For Immediate Release
Septmber 26, 2011
AFA’s 2011 Air & Space Conference and Technology Expo Examines the Future of the Air Force
Arlington, VA – The 2011 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition and National Convention brought together senior military leadership, industry experts, airmen and civilians from around the world to discuss issues and challenges of the US Air Force and national security.
This annual event culminated on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, after three days of workshops, presentations and panels and an exhibit floor that boasted more than 100,000 square feet of the cutting edge technology of the future.
The Conference was opened up with a welcome from Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Norton A. Schwartz, followed by a presentation from Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. AFA’s National Aerospace Awards were presented in a Monday ceremony, and the Air Force’s Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year were honored at an evening dinner. Complete listings of the National Aerospace Awards and the Outstanding Airmen are available at www.AFA.org.
Throughout the Conference, participants were able to hear military leaders and national defense and policy experts give presentations on air and space power at 55 different conference addresses, workshops and forums, including a Four-Star Forum of leaders of the Air Force Major commands.
Special heritage presentations this year added a historic emphasis. This year’s AFA Lifetime Achievement Awards recognized members of World War II Bomber Crews; Misty Pilots, a top secret squadron of fighter pilots during Vietnam, Natalie Crawford, senior researcher, General Larry D. Welch; and General Thomas Stafford.
“This annual event serves as a great venue to discuss issues facing our country’s defense with military leadership, industry professionals and academicians,” said Mike Dunn, President of AFA. “The line-up of speakers was truly exceptional this year and we look forward to providing this opportunity each year.”
“This Conference brings together interested, dedicated individuals to talk about important topics,” said Sandy Schlitt, AFA Chairman of the Board. “Our country will have to make some very difficult decisions in the future, so we need to be educating ourselves on the challenges and searching for the best solutions – which is why this Conference exists.”
AFA held their National Convention over the weekend prior to the Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition, attended by registered delegates from around the nation.
In concert with its mission to educate, advocate and support, the AFA approved a 2012 Statement of Policy, a document that represent’s AFA’s position on important matters pertaining to those who have served in the total Air Force, as well as key modernization and national security issues.
The following were elected or reelected as National Officers:
- S. Sanford “Sandy” Schlitt (FL) – 2nd term Chairman of the Board
- Justin Faiferlick (IA) – 2nd term Vice Chairman of the Board, Field Operations
- George Muellner (CA) – 2nd term Vice Chairman of the Board, Aerospace Education
- Len Vernamonti (MS) – 2nd term AFA Treasurer
- Ed Garland (TX) – 1st term, AFA Secretary
National Directors are elected for three-year terms.
- Rick W. Hartle (UT) – At-Large
- Donald E. “Don” Taylor (TX) – At-Large
- Donald R. “Don” Michels (GA) – Southeast Geographic Region
Newly Elected Region Presidents:
- Central East – Scott VanCleef (VA)
- Florida – Mike Emig (FL)
- New England – Bob Wilkinson (MA)
- North Central – Ron Garcia (ND)
- Rocky Mountain – Gayle White (CA)
- Southwest – Bob Hale (NV)
- Texoma – Bob Slaughter (TX)
Continuing Region Presidents:
- Great Lakes – Bill Grider (IN)
- Midwest – Mike Cook (NE)
- Northeast – Eric Taylor (PA)
- Northwest – Rick Sine (WA)
- Southeast – Dave Klinkicht (NC)
- South Central – Tom Gwaltney (AL)
New Foreign Regional:
- Maria "Vicky" Leos (South Korea)
- Mike Nishimuta (Europe)
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The AFA is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has over 200 chapters nationally and internationally representing 120,000 members.
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