AFA National Report

April 1, 2012

Air Force Gala at Orlando

AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt (right) welcomes Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz to the podium on the first day of the Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. (Photos by Dan Higgins)

Air Force research and development endeavors drew the spotlight at the Central Florida Chapter’s 28th annual Air Force Gala.

The gala served as the culmination of the Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 23 to 24.

Gala Chairman John Timothy Brock opened the black-tie event by introducing special guests, including Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, and Air Force Association officials: Chairman of the Board S. Sanford Schlitt, Vice Chairman of the Board for Field Operations Justin M. Faiferlick, and Vice Chairman of the Board for Aerospace Education George K. Muellner.

As the gala’s master of ceremonies, Chapter President Michael J. Liquori led the tribute to Air Force R&D personnel and their partners in industry and academia.

The chapter bestowed its highest honor that evening on Hans M. Mark, designating him an H. H. Arnold Fellow. Mark is a former Secretary of the Air Force (1979-1981) and had “an unparalleled impact on Air Force research and development,” Liquori told the audience. After serving as USAF’s top civilian leader, Mark became NASA’s deputy administrator and then DOD’s director of defense research and engineering. He returned to the University of Texas at Austin in 2001 and is an aerospace engineering professor.

The chapter designated several R&D groups as Jimmy Doolittle Fellows, recognizing their pioneering work in low observable technology, precision navigation, human performance improvement, and guided munitions.

Recipients represented the Air Force Research Laboratory, Ohio State University, Lockheed Martin, the Air Force Institute of Technology, Northrop Grumman, Charles River Analytics, Draper Laboratory, Raytheon, and the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.

The gala raised $10,000 for the Air Force Memorial Foundation and $65,000 for AFA’s aerospace education efforts. The chapter’s total contribution to aerospace education programs nationwide, over 28 years, comes to more than $2.5 million.

A Preview

On Jan. 26, the Defense Secretary announced specific ways DOD would reduce its budget. On Jan. 27, the USAF Chief of Staff announced strategic choices and priorities. But down in Montgomery, Ala., the Montgomery Chapter had already gotten a sneak preview of all this.

Two days before, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz had addressed a luncheon meeting of the chapter. “He talked about national strategy [and] shared insights on future reductions in defense spending and the logic used to identify Air Force systems that would be eliminated,” reported Chapter President Larry Carter.

The mayor of Montgomery, Todd Strange, turned out for this full-house chapter gathering, as did Alabama State President James E. Dotherow.

According to the local newspaper, The Montgomery Advertiser, Schwartz also spoke to the Air War College and to the Air Command and Staff College students during his visit to Montgomery.

On Blended Wing: A Student Project

At the symposium’s tech expo, John Timothy Brock (left) catches up with AFA’s Vice Chairman of the Board for Field Operations Justin Faiferlick and Iowa State President Deann Faiferlick. Brock is chairman of Central Florida Chapter’s gala at Orlando. (Photos by Dan Higgins)

Engineering student Christopher M. Handy turned to AFA when seeking funding for his senior design project at Rutgers. The Thomas B. McGuire Jr. Chapter and AFA New Jersey were among those responding with donations—and for good reasons.

First, Handy belongs to AFA through the Arnold Air Society, a professional honorary service organization affiliated with the association.

Second, he and a group of six other students wanted to build a scale model of a blended wing aircraft. It’s the future of commercial aircraft, transports, and tankers, Handy wrote in the project proposal he sent to the McGuire Chapter last summer.

The chapter—led by Capt. Jennifer Condon-Pracht—donated $250, while the state AFA organization kicked in $500.

Last fall, Handy’s team made a blended wing mockup, with a one-foot wingspan, of arts and crafts foam. In January, they began working on a version mostly of fiberglass and carbon fiber. The final model will have a five-foot wingspan, Handy said.

His team expects to submit the blended wing model aircraft to the Rutgers School of Engineering’s Senior Design Exhibition next month.

Shifting Shapes: More on Wings

Turns out wings interested a Florida middle-school student, too: For his entry in a regional science fair, Cristos G. Nikitopoulos of Haile Middle School in Bradenton investigated how wing shape affects the distance a glider can travel.

His “Shifting Shapes” project for the Lockheed Martin Manatee Regional Science and Engineering Fair impressed officials from the Sarasota-Manatee Chapter.

So did an entry from Jack W. Bailey of Lakewood Ranch High School, also in Bradenton. Bailey looked into how nose cone shapes affect a rocket’s altitude.

