The chapter Young AFCEANs, led by race director Chris Molis and his team, including Megan Kozacka, assistant race director; Stephan Nadeau, vice president, Young AFCEANs; and Kim Matthews, vice president, diversity, sponsored its annual 5K Family Fun Run/Walk for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Education in September at the historic Minuteman National Park, in Lincoln, Massachusetts. More than 100 runners and walkers of all ages—from toddlers to seniors—including several sturdy dogs, participated in this event to benefit the chapter's Education Fund with all proceeds going to fund scholarships in STEM disciplines. After the race, awards were presented to the top three finishers and several prizes were raffled off to lucky participants. Generous contributions from Google, Raytheon, Hanscom Federal Credit Union, Oasis Systems, Middlesex Community College and Booz Allen Hamilton helped make this a memorable and fun event for all.
Brig. Gen. Sarah E. Zabel, USAF, director, cyberspace strategy and policy, Office of Information Dominance and chief information officer, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, was the speaker for the August luncheon. As the cyberspace operations and support career field functional manager, Gen. Zabel is responsible for the development of 43,000 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel. She oversees the Air Force cybersecurity program to ensure compliance with all legislative, Department of Defense and joint policies and directives. Additionally, she leads the Air Force in developing cyberspace strategies, policies and enterprise architectures across business, information, weapon system, and defense intelligence mission areas. She has served within the communications and cyber field as the 43rd Communications Squadron commander at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, a computer security evaluator at the National Security Agency, a computer and network programmer, an Air Force A ... READ MORE
John Remen, strategic development manager for the Rocket Propulsion Division (RQR) of the Aerospace Systems Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), spoke to the chapter in September. AFRL/RQR is located at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and conducts all space and missile propulsion science and technology efforts for the Air Force. Remen discussed historic, as well as current activities in rocket motor development and testing. The AFRL/RQR has more than 60 years of experience in rocket science and technology that includes work on the F1 engines that propelled the Saturn Moon rockets, to low-thrust electric propulsion thrusters used to maneuver satellites. Among their current projects is the hydrocarbon boost (HCB) engine to replace the Russian-made RD-180 used on the Atlas V, and the development of rocket motors that burn advanced, green propellants with higher performance and much lower toxicity than hydrazine. As they say, they are “the home of real rocket scienti ... READ MORE
Young AFCEANs of the Kaiserslautern and Bonn e.V. chapters in Germany organized a two-day event in September for both chapters with NATO in Mons, Belgium. Five Young AFCEANs from both chapters attended NIAS 2014, the NATO Information and Cyber Defence Conference. Later, they had a workshop on upcoming events with Maj. Gen. Klaus-Peter Treche, GEAF (Ret.), general manager of AFCEA Europe, and Wolfgang Taubert, regional vice president. One of the major plans for 2015 is a European Young AFCEAN conference during TechNet Europe in Berlin. Taubert also briefed the Young AFCEANs on the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency). The group also went to NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), where they were briefed on NATO’s activities and given a tour of the headquarters. The combined Young AFCEA activities of the Kaiserslautern and the Bonn chapters are part of a series of events started almost three years ago. For the first time with the support of AFCEA Eur ... READ MORE
Chief Master Sgt. Patrick F. McMahon, USAF, 14th Air Force command chief, shared experiences from his career with chapter members during a luncheon in September. Chief Master Sgt. McMahon enlisted as a satellite communications equipment systems specialist and spent the majority of the following 20 years working with tactical communications and mission systems. He fondly reminisced on his upbringing in the communications and electronics field and expressed his appreciation for the continued camaraderie he feels with those sharing the same background. Chief Master Sgt. McMahon also emphasized the importance that communication systems and processes play in the support of every other functional mission area. At this same luncheon, the chapter awarded Senior Airman David Dykshoorn, USAF, and Martin Agee, Vandenberg Middle School, a $500 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) scholarship and teaching grant, respectively.
