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Note from the President 

Happy New Year! 2018 started off with a lot of uncertainty about federal funding for the Air Force. Last week, the federal government temporarily shutdown because Congress failed to pass a budget on time. BTW: Congress has only passed 10 timely appropriations bills in the past 42 years! AFA has been on Capitol Hill advocating for Congress to pass the 2018 defense appropriations bill, but for a fourth time Congress passed a Continuing Resolution that will expire on February 8th. The fiscal year began on October 1, 2017 and the Air Force has been forced to spend at fiscal year 2017’s budget level for the past four months in lieu of a FY18 budget.

The Air Force has unprecedented readiness issues already, and further budget delays risk aerospace superiority. The cost of losing aerospace superiority, something the US has possessed since the Korean War, jeopardizes the success of future military operations and unnecessarily endangers Airmen on the battlefield.

As we kick off 2018, a priority of mine is to help AFA maintain the position of being the Air Force’s premier advocacy organization for Airmen. One of AFA’s advocacy endeavors outside Capitol Hill is our professional development events, including our Air Warfare Symposium next month in Orlando. Themed “Innovation: The Warfighter’s Edge,”  innovation will be an integral part of every aspect of the event from the exhibits to the world-renowned speakers. The Air Force is even hosting an innovation contest at our symposium called Spark Tank which is modeled after the popular television show “Shark Tank.” More information can be found on our website, I hope to see many of our AFA members in sunny Orlando.

This coming Sunday is not only Super Bowl Sunday but also AFA’s 72nd birthday. On February 4, 1946 AFA was officially established as a grassroots Air Force support association. Led by Generals Hap Arnold and Jimmy Doolittle, AFA spearheaded efforts in establishing the Air Force as a separate service. Their tireless dedication paved the way for AFA, and I encourage each of our members to continue advocating for our Air Force. Once an Airman, always an Airman. We are all Airmen for Life.

 
Larry O. Spencer
President


AFA on the Issues

Earlier this month, AFA President General Larry Spencer (Ret). appeared on Government Matters TV to discuss what the future of acquisition will look like in the Air Force. “This notion of being able to take advantage innovation quickly and get it out to the field quickly, I think is a win-win for the department and for the Air Force in particular,” noted General Spencer during his January 10th interview. Watch the full segment
here.

Also this month, AFA’s Senior Director of Government Relations, Keith Zuegel, wrote an op-ed on the future of Air Traffic Control (ATC) featured in Federal Times. Congress is considering an ATC privatization proposal in the form of a six-year reauthorization of the FAA, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act. Read more in “Congress Risks National Security and US Aviation,”
here
.


Join Us at the 2018 Air Warfare Symposium

In less than a month, AFA will head down to Orlando for the
2018 Air Warfare Symposium. This year’s AWS is all about innovation. Speakers range from Air Force leaders and silicon valley pioneers to young innovative Airmen and defense industry experts. New features include a Backyard BBQ, a chance to network and connect with colleagues in the warm Florida weather, and “Spark Tank”, the final event of a competition in which Air Force leaders will be presented with cost saving innovations to modernize and improve the Air Force. There is still time to register here.



AFA Breakfast Series on Capitol Hill

On January 18, AFA hosted its first breakfast series event of 2018. Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan addressed the impact of the budget impasse in Congress, readiness issues, and FY19’s strategy-driven budget. He discussed the “zero-based review” currently underway to evaluate the relevance of all of the service’s programs and activities. Read more about his remarks in
Air Force Magazine.


Mitchell Institute Releases Video on Air Supremacy

On January 4, AFA’s Mitchell Institute unveiled a new video,"Threats to Air Supremacy, 2018," during an event at the US Capitol. After the video, the Dean of the Mitchell Institute, Lt Gen David A. Deptula, USAF (Ret.), moderated a panel with Air Force Lt Gen Mark Nowland, deputy chief of staff for operations, and Lt Gen Veralinn "Dash" Jamieson, the head of Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance on the Air Staff. Air superiority is a fundamental tenet of US security operations, and military operations cannot succeed unless the US can gain and maintain air superiority. Watch the full video here.


Wounded Airman Program Update

AFA’s Wounded Airman Program was proud to support 10 veteran wounded Airmen to attend the Air Force Wounded Warrior CARE Event at Joint Base San Antonio earlier this month. Wounded Airmen and caregivers from around the country came together for caregiver training, adaptive sports rehabilitation, mentorship, and employment readiness training. While wounded Airmen who are Active Duty or on the Temporary Disability Retired List can be funded by the Air Force, Airmen who have been recently medically retired are not funded. These are the Airmen that need us the most. They often feel left behind or pushed out of our Air Force. By bringing in these veteran wounded Airmen, AFA helps keep them engaged with our Air Force family and remind them that we are all Airmen for Life.

AFA’s Wounded Airman Program is actively fundraising to bring in more than 25 wounded Airmen in veteran status to the Warrior Games Air Force Trials next month. If you would like to support our veteran wounded Airmen on their Road to the Warrior Games, please contact Kari Voliva at kvoliva@afa.org. Go Air Force!



Scholarship Application

AFA's 2018 scholarships are now open! We offer financial assistance and support to Cadets, Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Air Force Spouses, Dependents, and Civilians who are furthering their education. The deadline for application submission is April 30 for all scholarships. To apply,
click hereAFA continues to support our Air Force family's pursuit of higher learning in contribution to our nation's future.


Member Benefit Spotlight


Did you hear that? American Hearing Benefits provides AFA members access to free hearing consultations and significant discounts on hearing aids through AHB’s nationwide network of hearing professionals. To take advantage of this and other AFA member benefits, click here.

 
 
 

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