AFA Meets with Utah Defense Alliance

April 21, 2023

AFA President & CEO Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright and Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies Executive Director Doug Birkey met with representatives from the Utah Defense Alliance at the Air & Space Forces Association headquarters in Arlington, Va., on April 19.

The discussion covered a wide range of national security topics, from the economic impact of defense on Utah’s economy to the importance of the F-35 strike fighter and Secretary Frank Kendall’s Operational Imperatives. 

The Utah Defense Alliance is a mostly-volunteer led organization funded by the state legislature to help strengthen and support national defense objectives in the state. Some 15 percent of Utah’s gross domestic product is tied to defense. The state is home to Hill Air Force Base, home to 78 F-35A Lightning IIs, including the Air Force’s first combat-capable F-35A units, as well as the Ogden Air Logistics Complex, which performs programmed depot maintenance on a variety of USAF weapon systems.

“Recapitalizing the Air Force’s fighter force, including increasing the acquisition of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter, is one of the Air & Space Forces Association’s top legislative priorities. We’re honored to work with the experienced and exemplary leadership of organizations like the Utah Defense Alliance, to make our voices louder as we advocate for the strongest possible Air & Space Forces,” said Wright. “Air superiority can no longer be assumed, and stealthy, fifth-generation aircraft like the F-35 are the most efficient way to overcome advanced integrated air defense systems.”

About AFA

An independent non-profit association, AFA is the single-largest professional military association dedicated to air and space power and to the advancement of aerospace education at every level. Founded in 1946, AFA is dedicated to promoting dominant U.S. Air and Space Forces as the foundation of a strong National Defense; honoring and supporting Airmen, Guardians, and their Families; and remembering and respecting the enduring heritage of the Air and Space Forces.