A panel of distinguished Army and Defense Information Systems Agency leaders discussed defense programs and priorities before a sold-out crowd of more than 450 attendees at the chapter luncheon in September at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City. The speakers addressed the move to unified capabilities and how the Army is standardizing and modernizing information technology assets, helping the service achieve efficiencies in operations; reduce costs; and improve speed and security. The Army is making a huge push towards the future, said Major Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency. “It’s one team now going towards the same ending point. We’re all moving together. To get there, we have a lot of infrastructure we have to rebuild,” he said. The chapter’s luncheon series draws senior officers and professionals from across the Department of Defense, armed services, intelligence and civilian agencies to discuss topics of interest to the government community ... READ MORE
In September, the chapter recognized its AFCEAN of the Month Award Winner, Col. James Dillon, USMC (Ret.), director of business development, Government Group, REDCOM Laboratories Incorporated. Col. Dillon joined the chapter as chief information officer in June after retiring as the Marine Corps Forces Pacific assistant chief of staff, G-6. Upon receiving the challenge to identify and address the information technology challenges of the chapter, Col. Dillon reviewed all historic information technology approaches, costs and desired end states of the chapter. Upon recognizing significant issues, he negotiated and modified all technology requirements, reducing the chapter information technology costs by almost 80 percent and taking the chapter to a new, fully modern and easy-to-use architecture. Working closely with the Chapter chief technology officer, Isaac Barnes, Col. Dillon leads the team ensuring the chapter maintains the fully capable, easy-to-use information technology environme ... READ MORE
In September, the chapter recognized its Young AFCEAN of the Month award winner, Isaac Barnes, chief operating officer and vice president of Eminent IT, a service disabled veteran owned firm. Barnes currently serves as the chief technology officer (CTO) of the chapter. He has previously served as Young AFCEAN co-chair of emerging technologies, Young AFCEAN co-chair of the Sponsorship Committee and a volunteer for various chapter events. As CTO, Barnes is responsible for providing technical guidance, support and strategy to the chapter.
A team of professors of the University of Porto/INESC TEC and students from the student chapter participated in the seventh World Robotic Sailing Championships/International Robotic Sailing Conference that took place in Galway, Ireland, in September. This annual event joins the international community working in various scientific and technologic subjects related to the development and operation of autonomous surface vehicles powered by the wind. This relatively new type of robotic vessel exhibits a huge potential for long-term missions at sea for a wide range of applications such as scientific sampling of ocean data or marine surveillance with above the surface or underwater sensing devices. The Portuguese team entered the event with two robotic autonomous sailboats developed by the students at the University of Porto, in the scope of the student chapter’s activities. The larger 2.5 meter-long sailboat FASt won two of the four challenges, aimed to evaluate various aspects of perfor ... READ MORE
The chapter held a lively panel discussion in September, themed "Storage Wars: the Future of Storage." Moderated by Maj. Joe Watson, USAF, panelists included Paul Austin, chief technology officer, EMC Federal; Ronald Perkins, senior data center architect, Tintri Incorporated; Bryan Jackson, solution architect, HP; Jeff Baxter, senior engineering manager, NetApp Federal; and Kian Beals, senior storage architect, Dell Federal. Discussion ranged from real-time event analysis to virtualized architecture. This informative discussion showcased the panelists' passion for their storage offerings. The chapter is pleased to recognize this month's awardees: Executive of the Month Steve Reinstein, Western regional and Pacific Rim government manager for Anixter Federal; AFCEAN of the Month Farrah Burke, account manager at Integrated Security Technologies Incorporated; and Young AFCEAN of the Month Master Gunnery Sgt. Jorge Valdez, USMC (Ret.) of Marine Corps Forces Pacific. AFCEA Students of the ... READ MORE
The Chapter held its Fall Golf tournament in September at the Atkinson Resort & Country Club, Atkinson, New Hamshire. In all, 140 golfers from government and industry participated in a shotgun scramble to benefit the chapter's Education Fund. A luncheon followed at which Steve Falcone, chapter president, welcomed participants and thanked tournament co-chairs Bob Chisolm, Fisheye Software, and Col. Gregg Kline, USAF, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/HBB, Hanscom Air Force Base, for organizing the tournament and industry sponsors for their generous support of this annual event, which raises thousands of dollars to support chapter scholarships. Winning teams were then acknowledged and raffle prizes awarded.
At a joint luncheon of the Pocono Mountains AFCEA chapter and Tobyhanna Chapter, AUSA, in September, Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, USA (Ret.), West Point Cyber chair, addressed the audience regarding cyberspace in the Army of yesterday, today and tomorrow. The audience was enlightened regarding the cyberthreat, which is the nation's number one security challenge. Additionally, the audience learned the distinction between computer defense and cyber operations, recent events in cyberspace and the plans for cyber work force development in the future. Gen. Hernandez was the first commanding general of the U.S. Army Cyberspace Command.
