot Workshop

The Sarasota-Manatee Chapter in Florida held a CyberPatriot Orientation workshop in late August.

Chapter President Michael Richardson explained that the chapter wanted to make local high schools and other eligible groups aware of the national high school cyber defense competition.

CyberPatriot VI begins Nov. 15 and runs through spring 2014.

Richardson reported that eight teams from Florida’s Sarasota and Manatee counties competed in this year’s recently completed CyberPatriot V—two more than in the CP-IV.

Chapter Secretary Charly K. Shugg told the workshop audience how the chapter could assist teams in the competition, including the potential for mentoring by his own cybersecurity company’s associates.

Stephen Cantees, executive director for high schools in the Sarasota School District, explained how CyberPatriot meshes with efforts to promote the study of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics in the school district.

An Invitation to the Council

Florida’s Michael E. Emig, the Red Tail Memorial Chapter president, sent in a photo showing him shaking hands with US Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.).

The occasion? The inaugural meeting in August of the congressman’s Veterans Advisory Council. Topics covered included health care, educational benefits, and the Department of Veterans Affairs claims processing times.

Nugent had invited Emig to join the council, established for efficient information gathering on vets’ issues.

Emig has spent more than a decade building the relationship between local AFA members and their congressional representatives.

He explained that he began by becoming “active in political circles” for US Rep. Ginnie Brown-Waite, a Florida Republican who served from 2003 to 2010. When Nugent won Brown-Waite’s office, Emig continued the contact.

He ensured recognition for the new congressman’s team: Last year, Emig and Dennis E. Foley of the Waterman-Twining Chapter nominated Nugent’s district director, Shirley Anderson, as AFA Florida Legislative Staffer of the Year.

Emig broadened the chapter’s circle of friends, paying a call on the director of the VFW Veterans Village retirement facility in Fort McCoy, Fla. He and Alcides Lugo “hit it off,” in Emig’s words, and he signed up the retired Army officer as a chapter member. Then Emig recommended him for a seat in Nugent’s veterans council.

Emig volunteers with the local county veterans groups. He said this gives him a background on issues important to veterans, so he was well-prepared for Nugent’s Veterans Advisory Council meeting.

More Chapter News

The Langley Chapter, centered around JB Langley-Eustis, Va., sponsored its 20th annual Salute to Air Combat Command and Team Langley in July. The events did not include a symposium or reception this year, but some 90 golfers participated in the traditional tournament, and nearly 200 guests attended the banquet. ACC Commander Gen. G. Michael Hostage III addressed the audience and, according to Chapter President Vincent P. Wisniewski, spoke about sequestration’s effect on unit readiness. Wisniewski pointed out that this salute is a fund-raiser, and he praised “great industry sponsorship for a small event.”

James F. Albaugh, who retired last year as Boeing Co.’s executive vice president, addressed the Iron Gate Chapter in New York City in July. Chapter President Frank T. Hayes reported that Albaugh spoke about the aerospace industry’s impact on national security and economic growth. According to Hayes, Albaugh stressed education in science, technology, engineering, and math. He also told the audience that the US needs home-grown engineers to create the next-generation pushing-the-envelope bomber. Albaugh is a senior advisor with Blackstone Group, an investment and advisory company based in New York City.

Gold Coast Chapter (Fla.) President Virginia Montalvo announced with pride that chapter member Virginia S. Knudsen had been named first runner-up to Margaret Spigner for AFA’s National Aerospace Teacher of the Year award. (See Spigner’s photo, p. 83.) Knudsen teaches at-risk students at Parkway Middle School in Fort Lauderdale. Montalvo pointed out that her Florida chapter has produced three state-level winners and two first runners-up in the last eight years.

Accounting for Failure

In a letter to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, the Senate Armed Services Committee leadership took the Air Force to task for scrapping the Expeditionary Combat Support System and asked for answers on how this acquisition effort failed so spectacularly.

“We believe that the public and the taxpayers deserve a clear explanation of how the Air Force came to spend more than a billion dollars without receiving any significant military capability,” SASC Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and SASC Ranking Member Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wrote Dec. 5.

The Air Force notified Congress in November that it was abandoning the ECSS supply chain management tool meant to transform the Air Force’s logistics enterprise.

