‘I’m Counting on You’: CSO Addresses AFA Leaders at Field Summit

February 14, 2023   |   By Patrick Reardon

The Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman joined AFA field leadership at their annual summit on Jan. 28 for a briefing on how the Space Force is evolving under his leadership—and how AFA can help develop its future.

Saltzman used the AFA Field Leadership Summit as an opportunity to reemphasize his “C-Notes,” the three lines of effort established as direct communications to all members of the Space Force: fielding combat-ready forces, amplifying the Guardian spirit, and partnering to win. In his address at AFA’s headquarters in Arlington, Va., Saltzman explained how the Association’s programs, field leaders, and chapters can continue to support those LOEs.

Saltzman began by lauding AFA’s STEM programs, CyberPatriot and StellarXplorers, as “great examples of building the next generation” of cyber and space professionals. “There is no space without cyber,” he said, adding that defending both terrains begins by arming the next generation with the right technical skills. He also acknowledged AFA’s support of local cadet programs, AFROTC, AFJROTC, and the Civil Air Patrol as important advocacy initiatives in fielding tomorrow’s force leaders, part of his first LOE.

“The actions of AFA field leaders can act as an incubator to create patriots who one day may join the Space Force or the Air Force,” Saltzman added.

Through his C-Notes, Saltzman said he’s “seeking to create a dialogue and arena for debate on ideas amongst our Guardians. I’m starting conversations I’d like the service members to continue by opening up areas for debate and dialogue.” He specifically cited AFA’s Air & Space Warfighters in Action events and the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Spacepower Forums as “great venues to further this conversation,” and as important resources for “the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.” Saltzman encouraged AFA’s field leaders to explore local opportunities that might spark conversation in their own chapters and regions.

“If local chapters want to amplify these dialogues with smaller group discussions, guest lectures, sponsored writing contests, debates on these topics—I’m all in to help,” he said.

On a national level, Saltzman said he will continue to depend on AFA’s advocacy on Capitol Hill. AFA’s government relations advocacy program and Mitchell Institute’s research “facilitate the discussions we need to demonstrate technical, organizational challenges faced by the service,” said Saltzman.

Saltzman stressed the importance his LOEs to get off the ground in a global theater where “preserving U.S. national security interest in space is growing harder every day.” The solution to the challenges in space, he said, begins on the ground.

“As you return to your chapters, as you return to your regions, please remember: I’m counting on you to build the next generation of space-minded warriors and empower today’s Guardians through your advocacy, education, and support. AFA’s efforts on behalf of the Air Force and the Space Force are great investments in our nation’s future.”