The Air Force Association is the voice for aerospace power and the Air Force family. We connect service members, and the total Air Force family, through professional development, unique programs, and support initiatives before, during, and beyond their time in uniform.
- Thought Leadership
- Professional Development
The Air Force Association (AFA) is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA holds national symposia, publishes Air Force Magazine, and disseminates information through outreach programs. It sponsors professional development seminars and recognizes excellence in the education and aerospace fields through national awards programs. AFA presents scholarships and grants to Air Force active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members and their dependents; and awards educator grants to promote science and math education at the elementary and secondary school level.
The Air Force Association mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage. To accomplish this, we:
- EDUCATE the public on the critical need for unmatched aerospace power and a technically superior workforce to ensure U.S. national security.
- ADVOCATE for aerospace power and STEM education.
- SUPPORT the total Air Force family, and promote aerospace education.
AFA is led by volunteer leaders at the national, state and local levels. AFA's state organizations and more than 200 chapters hold elections and conduct programs to increase public understanding of key national security issues in their communities. Programs range from luncheon and dinner activities to symposia and legislative roundtables with Congressional leaders.
National officers and directors are elected by convention delegates attending the national convention each September. Delegates are chosen at the state and chapter levels to represent AFA's varied membership and vote on AFA policies. When finally adopted at the convention, AFA policy takes the form of an overall "Statement of Policy" and "Top Issues."
The Air Force Association is an IRS Code 501(c)(3) organization. Chapter and State organizations subordinate to AFA are recognized under IRS Exemption Number (GEN) 5392. Contributions to AFA and subordinates are fully tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes (see IRS Letter, 24 September 2009).
AFA’s leadership team for 2016-2017: F. Whitten Peters, Chairman of the Board; F. Gavin MacAloon, Vice Chairman of the Board, Field Operations; Richard Bundy, Vice Chairman of the Board, Aerospace Education; John T. Brock, National Secretary; and Steve Lundgren, National Treasurer.
Further, AFA is divided into 3 geographic areas, comprised of 14 regions, each led by a Region President.
Central Geographic Area:
Great Lakes Region (Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio) - Paul Lyons
Midwest Region (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska) - Russell Klatt
North Central Region (Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin) - Ron Mielke
South Central Region (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee) - Russell Lewey
Texoma Region (Oklahoma, Texas) - Gary Copsey
East Geographic Area:
Central East Region (Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia) - Tyler Johnson
Florida Region (Florida, Puerto Rico) - Bill Yucuis
New England Region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) - Kevin Grady
Northeast Region (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania) - Maxine Rauch
Southeast Region (Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina) - John Allen
West Geographic Area:
Far West Region (California, Hawaii, Guam) - Wayne Kauffman
Northwest Region (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington) - William Striegel
Rocky Mountain Region (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming) - Bob George
Southwest Region (Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico) - John Toohey
Day-to-day business is carried out by a headquarters staff in Arlington, Virginia.
AFA's heritage is rooted in the legacy of Billy Mitchell. Mitchell had seen the United States enter World War I as the eighth-ranked nation in airpower - exceeded by Bulgaria, Greece, and Japan as well as by the major powers. Despite the bitter lessons of the war in the air and the high priority other nations were giving to airpower, the U.S. Air Service in 1919 was reduced from 10,000 pilots to 149; 6,000 were discharged in nine days. Mitchell fought hard and long in support of the importance of airpower and the need for a strong national defense. His work was carried on by the men who believed and served with him.
One of these men was the commander of World War II Army Air Forces - General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold. In April 1945, General Arnold first mentioned the need for an independent civilian organization to argue the case for military preparedness and the importance of airpower. AFA was incorporated in the District of Columbia on February 4, 1946. The Association's first national president was General Jimmy Doolittle, a noted aviation pioneer and Medal of Honor recipient. A vice president at Shell Oil Co. at the time, Doolittle took a year off to set up AFA chapters across the country.
Since then, AFA has spanned the air age, the missile era, the conquest of space, the nuclear age and the post-Cold War period. Although Association policies have evolved to meet changing technological and human demands, AFA has been constant in working to support Air Force people and strengthen American aerospace power to help maintain national security and preserve world peace.
AFA was founded to build a strong Air Force and keep the gang together. AFA’s history is filled with monumental achievements, such as:
• In 1946 AFA led the efforts in establishing the Air Force as a separate service
• Instrumental in founding the CCAF – in 1967, through “Project Utah” AFA spurred the accreditation
• Created the Outstanding Airmen of the Year Program in 1956
• Instrumental in creating the Air Force Memorial, dedicated on October 14, 2006, managing the daily operations of the landmark today