The chapter held its annual summer social in September at the Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel, Bedford, Massachusetts. Nino Amoroso of the Association of Old Crows welcomed all and introduced distinguished guests from government and industry including special guest, Bob Wood, executive vice president, AFCEA International. Shannon Sullivan, regional vice president, congratulated the chapter's new president, Steve Falcone, presenting him with his president's pin and bid adieu to outgoing president Bud Vazquez, presenting him with his past president's pin. Falcone then paid homage to Vazquez for his incomparable commitment to the chapter by highlighting the myriad achievements, scholarships awarded and international awards received under Vazquez’s dynamic leadership, including the Model Chapter of the Year and the Brenda Dougherty Diversity Awards. Falcone also congratulated individual AFCEA International award winners, including Capt. Bobby Walker, Distinguished Young AFCEAN; Matt Carr ... READ MORE
The chapter’s 7th Annual Joint Warfighter IT Day in September was a great success. Featured speakers included Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA, director, command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Lt. Gen. Michael Basla, USAF, chief, Information Dominance and chief information officer, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force; Lt. Gen. Douglas Robb, USAF, director, Defense Health Agency (DHA); Dave Shedd, acting director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); Brig. Gen. Gregory Touhill, USAF (Ret.), Department of Homeland Security deputy assistant secretary for Cybersecurity Operations and Programs; Maj. Gen. Al Lynn, vice director, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); John Wilcox, director, Communications Systems/J-6, U.S. Special Operations Command; and Christopher Miller, program executive officer of Defense Healthcare Management Systems. The chapter attracted hundreds from the Washington, D.C., area to this one-d ... READ MORE
In September, the chapter hosted a welcome reception for incoming Maxwell Air Force Base(AFB)–Gunter Annex leadership, Col. Michael Jiru, USAF, and Col. Ronald Jobo, USAF. The reception drew a great turnout of roughly 40 attendees and was hosted at local venue Arrowhead Country Club. Lt. Col. Leonard Boothe, USAF, chapter president, kicked off the event with a brief overview of the chapter and the AFCEA organization as a whole. Charisse Stokes, director of the chapter's Education Foundation, followed Col. Boothe's discussion by introducing Col. Jiru and Col. Jobo to the outreach efforts of the extremely active foundation. Col. Boothe then invited each colonel to make an individual short presentation to introduce themselves to reception attendees and share some of their Air Force experiences. Col. Jobo shared his enthusiasm to be a part of Robert "Shof" Shofner's team at Maxwell AFB–Gunter Annex supporting the Program Executive Office for Business and Enterprise Systems (PEO BES) as ... READ MORE
To wrap up the month of August, the chapter's Young AFCEANs and members participated in a community outreach event. The team traveled to two local Bay Area charities that provide critical services to homeless and unemployed veterans. The team’s services included painting, cleaning and landscaping. It was a great time for the Young AFCEANs and members of the chapter to give back and get involved in the community.
For the first time, the chapter’s Young AFCEANs hosted an event in Berlin in August. They visited one of the Bundeswehr tactical air command and control service units at Tempelhof Airport. Jochen Reinhardt, vice president of the chapter Young AFCEANs, was very pleased to see so many new faces: "I am glad to extend our network to Berlin and to get such a positive resonance." Twelve Young AFCEANs met exactly at the place where British and U.S. candy bombers touched ground during the airlift in the Cold War. Today, the German Air Force monitors the airspace and maintains the radar tower. After that, the participants ascended the radar tower. At a height of more than 50 meters, the Young AFCEANs had a magnificent view of Berlin. The event ended with a social gathering. After this success, the planning for the next Berlin event in 2015 has already started.
In August, the chapter hosted its Annual Awards event at local venue Arrowhead Country Club. The event served to recognize the outstanding efforts of some of the chapter’s best and brightest members over the past year. Among those recognized were, Adam Vencill, the chapter’s Young AFCEAN of the Year for 2014; Brian Knott, the chapter’s Industry AFCEAN of the Year for 2014; and Denise Baylor, the chapter’s Government AFCEAN of the Year for 2014. All of these individuals played prominent roles in ensuring the success of the Montgomery Information Technology Summit conference in May. During the breakfast event, the Education Foundation received a generous donation in the amount of $5,000 from Integrated Computer Solutions (ICS) and CEO Steve Goldsby. Charisse Stokes, director, Montgomery AFCEA Chapter Education Foundation, took a moment during the ceremony to formally recognize and thank Goldsby and ICS for their continued support to helping the Education Foundation provide essential f ... READ MORE
The chapter’s August meeting featured a presentation on a commercial space plane called Dream Chaser. John Curry, co-program manager for Sierra Nevada Space Systems, told the group the Dream Chaser design was based on an early NASA vehicle, the HL-20. Dream Chaser is designed to take off from Cape Canaveral on an Atlas rocket and rendezvous with the International Space Station or other habitable space stations in the commercial world. It seats up to seven astronauts or space tourists and when it returns to Earth can land at any airport; the primary destination is NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Because it can remain in space for some two weeks, it can also be used for scientific work in zero gravity. The first flight is scheduled for November 2016.