“From what we know to date, this case appears to be one of the most egregious examples of mismanagement in recent memory,” Levin and McCain added.

The lawmakers called on Panetta to provide answers as to why the flawed procurement was allowed to continue for so long, why restructuring efforts failed, who would be held accountable, and what steps the Defense Department is taking to ensure something like this would not happen again.

Accounting for Failure

In a letter to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, the Senate Armed Services Committee leadership took the Air Force to task for scrapping the Expeditionary Combat Support System and asked for answers on how this acquisition effort failed so spectacularly.

“We believe that the public and the taxpayers deserve a clear explanation of how the Air Force came to spend more than a billion dollars without receiving any significant military capability,” SASC Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and SASC Ranking Member Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wrote Dec. 5.

The Air Force notified Congress in November that it was abandoning the ECSS supply chain management tool meant to transform the Air Force’s logistics enterprise.

“From what we know to date, this case appears to be one of the most egregious examples of mismanagement in recent memory,” Levin and McCain added.

The lawmakers called on Panetta to provide answers as to why the flawed procurement was allowed to continue for so long, why restructuring efforts failed, who would be held accountable, and what steps the Defense Department is taking to ensure something like this would not happen again.

Kristy O’Neill displays her AFA Spouse Scholarship awards. Columbia Palmetto Chapter’s president, Lt. Col. Buck Shuler (right), made the presentation at McEntire JNGB, S.C.

Georgia State President Jacqueline Trotter and VP Dennis Lead­better present Clayton Searcy (far right) with a CAP Cadet of the Year award. At the podium is Trotter’s son, Jeremy, a Carl Vinson Memorial Chapter member.
Before being named AFA’s National Aerospace Teacher of the Year, Margaret Spigner received the State Teacher of the Year award at the South Carolina State Convention. L-r: State Presi­dent Art Rooney, AFA Vice Chairman for Field Operations Scott Van Cleef, and Southeast Region President John Allen Jr. Spigner teaches at West Ashley High School in Charleston.

At left: Sarasota-Manatee Chapter CyberPatriot workshop attendees included left to right: Keaton Fraticelli, Nicholas Butler, Tyler Fritzsching, Carl Goodrich, former AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt, Stephen Cline, Kim Huston, and Alexis Jenkins. The Sarasota Military Academy students in this photo participated in the CyberPatriot V competition.
Above: Long Island (N.Y.) Chapter President Fred Di Fabio (left) and VP Al Parise (right) present Francis S. Gabreski Scholastic Grants to AFJROTC cadets Bruno Meira and Nicole Casamassina. Meira now studies at the State University of New York, Fashion In­stitute of Technology. Casamassina is now at the SUNY, Stony Brook. Red Tail Memorial Chapter President Michael Emig (left) exchanges greetings with US Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) at the Veterans Advisory Council in Florida.

Langley Chapter President Vince Wisniew­ski presents a $1,600 donation to Col. John Allen Jr., 633rd Air Base Wing commander, as part of the chapter’s Salute to Air Combat Command. The donation supports programs benefitting ACC and Langley airmen.

Emerging Leaders: AFA’s Up ’n Coming

The Air Force Association needs “committed new leaders to bring a fresh perspective,” stated the AFA Field Council, laying out the challenge.

The council also offered a solution: the Emerging Leaders Program.

This summer, Region Presidents nominated prospective candidates, and a Field Council committee selected six.

(The future target is seven.) The AFA Board of Directors confirmed the selection, and at the AFA National Convention, the half-dozen Emerging Leaders were introduced:

Capt. Leanne M. Babcock from the Charleston Chapter (S.C.).

Juan E. Cruz, president of the Robert H. Goddard Chapter (Calif.).

Capt. E. Miranda Hernandez, Maryland state president and Central East Region executive VP.

C. Tyler Johnson, executive VP of the Langley Chapter (Va.).

Lt. Col. Cristina F. Lussier from the Montgomery Chapter (Ala.).

TSgt. Timothy J. Tichawa, secretary of the Robert H. Goddard Chapter (Calif.).

