October 18, 2021
AFA Tops 100,000 Members After Record-Breaking Air, Space & Cyber Conference
ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Air Force Association exceeded 100,000 members in September, finishing the month with 100,175, led by a surge of Airmen and Guardians joining while registering to attend AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference. Over the course of the past year, membership grew by more than 10,000.
“We are thrilled to see so many currently serving Airmen and Guardians and Department of the Air Force civilians joining our Association,” said AFA Chairman Gerald Murray. “Their joining shows the value today’s Airmen and Guardians see in having a professional association to advocate for powerful Air and Space Forces as foundational to a strong national defense.”
AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference broke records for registrations, exhibitors, and in-person sessions, and many of AFA’s newest members joined while registering for the event.
Murray said AFA must now set its sights on an ambitious new goal – 125,000 members – as it works to be a unifying voice for everyone in the Department of the Air Force, including Air Force Airmen, Space Force Guardians, and Department of the Air Force civilians. “We are unique in our advocacy for Air Power and Space Power and in focusing as much on people as on technology,” said Murray, who was the 14th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. “Joining our Association is a sign of a shared commitment to supporting those forces and to educating the public and our youth to understand how important our Air Force has been in our history and how important the Air and Space Force is to our future.”
In addition to professional development conferences, AFA operates the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, the world’s leading think tank dedicated to air and space power; publishes Air Force Magazine and its Daily Report e-newsletter to help tell the Air Force and Space Force story to the public; and organizes two leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competition programs – CyberPatriot and StellarXplorers – to expose the nation's youth to cyber and space technology. AFA also manages a number of scholarship and related activities and leads a network of affiliated chapters that support local programming and events.
“Getting to 100,000 members was an important milestone for us, but our work is only just begun,” said AFA President Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Bruce “Orville” Wright. “We’re 75 years old this year, and we’re on a mission to grow and expand. We have to – the Department of the Air Force now has two services that need our support, and we are committed to be the independent voice for both – now and into the future.”
After a year of virtual conferences, AFA held its 2021 Air, Space & Cyber Conference in-person (and via livestream online) in September, drawing more than 12,000 registrants. “The majority of those attending, both in person and virtually, were currently serving Active, Guard or Reserve members or Department of the Air Force civilians,” Murray said. “The conference is the biggest professional development event of the year for Air and Space Force people and the industries that support them.”
An independent non-profit association, AFA was founded in 1946 to advance the cause of airpower to the American public. Today, AFA is the single-largest professional military association dedicated to air and space power and to the advancement of aerospace education at every level. AFA’s mission is to promote dominant U.S. Air and Space Forces as the foundation of a strong National Defense; to honor and support Airmen, Guardians, and their Families; and to remember and respect the enduring heritage of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.