In August the chapter welcomed Edie Ebbert Dopkin, Ph.D., founder and director of operations at Quantum Leap Farm. Quantum Leap Farm, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, is a nationally recognized equestrian program serving injured and disabled civilian adults and children, as well as military service members and their families. Founded in 2000, the farm is the only one of its kind in the state of Florida to offer multiple therapies supporting physical, cognitive, and/or emotional disabilities. Dopkins stated, “The goal of the organization is to focus on abilities rather than disabilities and helping people grow strong through therapeutic goals.” Recognizing the need for the service, Dopkins made sure that 60 percent of the 1,100 people seeking therapy are service members and their families. She emphasized, “It’s a social program to meet others with the same struggles and enable participants to expand their social support network.”
Col. Bill Cooley, USAF, director, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, served as guest speaker for the chapter’s August meeting. He is responsible for a multiservice, multinational systems directorate that conducts development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of all GPS space segment, satellite command and control (ground) and military user equipment. GPS accuracy is 6 meters for civilian, and 3 meters for military applications. However, as GPS continues to be upgraded, it is anticipated that within a decade smart phones will have 10-centimeter accuracy. Col. Cooley suggested this will open possibilities for innovative applications that can’t even be imagined now. GPS III is about two years behind schedule, in part because of the significant cybersecurity demands placed on it. However, the GPS constellation is in good shape with 39 satellites on orbit. Col. Cooley pointed out ... READ MORE
Master Sgt. Martha Burkhead, USAF, has been named to the chapter board of directors as the new vice president of military affairs. In this role, she provides a crucial liaison for the organization to active-duty personnel and command staff throughout Joint Base San Antonio. Sgt. Burkhead was appointed to the position left vacant by Senior Master Sgt. Keith Jordan, USAF, who retired from active duty in June. Sgt. Jordan is now the chapter’s vice president of scholarships and educational grants. Separately, the chapter has recruited its first-ever college intern. Emily Bowles, 22, is a communications major at the University of Texas-San Antonio, who will be earning credit hours through volunteer work with the chapter publicity committee. She will be seeking a job in the public relations field when she graduates in May 2015.
In August, the chapter’s Women In Intelligence Group (WIIG) braved stormy weather to enjoy a very successful WIIG social hosted by Prime Solutions and Tensley Consulting. The group enjoyed appetizers and libations at Union Jack’s in Columbia, Maryland, while networking and enjoying the good company. Highlights included the raffling off of “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High,” the group's next Book Club selection. Two gift certificates to Union Jack’s were also included in the raffle. Proceeds from the highly successful event contributed to the Dream Scholarship fund, which provides a scholarship opportunity to a female high school senior interested in science or engineering. Truly, a good time was had by all!
In August, Linda Skinner, chapter president, announced, the chapter had distributed over $14,000 in scholarships for the year for science, technology and teaching tool grants. The chapter’s Young AFCEAN group will be hosting a fundraiser to purchase trees and benches for the Fallen Warrior Program at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. One of the chapter's long time members and supporters was memorialized at the August luncheon. Lt. Col. Dan Bigelow, USAF (Ret.), served the chapter for more than 14 years in various vice presidential capacities. The chapter also highlighted an August Technology Expo that members were welcome to participate with members from the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base community. The chapter's next luncheon will feature speaker Brig. Gen. Sarah E. Zabel, USAF, director, Cyberspace Strategy and Policy, Office of Information Dominance, and chief information officer, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
To be effective in the cyber domain, the U.S. Air Operations Center needs to adopt the approach of a professional sports team—coordinating its offensive and defensive units, Col. Brad Pyburn, USAF, told the chapter in August. During a luncheon speech, Col. Pyburn, who is commander of the 624th Operations Center, outlined evolutions that have taken place in the Air Force’s approach to dominance in cyberspace. In particular, he explained how the 624th Operations Center is helping the 24th Air Force fulfill its mission in that domain. Thought processes and approaches have matured from the mindset of “we have an outage” in the early days of the Air Operations Center to “this is what we need to execute on” to fulfill the mission. Success requires a thread of intelligence to help coordinate the offensive and defensive capabilities in cyber, he said. Strategy and planning also have a role to play in the maturing organization, he noted. Finally, Col. Pyburn spoke to the operationalism and n ... READ MORE
Bud Vazquez, chapter president, presented Lt. Gen C.D. Moore, commander, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, with a chapter memento at a Hanscom Air Force Base community social in August honoring the general, who is retiring from active duty.