Emerging leaders volunteer for a year and during that time participate in a national-level council, attend the Region and State Presidents and Board of Directors orientations, serve as National Convention delegates, and receive help from assigned mentors. AFA’s Vice Chairman of the Board for Field Operations administers the program, with a Field Council committee.

Will this approach yield leaders with fresh perspectives

In the past, AFA had what it called Under-40 Directors and Leadership Development Directors. Those who “grew up” through these programs include AFA President Craig R. McKinley, two former AFA Board Chairmen—Thomas J. McKee and Stephen P. Condon—and three members of today’s board: Julie Curlin, Angela Dupont, and Gilbert E. Petrina Jr.

“This is a big deal,” commented Scott P. Van Cleef, Vice Chairman of the Board for Field Operations, “and a good deal that folks will want to be a part of.”

AFA National Report will profile each Emerging Leader in the upcoming months.

Reunions

40th Fighter Sq, 40th Flight Test Sq. Oct. 11-14 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, FL. Contact: Bill Highfield (770-229-4297) (reddevil40@bellsouth.net).

Air Reserve Personnel Center, all former and present ARPC members. Feb. 28, 2014, at Buckley AFB, CO. Contact: Erline Rohan (720-847-3016) (erline.rohan@us.af.mil).

Strategic Air Command Airborne Command Control Assoc. June 25-29, 2014, at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn in Rapid City, SD. Contact: Rod Berlin (937-469-5473 or 937-431-6878) (rodney.berlin@ngc.com).

Undergraduate Pilot Tng 66-A, Laughlin AFB, TX. Oct. 9-11 at Nashville Airport Marriott, in Nashville, TN. Contact: Bob Woods (615-591-8802) (falcon72@comcast.net).

USAF Military Training Instructor Assn, current and former military training instructors. Oct. 15-18, at JBSA-Lackland, TX. Contact: John Pavey Jr. (828-226-2409) (j.pavey@pdlawnc.com).

Willie UPT 86-06, 86-07, 86-08. Oct. 4-5 in Phoenix. Contact: Dano Cotton (williesummerofjetsreunion@aol.com).

Unit reunion notices should be sent four months ahead of the event to reunions@afa.org, 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.

How to Get Nationwide Coverage

“This morning I spoke with the Air Force Association in Midwest City, OK, about sequestration and furloughs,” announced the Aug. 6 Facebook page posting from Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.).

Behind that one-sentence entry lay two weeks of hard work by the Central Oklahoma (Gerrity) Chapter—backed by years of nurturing contacts with the state’s legislators on Capitol Hill.

But it paid off in news coverage coast to coast. How did that happen

A hot topic: Chapter President Jerry R. McMahan explained that Inhofe flew his own airplane around Oklahoma during this summer’s congressional recess and told his schedulers that he had an hour of free time. He wanted to use it to meet Tinker Air Force Base personnel affected by sequestration and furloughs. “That brought out the press,” alerted by the senator’s office, said McMahan. Along with local coverage, a resulting Associated Press article about Inhofe’s appearance in Oklahoma got reprinted from California to Connecticut.

Timing: At the suggestion of Chapter VP Mark Tarpley, the chapter began hosting a luncheon three years ago for its delegation’s military legislative assistants. The annual gathering takes place at Tinker during the congressional recess. “It’s one of the most-attended events that we have,” said McMahan. So even though Inhofe is an Army veteran, an AFA chapter was on the radar when his staffers looked for a way to carry out his Aug. 6 meeting with Tinker personnel.

Help from Community Partners: Chapter leaders considered everywhere from the Tinker base theater to Rose State College as a possible venue for this event. In the end, Community Partner Boeing offered its Midwest City facility. Civilians thus didn’t need to pass through a front-gate military screening, and Boeing’s conference room was big enough for 300 guests but small enough to be secured for VIP safety.

Groundwork before and after: Turns out Inhofe is an old friend of Tulsa’s David L. Blankenship, AFA’s former President and Board Chairman (1982-1985). With Blankenship as their host-sponsor, AFAers from the Sooner State touch base with Inhofe every year when they attend the National Convention.

The AP article on Inhofe’s AFA event appears on the Web as “Okla. Sen. Inhofe Criticizes Military Budget Cuts.”