AFA National Report

May 1, 2008

History Lesson

Air Force Senior NCO Academy students met Air Force Association officials twice during the course of seven weeks of instruction at Maxwell AFB, Ala.

AFA Chairman of the Board Robert E. “Bob” Largent attended the graduation ceremony for Class 08-B in February to present MSgt. William L. Humphrey with AFA’s CMSAF James M. McCoy Academic Achievement Award. Humphrey is from Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

AFA Board Chairman Bob Largent presents MSgt. William Humphrey with the academic achievement award at graduation ceremonies in February for the Senior NCO Academy’s Class 08-B.

A few weeks earlier, other AFA connections had led to an Air Force history lesson, delivered to the same class by the Lincoln (Neb.) Chapter’s aerospace education vice president.

Diane R. Bartels spoke to the group in January, relating the story of World War II WASP pilot Evelyn G. Sharp.

Sharp grew up in Ord, Neb., in the 1930s. She earned a private pilot’s license at 17 and had taught more than 350 people to fly by the time World War II began. She joined the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, which later became the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs). Sharp had flown nearly every airplane type in the Army Air Forces before her death in 1944 in a P-38 crash.

It was Col. Thomas D. Klincar, commander of the College for Enlisted Professional Military Education at Maxwell, who led to Bartels making the SNCOA presentation. He and Bartels met last September at the dedication ceremony for the airman leadership school in Offutt AFB, Neb. The school was dedicated in the name of James M. McCoy, the sixth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and also an AFA National President and Chairman of the Board (1992-96).

At the ceremony, Bartels mentioned to Klincar that she had written a book in 1996, titled Sharpie, and asked if she could present the aviator’s life story to the students under his purview.

Bartels’ audience included 336 senior NCOs from the Air Force’s active and reserve components, as well as from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Canada.

Wing Dinner

In February, members of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Chapter (Va.) visited the Air National Guard’s 167th Airlift Wing at the Eastern West Virginia Airport in Martinsburg, W.Va., for a tour of the unit and an awards dinner.

It was, according to Chapter President Norman M. Haller, “a long-awaited get-together.”

The wing has transitioned from C-130 to C-5 airlifters, and Capt. Melissa Shade and CMSgt. John Alderton from the 167th arranged for guests to see the Galaxy transport up close. The visitors also toured the unit’s Starbase facility. Starbase is a federally funded science and math education program for elementary and high school students. It is hosted at some 45 USAF, Navy, and Marine Corps sites. At the 167th, Starbase targets fifth-graders for its program of experiential learning, simulations, and experiments in aviation and aerospace.

Sherra Triggs, Starbase deputy director at the 167th, was among the award recipients at the dinner that evening. She was named Teacher of the Year.

The dinner began with a presentation of the colors by the wing’s color guard. After the awards ceremonies, retired Lt. Gen. Kenneth E. Eickmann spoke to the gathering on recent studies covering propulsion, re-engining, and wings for Air Force aircraft. Eickmann retired 10 years ago as Aeronautical Systems Center commander and early in his career had been a reliability and maintainability engineer on the C-5.

Those traveling to West Virginia for this chapter-wing dinner included Central East Region President Mason S. Botts and Virginia State President Scott P. Van Cleef.

S. Sanford Schlitt, AFA’s Vice Chairman of the Board for Aerospace Education (fifth from the left), hosted a recent presentation by retired Gen. Gregory Martin (fourth from the left) to the Air and Space Basic Course at Maxwell AFB, Ala. Martin retired as AFMC commander in 2005. The audience at his presentation included brand-new second lieutenants. AFA sponsors these meetings with a senior USAF or defense industry leader several times a year.

More Chapter News

AFA Board Chairman Bob Largent welcomed more than 500 defense contractors to the 2008 Hill Air Force Base Requirements Symposium co-hosted by Utah AFA Industrial Associates in March in Layton, Utah. The symposium provides businesses with insight into the base’s upcoming requirements. It takes place every two years. The industrial associates are 38 businesses associated with AFA Utah: the Northern Utah Chapter, Salt Lake Chapter, and Ute-Rocky Mountain Chapter.

US Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) surprised the Harry S. Truman Chapter members by dropping in for a quick visit before their meeting in Kansas City, Mo., in March. Chapter President James Snyder explained that the Missouri Democrat is a minister and returns to Kansas City regularly to conduct services. While in town this time, Cleaver spent nearly an hour chatting with chapter members and cadets from an AFJROTC color guard who had come to the meeting from Blue Springs South High School. Their senior aerospace science instructor is retired Maj. Paul W. Bekebrede, a chapter member.

