Florida Gala Salutes the Guard and Reserve
The Air Force Gala in Orlando, Fla., organized by the Central Florida Chapter, honored “citizen airmen”—the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.
Held in conjunction with the Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition, the 30th annual gala also paid tribute to industry partners of the Guard and Reserve. As Chapter President William G. Palmby told the audience, employers “truly understand the importance of allowing these warriors the time they need for training and operational duty.”
The chapter named seven AFA Jimmy Doolittle Educational Fellows. Col. Frank L. Amodeo, commander of the 403rd Wing at Keesler AFB, Miss., accepted the award for his unit, singled out for its unique mission of hurricane reconnaissance. Maj. Jose Ariza accepted the honor on behalf of the 146th Airlift Wing at Channel Islands ANGS, Calif. The award recognized the ANG’s airborne firefighting mission. Together, Amodeo and Ariza represented the homeland responsibilities of the Guard and Reserve.
Maj. Michael Belardo (fourth from left in the photo at top), a B-2 weapons officer, accepted the award for the 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo. It was highlighted as the only ANG entity flying and maintaining Spirit stealth bombers. CMSgt. Gary Brown, the 310th Space Wing command chief from Schriever AFB, Colo., joined Belardo on stage. He represented the Reserve’s only space wing. Belardo and Brown symbolized the aerospace power projection capabilities of USAF’s two Air Reserve Components.
Southwest Airlines Capt. Chuck Magill and Dustin Baird were named Doolittle fellows—to underline corporate and small-business support for reservists—as was Ronald Young, executive director of DOD’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve organization.
In a culmination of the gala, the chapter named AFA President Craig R. McKinley as an H. H. Arnold Fellow. The honor served to spotlight McKinley’s 38 years of military service and his firsts: He was the first national guard officer to become a four-star general and the first National Guard Bureau chief appointed a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Yes, I Know Polly—Part II
Do you know Polly?
With her help, the Gen. Bruce K. Holloway Chapter put AFA on Page 1 of its local newspaper.
The Daily Times in Blount County, Tenn., declared that “Top Stories for Monday, Feb. 24” included AFA’s $1,300 Chapter Matching Grant to a school in Maryville.
Chapter Treasurer Pauline K. “Polly” Morrisey presented the check to health sciences teacher Carla Woodard and students Allie Israel and Jessica Hechevarria (left to right in the photo) at William Blount High School.
But the grant really originated through another chapter member: retired Col. Thomas M. Shaughnessy, the AFJROTC senior aerospace science instructor at Blount.
Shaughnessy said, “We don’t even have a budget for textbooks. Our school is pretty needy.” He knew Woodard’s vocational-technical program wanted funding help. So, Shaughnessy said, “I hooked her up with Polly.”
He explained, “I know Polly Morrisey because we invite her every year to our banquet, and she presents the outstanding JROTC cadet award.”
Morrisey does far more than hand out the award; she keeps in contact with the student. As a result, months after the medal presentation, the cadet still knows her name. (See airforcemag.com. Search: Yes, I Know Polly.)
AFA Chapter Matching Grants promote science, technology, engineering, and math and can be used for activities such as science fairs, science and technology programs, field trips, or career days.
At Blount High School, the matching grant allowed Woodard to buy a microhematocrit centrifuge and basic supplies. The centrifuge determines the ratio of red-cell volume to whole blood volume and helps diagnose blood loss, anemia, and bone marrow failure, for example. Having the machine gives the students hands-on training for their future careers, commented Shaughnessy.
It’s the kind of thing that happens when you know Polly.
In This for the Long Haul
When the Massachusetts-based Collings Foundation brought its World War II aircraft to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in February, the Gold Coast Chapter set up an AFA membership table at the air show. With its display, the chapter highlighted its own vintage fighter aircraft restoration effort.
Chapter President Virginia Montalvo, Secretary Fran C. Shaw, and Treasurer Ransom Meriam manned the table, with a large photograph of F-86H, No. 53-1255, as the focus.
This Sabre began its association with the chapter in 1970 when then-leader Robert M. Rawls persuaded Fort Lauderdale to acquire it from the Maryland Air National Guard for display.
By 1999, however, the aircraft had fallen into disrepair because of weather exposure. Chapter members then organized a restoration that involved trucking the fighter jet down the coast to Homestead Air Reserve Base.
