AFA National Report

Jan. 1, 2013

Honored in LA

At the Air Force Ball sponsored by the Gen. B. A. Schriever Los Angeles Chapter in November, Lt. Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski received the prestigious Gen. Thomas D. White Space Award. This Air Force Association national-level award is named for USAF’s fourth Chief of Staff (see “White vs. LeMay,” p. 46) and highlights the year’s most outstanding contributor to the nation’s progress in space.

AFA Board Chairman George Muellner presents Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski with the General Thomas D. White Space Award at the Air Force Ball in Los Angeles. Pawlikowski received the honor for her leadership in 2011 as Air Force Research Laboratory commander.

Pawlikowski is commander of Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, overseeing more than 50 programs covering—in the words of the ball’s master of ceremonies—”the world’s most progressive space systems.” Emcee Patrick Coulter also described some of the projects that Pawlikowski had advanced at her previous assignment as commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory: the first flight of the X-51 Waverider hypersonic vehicle in May 2010; 3-D laser radar ground mapping; and sensor fusion for the Blue Devil intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance program.

Coulter told the LA audience that Pawlikowski has had “an indelible impact on the future technology of the Air Force.”

More LA Honors

At the Air Force Ball—the culmination of AFA’s two-day Global Warfare Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles—several other award recipients were called up to the stage.

The Schriever Chapter named Lt. Gen. Susan J. Helms, 14th Air Force commander, as a Schriever Fellow.

AFROTC cadets Daniel Myers from Ohio State University and William Schimmel from the University of Nebraska received Michael Wilson Scholarships. Established by San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian P. Wilson in honor of his late father, a USAF veteran, the scholarships are worth $15,000 each.

During award presentations, the ball’s general chairman, Gwynne Shotwell, pointed out that the event raises funds for AFA and the chapter’s education foundation. This includes support for 84 Visions of Exploration classrooms.

The AFA and USA Today Visions of Exploration program involves more than 1,200 classrooms and encourages youngsters to study science, technology, engineering, and math.

Shotwell, who is president of Space Exploration Technologies, SpaceX for short, presented proceeds of the ball—a check for $50,000—to AFA Vice Chairman of the Board for Aerospace Education Jerry E. White and Schriever Chapter President Stephen L. Quilici.

Airpower for a Museum

Roanoke Chapter President Wiliam Tracey Carter recently presented several items to the Virginia Museum of Transportation to enhance its aviation gallery.

The chapter had arranged for both Lockheed Martin and Boeing to donate photos and models of airplanes, including the F-22 Raptor and F-18F Super Hornet. Carter turned them over to the museum’s deputy director, Don Moser, in preparation for the grand opening Nov. 17 of the facility’s Wings Over Virginia gallery.

The chapter also raised funds, through an AFA matching grant, for a docent’s cart. It will help museum staff in presenting hands-on demonstrations to visiting school groups and scout troops.

The Virginia Museum of Transportation is located in Roanoke and opened in 1963 originally to highlight the area’s railroad heritage.

The chapter began supporting the museum as part of the AFA-Air Museum Education Initiative, developed by AFA’s Chairman of the Board George K. Muellner during his tenure as vice chairman for aerospace education.

Veterans Day in Dallas

The Veterans Day parade in Dallas included an entry from the Seidel-AFA Dallas Chapter, featuring Chapter President John R. Tannehill.

AFA President Craig R. McKinley played several roles in the day’s events, administering the oath of enlistment to more than 200 young adults in front of City Hall, observing the parade from the reviewing stand, serving as a guest speaker, and laying a wreath for the 11th Hour Ceremony. Several morning TV and radio shows interviewed him to help publicize Veterans Day events.

Along with Doolittle Raider retired Lt. Col. Edward J. Saylor, McKinley was honored at a VIP reception after the parade. Other AFA attendees included former AFA Board Chairman David L. Blankenship, Texoma Region President Robert Slaughter, and Texas State Treasurer Robert M. Gehbauer.

