Donley Addresses VFW

Acting Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, in an Aug. 18 appearance at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention in Florida, spoke of some of the Air Force actions in the war on terror, including the use of satellites and Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (flown from Nevada) to provide real-time intelligence (analyzed in California and Virginia) for an immediate air strike, orchestrated by joint terminal attack controllers and Army Special Forces on the ground, that successfully eliminated a senior terrorist. “It is a great example of how joint teams, spanning multiple units, time zones, and command and control centers, can achieve tremendous accomplishments,” he said. He highlighted the actions of one of the more than 100,000 airmen who have deployed multiple times to Southwest Asia, TSgt. Vilma Cantu, a combat cameraman. In the course of one three-hour firefight in Iraq, he said that Cantu: “alternated between returning fire and filming the battle, providing an invaluable record for brigade and division commanders. She not only accomplished her mission as a combat photographer, but she also fulfilled her duties as an American airman and warrior. As she put it, ‘I was just doing my job.’ ” (45th Space Wing report by A1C David Dobrydney)