Reservist volunteers worked for five years on the restoration, with the chapter funding materials and supplies.
In 2004, the chapter dedicated the F-86 at Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park. The next year, Hurricane Wilma knocked it off its display pedestal. The chapter again led a restoration and rededicated it for Veterans Day 2010.
Nation’s Capital Chapter President Bruce A. VanSkiver awarded an AFA Silver Medal to Ellen Petersen, the outstanding Aerospace Studies 300 cadet at Det. 130, based at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Lt. Gen. David S. Fadok, commander of Air University, was guest speaker for the event and helped with the presentation, along with detachment commander Lt. Col. Darryl Terrell. Petersen is finishing her junior year at American University, one of several colleges in an AFROTC consortium with Howard University. According to VanSkiver, she has been selected for the remotely piloted aircraft career field.
The Air Force Association began an Emerging Leaders Program in 2013 as an avenue to secure AFA’s future.
Emerging Leaders volunteer for a year. With guidance from a mentor, they participate on a national-level council, attend national leader orientations, and serve as National Convention delegates. Here’s the sixth Emerging Leader’s profile.
TSgt. Timothy J. Tichawa
Home State: Illinois.
Chapter: Robert H. Goddard.
Joined AFA: 2011.
AFA Offices: Member of the national-level Aerospace Education Council. California State VP for aerospace education. Was Goddard Chapter Secretary.
AFA Awards: State-level Meritorious Service award. Chapter-level Presidential Exceptional Service.Military Service: 12 years on Active Duty.
Occupation: Flight chief (space operations), 533rd Training Squadron, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Education: A.A.S., Community College of the Air Force. B.A., Ashford University. Working on an M.S., Colorado Technical University.
How did you first learn of AFA? I had a group commander, and he was asked to put together the state convention. ... I didn’t attend the state convention, but I helped plan it. I thought, “Wow, this is a great organization.”
How is AFA of value? I’ve benefitted most from my networking. ... Between networking and professional development—that’s another big one—I’ve gotten to meet some of the great NCOs and leaders.
How can AFA increase membership? By helping people realize that the organization is for the Total Force, by really telling the enlisted story. Everything that AFA does should include the enlisted perspective to it. ... We should somehow tie in e-membership to that—that it may be more affordable [for junior enlisted]. That was a great move to reach out to the young.
Tichawa fishes from a kayak off California’s Gaviota State Park with the Jurassic Sport Fishing group.
How To Stand Out at the Science Fair
The Sarasota-Manatee Chapter in Florida continues to build its presence at a local science fair.
In January, Chapter President Michael R. Richardson presented awards for two projects at the Lockheed Martin-Manatee Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Anna Zimmerman, a ninth-grader from Braden River Middle School, evaluated the performance of a hybrid rocket motor using beeswax versus a paraffin-based fuel. She entitled her project “An Eco-Friendly Rocket Fuel.” (Beeswax came out on top.)Merritt Kendzior, a ninth-grader at Southeast High School experimented with varying a wing’s angle of incidence to change the speed needed to create a specific amount of lift. Both students come from Bradenton, Fla.This is the chapter’s third year of involvement with the science fair. How did they do this?
A web search in February revealed that all of the after-action coverage of this science fair originated with Richardson’s emailed press releases to those on this contact list.
Merritt Kendzior’s research produced a project called “Wing It!”
34th BS. Oct. 2-5 in San Diego. Contact: Rod Breland, 5731 Hickory Ridge Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70817 (225-751-2058) (firstname.lastname@example.org) (www.mlrsinc.com/34thbombsqd).606th Special Ops Sq. April 24-26 at Hope Hotel near Dayton, OH. Contact: Phil French (937-287-4766) (email@example.com).Radar station veterans. May 18-23 in Reno, NV. Contact: Woody Woodworth (927-868-2495) (lgwdwrth@roadrunner. com).SAC. May 15-17 at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Shreveport, LA. Contact: (318-529-3023).Pilot Tng Class 62-G, Laredo AFB, TX. May 12-15 in Las Vegas. Contact: John Kikta (702-876-6216) (firstname.lastname@example.org).Wheelus AB. June 27-29 in Dayton, OH. Contact: Judy Martin Moore (276-728-5391) (email@example.com).
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