Mission: First Blog Entry
Happy New Year and welcome to the Air Force Association's new blog! We pride ourselves on being the Force behind our United States Air Force as we have spent the last 70 years supporting, advocating and championing Airmen and their families. We'll be posting here frequently to give our members, supporters and Airmen an in-depth look at what we're up to and how we're constantly working to promote a dominant US Air Force.
For our first entry, we couldn't think of a better person to break ground on our new blog than our President: General Larry Spencer, (Ret, USAF), former Vice Chief of Staff of our United States Air Force. General Spencer spent 44 years of his life serving, beginning as an enlisted Airman Basic and rising to a four-star general. Check back for more updates soon!
A Special Update from AFA President Larry Spencer
It’s a new year and we’ve got a new look! Welcome and thank you for taking the time to read the first entry of our new blog. I hope you find this informative and exciting as our national staff and chapters around the world work hard every day to support our Air Force and the Air Force family. Be sure to visit our social media channels for constant updates of what’s been keeping us busy.
As we start off 2016, we have a lot to be excited about for both AFA and our Air Force. In December Congress passed the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act and the FY16 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. This two-year budget agreement will fund the Department of Defense for the next couple of years and it will provide relief from the threat of sequestration until Fiscal Year 2018.
I am especially excited for AFA’s outlook as a membership organization, in 2015 for the first time in over 25 years our membership did not decline but remained level at 94,000 members. I am also motivated by the fact that we were able to bring in twice the number of new members in 2015 as we have in recent years.
One of AFA’s many initiatives to support the Air Force is encompassed in our Every Airman A Member campaign which in 2016 expanded from three pilot chapters to seven. The goal is to welcome our Total Air Force family to AFA with trial memberships allowing Airmen to experience first-hand how AFA is providing value to them and their family.
In the first quarter of 2016 AFA has many exciting events that will be taking place that we welcome our members to participate in. On February 4, 2016, AFA will celebrate its 70th Birthday. At AFA National the staff and I will be participating in a day of service. We will attend various events around the DC area to give back to our Air Force and thank Airmen past and present for their service. We encourage chapters to host an event in their local communities to engage with Airmen during the month of February.
Also happening in February will be AFA’s 32nd Annual Air Warfare Symposium. Themed “Global Precision Attack” the symposium will focus on preserving Air Force readiness in the face of budget cuts, in a fast changing world as we prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. The jam packed agenda and technology exposition make this event truly one-of-a-kind. Registration is still open for all who want to join us in Orlando.
Lastly, finishing up the first quarter will be the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition in Baltimore, MD on April 10-14, 2016. If you have never seen the competition in action it is truly an experience to see middle and high school students duke it out for the crown of being a national champion. This year’s competition grew by an astounding 55% so the level of knowledge of the competitors is higher than ever.
2016 is sure to be a busy year but we are excited to continue supporting our core mission of promoting a dominant United States Air Force.
Larry O. Spencer