Chapter member William Solemene served as parade coordinator and publicity chairman.

Third Run

In Bedford, Mass., the Paul Revere Chapter helped sponsor the third annual AFA Veterans Day Fun Run.

Chapter President Keith M. Taylor reported that 350 runners and walkers registered for the 10K and 5K events. The 13 sponsors backing them included MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the Bedford Veterans Affairs medical center, where the race course began.

The event raised more than $8,000, Taylor said. Proceeds from the past two runs have funded care packages and gift cards for deployed troops and their families from nearby Hanscom Air Force Base and for other veterans programs supported by the chapter.

Jonathan Elias, a longtime news anchor for CBS affiliate WBZ Boston, served as master of ceremonies for the run, this year, and the TV station promoted the activity on its website, as did the local news-oriented and the Hanscom base newspaper.

Emily Shay, whom Taylor described as a “young AFA member,” was race director.

The chapter has from the beginning pitched this race as a way to encourage younger members to get involved in the chapter activities.

Taylor, who completed the 5K in 24 minutes, 3 seconds, and came in No. 17 overall for that race, said the chapter also donated $250 to help carry out another road race in the Hanscom area: the Jim Thorpe 5K. That run took place at the end of November, as a signature event for the base’s Native American Month celebration.

A tremendously versatile athlete, Jim Thorpe was an American Indian who started out as a football player and runner and went on to earn Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon in 1912.

Advancing in the Air Force

At Holloman AFB, N.M., the Fran Parker Chapter president, Miles A. Crowell, attended a Community College of the Air Force graduation in November to present AFA Pitsenbarger Awards.

Named for A1C William H. Pitsenbarger, who received a Medal of Honor posthumously for a 1966 mission as a pararescue jumper in the Vietnam War, the $400 awards help airmen who graduate from the CCAF and plan to pursue their education.

Before the actual CCAF ceremony at the Holloman base theater, Crowell went to a morning practice session. There he had a chance to chat with the three Pitsenbarger recipients: SrA. Courtney L. Morgan, SrA. Sharisa Scales, and SSgt. Marc Anthony Thomas Jr.

Crowell reported that Morgan, a financial analyst with the 49th Comptroller Squadron, plans to do further studies in business and that Scales, from the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron, received a degree in intelligence and technology. Thomas studied maintenance management.

Crowell told the three awardees about “how important education is in advancing in the Air Force.”

Stuffing Stockings

As they have for the past four years, the Brig. Gen. Harrison R. Thyng Chapter in New Hampshire donated funds for holiday gifts mailed to troops in Southwest Asia.

Chapter President Kevin Grady explained that a local nonprofit group called MooreMart—a play on the name WalMart—holds several drives a year to send care packages to the troops. The project began in Nashua in 2004 when the family of Brian Moore sent him a care package while he was deployed. In November, the organization, supported solely by volunteers, shipped its 50,000th package.

Grady is an AFJROTC instructor at Alvirne High School in Hudson, N.H., and recently mustered his cadets to stuff Christmas stockings with supplies purchased through the chapter donation. He said the cadets included notes of encouragement, along with gift items that typically include toothbrushes, snacks, stationery, and socks.

MilCon Breakfast: A Building Update

With support from the Delaware Galaxy Chapter, the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual MilCon Breakfast at Dover Air Force Base in October.

All three of the state’s members of Congress attended the event: Democrats Sen. Thomas R. Carper, Sen. Christopher A. Coons, and Rep. John C. Carney Jr. They spoke about the base’s importance to Delaware and the Air Force.

The organizers bill this event as the MilCon (Military Construction) Breakfast because the 436th Airlift Wing commander updates its Capitol Hill delegation and community leaders on building projects under way at Dover.