These projects were among more than 270 entered in the science and engineering competition that took place in January during the county fair at Palmetto, Fla.

Fifty science professionals judged the exhibits and interviewed the students. The Sarasota-Manatee Chapter singled out aeronautical- and space-themed projects for AFA recognition.

Chapter President Michael Richardson presented Nikitopoulos and Bailey each with an AFA Certificate of Achievement, AFA Achievement Medal, the Smithsonian Atlas of Space Exploration book, and Air Force promotional items.

On behalf of the Air Force, the chapter gave Honorable Mention awards to Haley Weltzen of Haile Middle School and Stephen Lindsay of Braden River High School.

Service Is the Rent We Pay

At a Thomas W. Anthony Chapter luncheon, Maj. Gen. Darren McDew presents chapter member Col. Kenneth Rizer with a President’s Award. Next to Rizer are Chapter President John Huggins and, at far right, Maryland State President Joseph Hardy.

The Tarheel Chapter in North Carolina and local AFROTC cadets arranged for a small tent to be set up, to ward off the rain threatening an outdoor ceremony for a Community Partner.

But, said Chapter Secretary Joyce W. Feuerstein, “the rainy weather broke just as the program began and held off until after the presentation.”

Cadets from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University performed the January ceremony, displaying and folding a US flag that had flown over the Air Force Memorial. They then presented the flag to Chioma Ugwa, owner of a Morrisville pharmacy, to thank her for supporting chapter activities.

One example of her involvement: the cowboy-themed hoedown held last fall. Ugwa, who is a native of Nigeria, not only paid for the dance’s disc jockey but attended the event with her family.

Chapter President Patrick H. Yanke took part in the recent flag ceremony for Ugwa, observed by a crowd of photo-taking onlookers standing outside the pharmacy. State President Louis A. Emond posted photos from the event on AFA’s Facebook page.

Afterward, Ugwa wrote to the chapter: “When I was growing up, my parents taught me that service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on God’s Earth.” She said this lesson led her to become a pharmacist and to support organizations such as AFA.

Awards at Andrews

The Thomas W. Anthony Chapter awards luncheon at JB Andrews, Md., in January featured Maj. Gen. Darren W. McDew, the Air Force District of Washington commander, as guest speaker.

The chapter established a Presentation Fellowship in the name of McDew and his wife, Evelyn, and at the luncheon gave them a plaque commemorating the occasion. The fellowship makes possible future donations—targeted for aerospace education—in the name of the McDews. The McDews’ fellowship recognized their support of the USAF community, particularly the base’s Airman’s Attic, a thrift shop for junior enlisted personnel.

During the luncheon’s awards ceremony, the chapter named James Warren as 2011 Maryland State Teacher of the Year. Though recently retired, he had been nominated for the honor because of his work as aerospace science instructor at Gwynn Park High School in Brandywine, Md. The retired chief master sergeant had sponsored a regional drill competition and helped start the CyberPatriot team at the school. He continued to mentor the team this fall, as it competed in the national high school-level cyber defense contest. A county Board of Education member, Henry P. Armwood Jr., joined in presenting the teaching award to Warren.

Among other honors at the luncheon: Scott Van Cleef, AFA’s Central East Region president, presented an AFA regional Certificate of Appreciation to Chapter Secretary Cheryl A. Nagel.

More Chapter News

In February, Thomas W. Anthony Chapter President John Huggins attended the JB Andrews, Md., Airman Leadership School graduation to present the Academic Achievement Award to SrA. Kayla Miller. The chapter helps sponsor the award, presented by the Andrews Federal Credit Union. Miller also received an AFA membership and Certificate of Achievement from Huggins.

Since AFA Board Chairman S. Sanford Schlitt was in Tucson, Ariz., for a conference, local AFA field leaders hosted a dinner for him. Among the guests were one of Schlitt’s predecessors, George M. Douglas, who served as AFA President and Board Chairman, 1975 to 1979. Other guests included: Arizona State President Ross B. Lampert, Tucson Chapter President James I. Wheeler, Cochise Chapter President George L. Castle from Sierra Vista, Ariz., and former AFA Board Member Michael Peters.