CMSAF Rodney J. McKinley spoke to the Montgomery Chapter in Alabama about his experience testifying on Capitol Hill about Air Force achievements and requirements. He told the chapter that the service’s top priorities were the Global War on Terror; recruiting and training personnel; and recapitalization of the aircraft fleet. Taking care of Air Force people is essential, he told the chapter, echoing what he had said earlier that month, at a Hill hearing. Chapter President Thomas Gwaltney presented the chief with a handmade model of the Wright Flyer and thanked him for his years of service.

The Strom Thurmond Chapter in Clemson, S.C., helped sponsor the second annual Doug Harris Memorial Run in March. Col. Lance S. Young, chapter president, presented a donation on behalf of the chapter to cadet Charles E. Polley, a chapter member from Clemson University’s AFROTC Det. 770. Harris was a freshman cadet in the detachment when he died in an auto accident in November 2006. Proceeds from the half-marathon and 10K race go to scholarships for Air Force cadets at Clemson.

Don Deering, the community liaison for US Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), spoke at the March meeting of the Maj. Gen. Dan F. Callahan Chapter in Nashville, Tenn. A retired Army armor officer, Deering spoke about a roles and missions panel chaired by Cooper, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He also described the Congressman’s role in supporting the transition of the 118th Airlift Wing (ANG), Nashville Airport, to its new mission of training allied airmen on C-130 operations.

According to Southern Indiana Chapter President Marcus R. Oliphant, retired Maj. Gen. Frank L. Hettlinger covered people, places, and airplanes during his remarks as chapter guest speaker in March. A former commander of the Indiana Air National Guard, Hettlinger enlisted in the Air Force in 1951 and was commissioned 18 months later at Williams AFB, Ariz. He flew 12 types of aircraft—from the F-86 to the C-131—on active duty and in the ANG. At the chapter meeting, Hettlinger, who retired in 1989, showed photos from a career that included active duty for the Berlin Airlift.

In Arlington, Va., the Donald W. Steele Sr. Memorial Chapter held the latest in its series of Salutes to Air Force action officers, honoring in February a group from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Air, Space, and Information Operations, Plans and Requirements. More than 150 attendees listened to guest speaker Lt. Gen. Daniel J. Darnell, the A3/5, describe the office visits he’d conducted earlier that day on Capitol Hill. Receiving awards that evening were: Lt. Col. Thomas James, Lt. Col. Fred Shiner, Maj. Chuck Menza, Maj. Gregory Miller, Maj. Jeffrey R. Stein, TSgt. Anthony Boykin, SSgt. Sergio Berrios, SSgt. LaTash S. Mason, and Terry Tallent.

Borrowing a page from the Steele Chapter, the Gen. Charles A. Gabriel Chapter (Va.) co-hosted a salute of its own in February, the second annual Salute to Space: SAF/US. Guest speaker was Gary E. Payton, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for space programs. With support from a half-dozen industry sponsors, Jon Safley, the leadership development VP, and Matt O’Kane, the VP for unit recognition, organized the reception. Receiving awards as outstanding action officers were: Lt. Col. David Beckwith, Lt. Col. Paul Dotzler, Cmdr. Lynn Mackovick, Lt. Col. Kenneth Warcholik, Maj. Chris Brann, Maj. Jeff Hardy, Maj. Andre Lobo, Maj. Darren Rhyne, Capt. Rebecca Hamilton, Capt. Michael Manning, MSgt. John Villasista, SSgt. Michelle Davenport, and Brian Shannon. The Global Positioning System Team was named 2007 Team of the Year. Maj. Tim McKenzie accepted the team’s award.

The executive director of the Cyber Innovation Center of Bossier City, La., spoke to a group of Ark-La-Tex Chapter members in February. Craig Spohn provided an update on the center, an office complex adjacent to Barksdale AFB, La. The center is to work with defense contractors, think tank scholars, and others supporting Cyber Command. Chapter President Jack Skaggs said Spohn explained the command’s impact and the need for the kind of assistance the center plans to provide.

