New Rules to Attend AFA Conference: Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID Test Now Required

Attendees to the Air Force Association’s 2021 Air, Space & Cyber Conference must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within the prior three days to attend the conference in person Sept. 20-22.

After two consecutive virtual conferences, AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference returns next week live and in-person at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. In addition to the vaccination or test mandate, masks must be worn indoors during the conference, except while eating or drinking, according to Prince George’s County, Md., rules.

Department of Air Force personnel, both military and civilian, are only authorized to attend in person if they are fully vaccinated. Other attendees may get around the vaccination requirement by testing negative for COVID-19 within three days of attendance and showing the results of that test on arrival.

Regardless, to obtain a badge, all attendees must either: 

  • Show proof of vaccination, such as a vaccine card or digital vaccine passport, indicating the attendee is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or 
  • For non-DAF attendees only, show proof of a negative test result from a COVID-19 test obtained within three days of arrival at the conference venue 

“Leading in the midst of a pandemic is a challenge to say the least,” wrote AFA Chairman of the Board Gerald Murray, former Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force; and AFA President retired Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright in a letter to members. “We are fortunate that our Air and Space Forces are in such capable hands. While we all would like to put away the masks and stop talking about pandemic statistics, the reality is the disease continues to spread and the risks remain high. Taking prudent measures such as these are necessary precautions to enable face-to-face engagement, the hallmark of a successful conference.”

Conference attendees should bring documentation with them, such as a printed or digital vaccine passport. No conference badges will be printed without such proof. “We recognize that this may slow down our process and that it may mean longer waiting times,” said AFA President Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright. “But we also know that inconvenience is a small price to pay to get back to in-person events.”

He urged attendees to go to the conference center on Saturday or Sunday to get badges before the crush of opening day. “If you go early, you can beat the crowds and get a jump on the whole event,” Wright said. “The earlier you come, the faster the process will be.”

AFA’s Air, Space, & Cyber Conference is the leading professional development event for Air Force and Space Force officers, enlisted members, civilians, veterans, and defense industry leaders and representatives. The ASC conference brings together top Air Force and Space Force leadership, industry experts, and government officials to discuss challenges facing the aerospace and cyber communities today and in the future.

The theme for this year’s event is “Air and Space Leadership for our Nation—Today and Tomorrow.”

Keynote speakers include Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, and Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines Holdings Inc., among others.

A livestream option will be available, but only for those who register to attend virtually. It is not too late to register for either the in-person or virtual option.