Air Force Gala Chairman John Timothy Brock (l) displays the Central Florida Chapter’s donation, with AFA Board Chairman Sandy Schlitt, Vice COB for Aerospace Education George Muellner, and Chapter President Mike Liquori. (Photo by Dan Higgins)

AFA National Treasurer Len Vernamonti and Muellner at the symposium. (Photo by Dan Higgins)

L-r: Florida State President Michael Emig at the gala with Justin Faiferlick, AFA’s Vice COB for Field Operations, and Brock.

At the Central Florida Chapter’s golf outing, one of the symposium-related activities. L-r: Schilitt, Pat Seamon, from Harris Corp.; Maj. Gen. Tom Andersen, Air University vice commander; and Mark Matthews, Raytheon.

The line up of Thomas W. Anthony Chapter’s new officers (l-r): Treasurer James Warren, Secretary Cheryl Nagel, VP Shedrick Roberts, and Chapter President John Huggins Jr.

Maj. Gen. Darren McDew addresses the Anthony Chapter luncheon.

At the JB Andrews, Md., Airman Leadership School, SrA. Kayla Miller received the Academic Achievement Award. L-r: Rosalind Bishop, Andrews Federal Credit Union; James Estepp, county business roundtable; and Huggins Jr.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz speaks to the Montgomery Chapter.

Montgomery Chapter President Larry Carter thanks Schwartz for his presentation to the group.

A full house greeted Schwartz at his Montgomery, Ala., appearance.

The first blended wing model, under construction by Chris Handy and his Rutgers team. AFA New Jersey and the McGuire Chapter helped fund this student project.

Meeting with Board Chairman Schlitt (c) in Arizona (l-r): George Douglas, Michael Peters, Ross Lampert, George Castle, Jim Wheeler, and Bob Anderson.


9th Air Force Assn. May 24-25 in Columbia, SC. Contact: Fern Mann, 5001 Scheibler Rd., #B-1, Memphis, TN 38128 (901-388-4477) (866-740-8777) (

12th Tactical Fighter Wg (Vietnam), 12th Bomb Wg (WWII), 12th Fighter Escort Wg (Korea).Sept. 27-30 in Seattle. Contact: E. J. Sherwood (480-396-4681) (

38th BW/66th Tactical Recon Wg (1953-58), Laon AB, France. Aug. 22-26 at the Holiday Inn Airport in Little Rock, AR. Contact: Lewis Holt (501-843-9363).

42nd BW (1960s), Loring AFB, ME. Sept. 20-23, in Dayton, OH. Contact: P. Maul, 4605 Bobolink Dr., Castle Rock, CO 80109 (303-688-0967) (

95th Bomb Gp Memorials Foundation. Aug. 29-Sept. 3 at the Hyatt Regency at the Arcade in Cleveland. Contact: Brad Petrella (440-937-9663) (

504th BG (1945), Tinian. Sept. 5-9 in Minneapolis. Contact: Kaz Barcynski (252-637-0587) (

526th Fighter Sq, Ramstein AB, Germany. Sept. 13-16. Contact: Bobby Gunter (479-474-1756) (

6911th Radio Gp Mobile. Sept. 13-18 in Allentown, PA. Contact: Keith Butt, 13729 Wesley Dr., Logan, OH 43138 (740-380-3631) (

Air Force Weather Assn, including Army and all wars and conflicts. Aug. 1-5 at the Doubletree Hotel in Omaha, NE. Contact: Kevin Lavin (434-296-2832) (

Battle of the Bulge veterans. Sept. 26-30 in New Orleans. Contact: Doris Davis (650-654-0101) (

Pedro Rescue Helicopter Assn, all who served with the HH-43, including rescue firefighters, medics, pararescuejumpers, and air rescue. June 14-17 at the DoubleTree Suites-Seattle Airport in Seattle. Contact: Len Shults, 3708 Duquesne Dr., Montgomery, AL 36109 (334-273-9804) (

Pilot Tng Class 56-H. May 8-12 in Colorado Springs, CO. Contact: T. McHugh, 3591 Eastmoor Dr., Dayton, OH 45431 (937-429-3382) (

UPT 73-01, Vance AFB, OK. Aug. 24-26 in Colorado Springs, CO. Contact: R. V. Reynolds, 1629 Applewood Dr., Beavercreek, OH 45434 (937-313-4735) (

Shepherds Grove, England (1950s). Sept. 20-24 in Branson, MO. Contact: Willie Miller (

US Army Air Corps Pilot Classes of WWII. Sept. 3-9 in Dallas. Contact: Stan Yost, 13671 Ovenbird Dr., Fort Myers, FL 33908 (239-466-1473).

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.