In Gainesville, Fla., Red Tail Memorial Chapter President Michael H. Emig and Chapter Secretary Stephen C. Spires continued to build the chapter’s relationship with University of Florida AFROTC cadets by attending Det. 150’s pass in review in March. The detachment’s cadets include recipients of two AFA awards for cadets: Maureen A. Hartney, the AFA 2007 AFROTC Cadet of the Year, and chapter member Tyler F. Holley who was to receive AFA’s 2008 W. Randolph Lovelace Memorial Award in April.

The Mount Clemens Chapter (Mich.) carried out its annual Aid to Military Families project in December, providing gift cards that could be used at a local department-grocery store. Some half a dozen of these cards went to families selected by first sergeants from the 127th Wing (ANG) and 927th Air Refueling Wing (AFRC), Selfridge ANGB, Mich.

Unit Reunions

8th TFW in Thailand. Aug. 25-28 in San Antonio. Contact: Pete Nash, 22018 N. Giovota Dr., Sun City West, AZ 85375 (480-223-2351) (

13th BS Assn. Sept. 10-14 in Colorado Springs, CO. Contact: Brian Parker, 10527 Nunn Jones Rd., College Station, TX 77845 (979-776-0207) (

388th BG. Sept. 3-6 at the Marriott in Ogden, UT. Contacts: Henry (904-993-0808) ( or Betty (904-434-4521).

492nd BG. July 30-Aug. 3 in Bloomington, MN. Contact: Willis Beasley (303-756-4766) (

B-66 Destroyer Assn. Sept. 4-7, in Colorado Springs, CO. Contact: George and Diana Ciz, 23262 Sky Dr., Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949-855-8754) (

BAD 2 Assn, Warton, UK, during WWII. Sept. 4-6, in Chicago. Contact: Dick McClune, 527 Quarterfield Rd., Newport News, VA 23602 (

Navigator Cadet Class 58-02, Harlingen. June, July, or August in San Antonio. Contact: Phil Murphy (775-853-2170) (

OCS Class 58-A. Sept. 16-19 at the Doubletree Hotel in San Antonio. Contact: George Cochran (210-340-2535) (

Pilot Training Class 54-F. July 3-7. Contact: Pete Sheridan, 8615 Timber Hill Ln., Potomac, MD 20854 (301-299-7002) (pete.sheridan@comcast. net).

Pilot Tng Class 56-M. Sept. 4-7 in Colorado Springs, CO. Contact: John Mitchell, 11713 Decade Ct., Reston, VA 20191 (703-264-9609) (

Pilot Tng Sq 3389. Sept. 18-21 at the Settle Inn in Branson, MO. Contact: Chuck Davies, 4435 Monaco Dr., San Antonio, TX 78218 (210-653-1475) (

61st FS, Newfoundland (1950s). Sept. 4-6, in Branson, MO. Contact: Chris Christianson, PO Box 326, Monticello, MN 55362.

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.


The Donald W. Steele Sr. Memorial Chapter (Va.) held a “Salute the A3/5” in February. Front row (l-r) are: Chapter President Pete Gavares, Terry Tallent, Lt. Col. Thomas James, Lt. Gen. Daniel Darnell (the deputy chief of staff for air, space, and information operations and plans and requirements), TSgt. Anthony Boykin, and Tom Veltri, the chapter vice president who organizes the chapter’s Salute tributes. Back row (l-r): SSgt. Sergio Berrios, Lt. Col. Fred Shiner, and Maj. Gregory Miller. (USAF photo by Michael Pausic)

US Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.) dropped in on a meeting of the Harry S. Truman Chapter and chatted with AFJROTC cadets from Blue Springs South High School. Left to right: Damion Wolgamott, Brittany Bauman, Cady Robinson, Cleaver, retired Maj. Paul Bekebrede (the cadets’ SASI), and Nicole Kear

Retired Lt. Gen. Kenneth Eickmann speaks to the Northern Shenandoah Valley Chapter (Va.).

CMSAF Rodney McKinley holds a model of the Wright Flyer, presented to him by Montgomery Chapter (Ala.) President Thomas Gwaltney (left) after the chief’s presentation to the group.

At the Air Force Senior NCO Academy, Diane Bartels, a VP from the Lincoln Chapter (Neb.), signs books for MSgt. Jeffery Hurley of Dover AFB, Del., and SMSgt. Colleen Curl from Kadena AB, Japan. (USAF photo)

Marcus Oliphant, Southern Indiana Chapter president, thanks guest speaker retired Maj. Gen. Frank Hettlinger.