AFA Presents Inaugural Awards to Up-and-Coming Air Force, Space Force Leaders

June 27, 2024

The Air & Space Forces Association recognized five senior military and government students for their superlative research and writing on key topics of interest to national security. This is the inaugural presentation of these awards by AFA.

AFA expanded this program from its D.W. Steele Chapter in Virginia, which has sponsored a similar award to the National War College in the past. These inaugural senior-level awards complement a similar award, endowed by the Spaatz family, given annually to a deserving student at the Air Command and Staff College.

Stephen K. Gourley, AFA’s Vice Chair of the Board for Education, presented an annotated certificate and a monetary educational grant for the selected works at Air War College, the Eisenhower School, and National War College. Dr. Patrick Donley, a retired Air Force colonel and the Director of AFA’s Doolittle Leadership Center, presented the award at Johns Hopkins University, home of the U.S. Space Force Senior Leadership Education. 

The topics of the papers and the authors recognized are:

  • Air War College: “Examining Air Mobility in a US-PRC Theater Conflict Scenario,” Lt. Col. Eli Persons, USAF
  • Eisenhower School (Air): “United States Air Force UAV Strategy in Great Power Competition,” Col. Jonathan Mumme, USAF 
  • Eisenhower School (Space): “Launching with Chinese Characteristics: An Analysis of Commercial Space Launch Capabilities in the People’s Republic of China,” William M. Coleman, IV, Department of State
  • Johns Hopkins: “Mutually Assured Destruction in Space (MADiS), or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Debris,” Cdr. Mate Ærandir, USN
  • National War College: “A Thai-Forward Strategy to Advance U.S. Interests in Southeast Asia;” Lt. Col. Richard Hanberg, USAF