Chapter President William F. Oldham reported that wing commander Col. Richard G. Moore Jr. told the audience of some 200 guests about finishing the aircrew flight equipment, dormitory, base communications, chapel, and fitness center buildings. Moore also covered future projects: hangars and a security forces complex.

The Galaxy Chapter bought two tables at the breakfast, inviting as their guests district superintendents and principals who have AFJROTC units at their high schools. Oldham commented that this breakfast garners more interest in AFA than any other approach, primarily because it includes a base tour. The superintendents and principals always come away impressed by the base and the Air Force, he said.

Oldham counted 11 chapter members at this breakfast, including VP Daniel Alvarez III, Secretary Stephen Welde, Treasurer John K. Murphy, Government Relations VP Robert Berglund, and Veterans Affairs VP John J. Kotzun.

Brats ’n Beer: $16,000

Last year, the San Jacinto Chapter in Texas grossed $12,000 in two days of working a food concession at the Wings Over Houston air show. This year’s take? A record-breaking $16,000.

Mind you, it’s not all for the chapter’s coffers; they take 10 percent of the gross and give most of it to cadet volunteers from the University of Houston AFROTC unit who help run the booth every year.

“They earn it,” commented Homer S. Black, chapter secretary, who organizes the concession’s staffing. Led by Lt. Col. A. Todd Aaron, the Det. 003 cadets this year grilled sausages, took the orders, served up nachos, and handled the cash register.

Airmen from the 147th Reconnaissance Wing at Ellington Field, where this Commemorative Air Force air show takes place, took shifts at the booth, as well.

Hot dogs, soft drinks, and beer proved to be the best-sellers, said Black. He worked the concession stand with Chapter Treasurer Larry M. Bradshaw, members David West and Diane Black, and other chapter volunteers.

More Chapter News

AFA Vice Chairman of the Board for Field Operations Scott P. Van Cleef spoke to students at Greenfield Elementary School in Troutville, Va., as part of the Roanoke Chapter’s annual outreach program to highlight Veterans Day. He talked about the Air Force, but as a photo published in the Roanoke Times showed, he really had a group of first-graders pop-eyed when he brought out an inert 30 mm practice round from a Warthog. Van Cleef later explained, “I was describing the rate of fire of the A-10’s 30 mm Gatling gun.”

In San Antonio, Lt. Gen. Douglas H. Owens, vice commander, Air Education and Training Command, addressed the Alamo Chapter’s annual Combat Breakfast on Nov. 7. He spoke about the freedoms Americans have and emphasized the sacrifices made by several wounded airmen in the room.Held at JBSA-Randolph’s Kendrick Club, the Combat Breakfast attracted some 200 guests. It is part of San Antonio’s annual Celebrate America’s Military week of events.

A Navy meteorologist spoke to the Florida Highlands Chapter in November, recounting highlights from his three years on Active Duty and 17 years—and counting—in the Navy Reserve. Alex Daly teaches science at Avon Park High School, where Chapter President James K. Galloway heads the AFJROTC unit. Daly’s presentation covered his Navy career and also information on weather at sea and how it can be used, for example, to help submarines stay undetected. Daly backed off from divulging too many details because the audience “seemed to be too interested,” Galloway said with a laugh.

The Thomas W. Anthony Chapter and Maryland AFA helped sponsor a countywide JROTC training camp in October. Two former cadets returned to their alma mater to help a chapter member conduct it. A1C Delaney Miles and A1C Trent Morrison took leave and traveled at their own expense from Minot AFB, N.D., and JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, respectively, to assist James Warren, an AFJROTC instructor at Bladensburg High School, Md. Central East Region President Joseph L. Hardy called the airmen’s actions “giving back.”


The first-graders at Greenfield Elementary School were pop-eyed when AFA Vice Chairman for Field Operations Scott Van Cleef brought out this inert practice round from an A-10. It was part of Roanoke Chapter’s Veterans Day outreach. (Photo via Greenfield Elementary School)

Roanoke Chapter President Tracey Carter (l) and Don Moser of the Virginia Museum of Transportation display the models and large-format photo donated by Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

AFA President Craig McKinley takes part in an 11th Hour wreath-laying ceremony during Veterans Day in Dallas.

