AFA Mission and Vision

AFA Mission

Our mission is to promote dominant U.S. Air and Space Forces as the foundation of a strong National Defense; to honor and support our Airmen, Guardians, and their Families; and to remember and respect our enduring Heritage. 

To accomplish this, we:

  • EDUCATE the public on the critical need for unrivaled aerospace power and promote aerospace and STEM education for a technically superior and professional workforce to ensure national security;
  • ADVOCATE and promote aerospace power to favorably shape policy and resourcing decisions to guarantee the strongest aerospace forces in the world;
  • SUPPORT Airmen, Guardians, and the families of the Total Air Force and Space Force, including Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve, civilians, families, and members of the Civil Air Patrol.


AFA Vision

The Air Force Association will be the premier professional military and aerospace education association in the nation, dedicated to United States dominance in air, space, and cyberspace, a strong national defense, and support for the people who serve the United States Air Force and United States Space Force.

Our History

When the United States entered World War I, it was the eighth-ranked nation in airpower. As other forces prioritized the impact of airpower, the U.S. Air Service drastically cut 6,000 of its 10,000 pilots in just nine days back in 1919. This did not sit well with Army General Billy Mitchell. He fought long and hard for the importance of airpower and the need for a strong national defense.

Today, we know Mitchell as the father of the United States Air Force. After his passing in 1936, General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, the commander of World War II Army Forces, succeeded Mitchell as the leading voice for airpower. Nearly a decade later, General Arnold’s advocacy for an independent civilian organization was incorporated as the Air Force Association. Our first national president was noted aviation pioneer and Medal of Honor recipient, General Jimmy Doolittle, who spent AFA’s inaugural year establishing chapters across the country. While we have evolved over the decades to uphold the military’s standards, national security and the preservation of world peace has remained our core focus for members.



Chairman of the Board

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (retired) Gerald Murray has been involved with AFA as a board member, chapter president and delegate for 15 years.  

Murray also serves on the USAA Board of Directors, the Air Force Museum Foundation Board of Trustees, the Air Force Enlisted Village Board of Directors, and the Airmen Memorial Foundation Board of Directors.  In previous years, he served on the Air Force University Board of Visitors, Armed Forces Benefit Association Board of Directors, and as Co-Chairman of the Air Force Retiree Council...

Jim Simons

Vice Chairman of the Board, Field Operations

James received his commission in the United States Army from Michigan State University in 1976.  He served as a Military Policeman for his entire career.  His assignments ranged from the United States to seven years in West Germany. Highlights include Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Deputy Installation Provost Marshal, Battalion Operations Officer, Community Provost Marshal, and Battalion Executive Officer.  He retired in 1994.  His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab...

Jim Hannam

Vice Chairman of the Board, Aerospace Education

Jim Hannam, Vice Chairman of the Board for Aerospace Education, is the volunteer leader guiding the overall direction of the AFA Education Mission and overseeing its Aerospace Education Programs. An AFA Life Member, he joined AFA in 1976. He serves in the Executive Committee of the DW Steele Chapter, and previously as Steele Chapter President, Virginia State Secretary, Central East Region President, AFA Board of Directors, Long Range Planning Committee, Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee, and for the last many years,  Vice Chairman of the Aerospace Education Council. AFA awards include the Medal of Merit, Exceptional Service Award, President's and Chairman's Award, and AFA Member of the Year...

Richard W. Hartle


Richard W. Hartle, Layton, UT. Rick is a Life Member of the Air Force Association and has served as a Chapter President, State President, board chair of the Utah Aerospace Education Foundation and twice on the AFA Board of Directors as a Director at Large. Mr. Hartle graduated from New Mexico State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He recently retired from a 35 year career with The Boeing Company as Director of Business Development for the company’s Directed Energy and Strategic Systems programs. While with Boeing, he worked on Department of Defense and Air Force programs for nearly 30 years. He remains deeply engaged in his community in support of many volunteer interests.  Rick serves on the boards of the Utah Defense Alliance, the Strategic Deterrent Coalition, SIMX LLC and is the Treasurer and former Chair of the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee Executive Board...

Chuck Martin


Chuck Martin, National Treasurer, is the volunteer leader overseeing the financial affairs of the Association, exercising and performing the duties assigned by the Constitution and the Operations and Procedures Manual. The Treasurer chairs the Finance Committee and serves as a member of the Executive Committee. He works closely with the Chairman and confers regularly with the President, Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, and other key staff, as appropriate...

Bruce "Orville" Wright


As the Air Force Association’s top executive, General Wright directs the association's professional staff. He is responsible for the management and operations of AFA and its 97,000 members, and he serves as the publisher of Air Force Magazine, the official journal of the Air Force Association.

Retiring as a three-star general, Wright spent 34 years in the Air Force. His last assignment was Commander of 5th Air Force and U.S. Forces Japan...

Douglas L. Raaberg

Executive Vice President

General Raaberg is Executive Vice President, Air Force Association, providing strategic direction to AFA as the premier professional military and aerospace education association in the nation.  He serves with the AFA President in their commitment to supporting Airmen and their families around the globe.   

Doug is an accomplished business executive and defense leader with a proven record of transforming vision into strategy to deliver innovative results...