Note from the President
October was a busy month at AFA National. The staff and volunteers stayed quite busy fulfilling AFA’s mission to promote a dominant United States Air Force. The highlight of the month for me was the celebration of the Air Force Memorial’s 10th Anniversary.
October 14th marked 10 years since the Air Force Memorial was dedicated by President George W. Bush to the Air Force and the American people. Since its dedication, 2 million people have visited the Memorial to learn of the sacrifices of Airmen in wars past and to show appreciation for those Airmen serving today. The 10th Anniversary celebration included remarks from Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Chief of Staff of the Air Force General David Goldfein, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody. In their remarks they highlighted the past, present, and future of the Memorial. It was also my honor and pleasure to assist in honoring Secretary James in being named an honorary Tuskegee Airman and present to her the coveted red jacket she can now wear with pride. Musical guest Melinda Doolittle, a finalist on the T.V. show, American Idle and The Air Force Band capped off this truly special day we won’t forget.
As President, it is one of my goals to speak on behalf of AFA on Air Force issues and one way I do this is through Op-Eds. In 2016 I have had ten Op-Eds published with my latest being published by Defense News and it is titled “Air Force Missions Threatened by Budget Uncertainty”. In this recent Op-Ed the discussion focuses on the shrinking Air Force budget and how it’s effecting the on Air Force mission. I encourage all of you as AFA members to continue advocating for the Air Force in your local communities. The Air Force story is absolutely one that deserves to be heard and needs all of our help to promote since only one percent of the population is serving in the military and less than 18 percent of those serving in Congress have ever served.
I always appreciate receiving feedback on the great work AFA is doing out in the field and in support of aerospace education. Each school year AFA grants $250 to worthy projects that significantly influence student learning. These educator grants are in place to fund unmet and unfunded educational needs of students. I recently received a thank you from Ms. Anderson’s 5th grade class who were able to use the funds from AFA to learn the principles of flight. I received an after action report, photos, and hand-drawn thank you notes. Keep up the great work.
Lastly, I wanted to tell you about some important changes coming to Air Force Magazine. In 2017, Air Force Magazine will be changing its cover dates and printing schedule. The magazine will still be prepared monthly, but in 2017 it will go to ten print issues and two digital editions per year. You will notice several changes in the dates on the magazine's cover and delivery schedule over the next year. The issue arriving online and in your mailboxes this November will be dated November/December 2016. The issue that arrives the following month on the regular schedule, in December 2016, will be dated January 2017. Going forward, the cover dates will always show one month later than the date the magazine actually arrives.
There will also be two combined-month print issues and two digital-only issues over the course of the year. In March you will receive your April/May issue, which will be followed the next month by an online-only special edition covering all the news from the Air Force Association's annual Air Warfare Symposium. Similarly, in September, Air Force Magazine will publish a combined October/November issue, which will be followed the next month by a digital-only special edition with the news from AFA's annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference and our National Convention.
These changes are necessary to bring Air Force Magazine to store shelves beginning in January 2017, and allows us to better focus coverage for key events and saves on printing costs.
This month I began my second year as your AFA President and I look forward to the continued growth and success the staff at AFA National and members in the Field have planned for the remainder of the year. One of my goals for this year is to “beef up” AFA’s presences on the Hill so look forward to more direct engagement as we continue to “Promote a Dominant Air Force.”
Larry O. Spencer