McKinley (r) met retired Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, a Doolittle Raider, at the Dallas Veterans Day VIP reception.

Retired Col. Ken Cordier with US Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) at the Dallas Veterans Day VIP reception.

William Solemene (l), of the Dallas Chapter, with Saylor at the Dallas Veterans Day VIP reception.

88th Fighter Training Squadron members at the Dallas Veterans Day VIP reception (l-r): Lt. Col. Derek Emmons, Lt. Col. Tyler Nelson, Maj. Eric Rock, Capt. Darin Elgersma, Maj. Adam Kieda, and Maj. Matt Sallee.

Paul Revere Chapter President Keith Taylor (in cap) accepts a donation from Dan O’Shea of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, an AFA Veterans Day Fun Run sponsor. At right: Christine Croteau of the Bedford VA facility. (Photo via Hanscom AFB, Mass., website)

Top two winners of the Revere Chapter’s AFA Veterans Day 5K are Kara Haas (#81) and Michael Smith (#352). Smith came in at 17:45. Haas came in second overall at 18:07. Flanking them are WBZ anchor Jonathan Elias and Croteau.

SrA. Courtney Morgan receives congratulations from Col. Andrew Croft (l), 49th Wing commander, at the CCAF graduation, Holloman AFB, N.M. (USAF photo by A1C Daniel Liddicoet)

Fran Parker Chapter President Miles Crowell (l) presents a Pitsenbarger Award to SrA. Sharisa Scales at the Holloman CCAF graduation. (USAF photo by A1C Daniel Liddicoet)

At the CCAF graduation, SSgt. Marc Anthony Thomas Jr. (r) receives a Pitsenbarger Award from Crowell. (USAF photo by A1C Daniel Liddicoet)

The Brig. Gen. Harrison R. Thyng Chapter bought items that these Alvirne High School AFJROTC cadets placed in stockings for troops overseas.

The San Jacinto Chapter’s banner at their air show concession proclaimed a partnership with University of Houston cadets and the 147th Reconnaissance Wing.

Lt. Gen. Douglas Owens, AETC vice commander, speaks at the Alamo Chapter’s Combat Breakfast, JBSA-Randolph, Tex.

Alamo Chapter’s Gary Copsey thanks Owens at the Alamo Chapter’s Combat Breakfast at the Kendrick Club.

Retired CMSgt. James Warren, of the Thomas W. Anthony Chapter, shakes hands with A1C Delaney Miles (center) and A1C Trent Morrison. The young airmen returned to Bladensburg High School, where they had been the AFJROTC cadet commander and vice commander, respectively, to help with a cadet training camp.

Retiring Maryland State AFA Treasurer Frank Coorsen (r) turns over the books to Terry Bass, a second generation member of the Thomas W. Anthony Chapter. Bass is the son of the late Thomas “Sam” Bass Jr., who was the longtime Anthony Chapter treasurer.

Sarasota-Manatee Chapter President Michael Richardson (l) received his AFA Medal of Merit in a personal presentation by former AFA Board Chairman S. Sanford Schlitt.

The Gen. Carl A. “Tooey” Spaatz Chapter (N.Y.) officers are front row (l-r): Secretary Joseph Traina and President David Ribbe and (back row) Treasurer William Shembeda and VP Edward Garrett.


Seeking former faculty, staff, and students of the Air Force Institute of Technology’s School of Systems and Logistics for 50th anniversary, April 26, 2013. Contact: Steven Glazewski (937- 255-7777, x3230) (

Unit reunion notices should be sent four months ahead of the event to, or mail notices to “Unit Reunions,” Air Force Magazine, 1501 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209-1198. Please designate the unit holding the reunion, time, location, and a contact for more information. We reserve the right to condense notices.