Note from the President
AFA offers our thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We stand by you and we stand with you.
We are running at full speed preparing for our annual Air, Space & Cyber Conference which is just around the corner on September 18-20. This year’s event promises to be one of the biggest ever. We are on track to break registration records and will have more top defense companies showcasing their latest technology developments on our exposition floor than in recent memory.
The conference theme is “Breaking Barriers: Heritage to Horizons” in celebration of the Air Force’s 70th Birthday. Over 80 speakers will join us for panels and sessions focusing on how the Air Force has broken barriers in heritage, innovation and teamwork.
This event comes at a turbulent time in national security. Our Air Force is short pilots and maintainers, operates the oldest aircraft and ICBM systems in its history and is stretched thin. Concurrently, demands on the Air Force are growing and the operations tempo is at a critical high.
We plan to tackle these issues head-on at our conference. We are honored to have Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis as a keynote speaker. His expertise and vision will be valuable in this trying time for our nation. We are also fortunate to have Admiral Michael Rogers and General (Ret) Michael Hayden to discuss the top issues facing cybersecurity.
This year, we also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force position, a role AFA is proud to have helped establish. CMSAF Kaleth Wright will discuss the importance of taking care of Airmen and their families and we will also have several former CMSAFs join us on stage to discuss what they learned in their time in leadership. We are also partnering with the Air Force Sergeants Association for a focus on our enlisted force on Wednesday.
We have new sponsorship initiatives underway for our Airmen & Family and Wounded Airman Programs. AFA is seeking corporate sponsors to join fellow Defense Industry leaders like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, General Dynamics, Rockwell Collins, Rolls Royce, Thales, Bell Helicopter and Elbit in sponsoring our Wounded Airmen at SkyBall this year. SkyBall is the largest event in the United States to support our nation’s military, wounded service members from all services, veterans, and families of fallen military heroes. It is truly, a one-of-a-kind experience that takes place in an American Airlines Hangar in Dallas, TX over Veterans’ Day weekend (Nov 9-11, 2017). Sponsorships help support the children of our fallen military heroes; help amputee and burn survivors transition to civilian life; provide advanced technology “smart” homes to severely wounded service members and so much more! Please see details here.
In addition, we also initiated our “Road to Gold” sponsorship package to support our Aerospace Education Program, which provides aerospace educational opportunities for our total force Airmen, their families & America’s youth. Our program is building the pipeline of future STEM leaders; supports cadets and future military leaders; and is helping teachers instill a sense of excitement in young students about STEM programs. Please see details, here.
Should you be interested or know of anyone interested in pursuing any of our new sponsorships, please contact our Director of Corporate Relations, Fred Ullman at email@example.com.
I also wanted to give you an update on an exciting new benefit we will provide for our 90,000-plus members. AFA is pleased to announce a new partnership with AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals, who has created the Health21 E-magazine. Health21 supports a new vision of wellness and health care for the 21st Century. The magazine provides thought leadership articles, encourages civilian and military interoperability and shapes the future direction of health for all. I hope our members enjoy this new E-magazine, which we plan to send to our members, free of charge, starting this September.
Lastly, so that we can get a better understanding of our members’ interests, we plan to send two electronic surveys to our members in September. With many of our members shifting from reading hard copy to digital magazines, the first survey will be a survey asking if you would prefer to “Opt out” of receiving the hard copy magazine. This is our way of going “green,” while saving the cost of printing and mailing the magazine, so please help us by completing the short survey.
The second survey is geared at learning more about our readers’ interests and demographics. This type of information helps us better target advertisers for our AFA publications. Please be on the lookout for both surveys from our Membership Department next month.
We have a lot to look forward to over the next few weeks and into the fall. If you haven’t registered for Air, Space & Cyber yet, we encourage you to do so, here. This year’s conference will be one you will not want to miss. We look forward to seeing you in National Harbor, MD, in just a few short weeks!
Larry O. Spencer