AFCEA International Chapter News
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ALAMO CHAPTER - 06/20/2017

Maj. Gen. Garrett Yee, USA, acting director of Cybersecurity Directorate, Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)/G-6 (r, center), cuts the ceremonial cake with Spc. Aery Jackson, USA, 236th Signal company, Texas Army National Guard (l, center), in honor of the Army's 242nd birthday during the chapter's June monthly luncheon. At its June luncheon, the chapter welcomed back to San Antonio Maj. Gen. Garrett Yee, USA, acting director of Cybersecurity Directorate, Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)/G-6. The general kicked off the event by reviewing the history of the Army and the founding of the Signal Corps, which celebrated its 157th birthday on June 21. The chapter wished the 120-plus attendees a happy 242nd birthday to the U.S. Army with a cake-cutting ceremony that brought the youngest soldier, Spc. Aeryka Jackson, USA, to help Gen. Yee. San Antonio, known as Military City USA, is home to every branch of service and has one of the nation's largest active and retired military populations. "We have tremendous capabilities in San Antonio. Over 20 Army bases have already migrated over to Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS), to include Joint Base San Antonio," Gen. Yee said. These types of innovative, consistent improvements will make the network stronger and more effective. "We are continuously ... READ MORE


Lt. Gen. Michael Basla, USAF (Ret.), former Air Force chief information officer (CIO), speaks at the June chapter luncheon. Lt. Gen. Michael Basla, USAF (Ret.), spoke at the June chapter luncheon. Gen. Basla, senior vice president and U.S. Air Force client executive at CACI International, which sponsored the luncheon, praised AFCEA as a professional organization and strongly encouraged nonmembers to join. He made a generous personal donation for anyone at the luncheon to do so. He thanked the local community of soldiers, Defense Department employees, contractors and their families for the sacrifices they make in the fight against U.S. adversaries. Gen. Basla not only presented a history of AFCEA but also explained how collaboration between the government, industry and academia has contributed to more effective methods, technology and weaponry to prosecute the many conflicts the country has faced in the 70 years since AFCEA was established. AFCEA is crucial to the development of technologies, including cyber. Through coursework, training and networking, the brightest and best share ideas and collaborate t ... READ MORE


Judge Thomas Munley, Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, addresses the audience during the celebration of the U.S. Army's 242nd birthday in June at Tobyhanna Army Depot. Judge Thomas Munley, Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, delivered the keynote address at the Tobyhanna Army Depot luncheon celebrating the Army's 242nd birthday in June. "I was not going to miss this opportunity to come to Tobyhanna, no matter what," said Munley, who told a packed house that he is very thankful for veterans and the U.S. military. More than 130 people attended the event. Munley began his career as a social studies teacher. After his first year of teaching, he was called to serve the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. Upon his return, he learned that his teaching position had been filled. The principal told him, "If you want your job back, sue us." At that moment, he knew he wanted to go to law school and dedicate his life to serving veterans. The benefits of the GI Bill helped him achieve this goal. "I'm proud to have spent the last 40 years thinking of and working for veterans," Munley said. "All a veteran wants is for us to say, 'Thank you for your service.'" Munl ... READ MORE


Kim Cranson, president, Lexington-Concord YACS (left) joins Bud Vazquez, Regional VP, International (right) at the chapter's spring Gala in congratulating Dan Walters, MITRE (center) for his selection as one of two chapter winners of the 2017, International YAC The chapter hosted its annual Spring Gala dinner dance and silent auction in May at the Boston Marriott Burlington in Burlington, Massachusetts, to benefit its Education Foundation. The evening included a live feed of the Kentucky Derby, with guests rooting for their favorites, followed by dinner, dancing and a silent auction to raise money for chapter scholarships. Kate Stowe, chair of the gala planning committee, welcomed guests and announced winners of the auction. Bud Vazquez, AFCEA regional vice president for New England-upstate New York, joined Kim Cranson, chapter president, Young AFCEANs, in honoring two chapter winners of the prestigious Young AFCEA 40 Under 40 Award given by AFCEA International to 40 Young AFCEANs for their significant contributions in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field. Winners were MITRE's Dan Walters and MIT Lincoln Laboratory's Dr. Vijay Gadepally.


Earning the bronze prize in the June competition is Team The chapter played host to a "Raspberry Pi" contest in June that saw the final five student teams reaching for the gold. Each team was tasked to design an innovative idea by programming an open source microcomputer. The competition was staggering and included a robotic prosthetic hand; a thumbprint-operated lock system; an American Sign Language to brail translator; a smart traffic system; and educational word- and image-recognition software. The students worked exceedingly hard and engineered spectacular products. The judges deliberated long and hard to ensure they recognized the most deserving team. The runner-up teams included "Pi-Traffic," with Ridge Barney, Matthew Pollmiller and Scott Rustenhaven, and "Robotic Hand," with Ken Robinson, Mai Brown, Jose Feliciano and Chris Gray. Team "Talky Blocky" (Noah Bresler, Austin Brindowski and Julia Nakamoto) took home the bronze and three UE Boom 2 speakers. Second place went to Team "DATA" (David Miller, Amanda Agustin, Theresa Boulos, ... READ MORE

CZECH CHAPTER - 06/01/2017

Attending the Czech National High School Cyber Security Competition in June are finalists (l-r) Jakub Smejkal (winner), Jiri Kucera, Krystof Macek, Matej Kafka and Jakub Vancata.  The finals of the Czech National High School Cyber Security Competition organized by the Czech Cyber Security Working Group and a number of government, academic and professional organizations ended in June at the International Defense and Security Technologies Fair in Brno, Czech Republic. Twenty-nine students from 17 secondary schools took part in the finals. The students competed both as individuals and randomly selected teams, and solved real-life security scenarios and hacker roles. Apart from other tasks, they analyzed network communication and searched for vulnerabilities in a web application, or tried to break a complex cypher. The winner was Jakub Smejkal, a student from the Secondary School of Informatics and Communications in Brno who earned 118 points. He was closely followed by Jiri Kucera, a student from the Otokar Brezina Secondary and Vocational School in Telc, and Krystof Macek, also from the Secondary School of Informatics and Communications in Brno. The Secondary S ... READ MORE


Attending the chapter's Women In Intelligence Group book club in May are (l-r) Kirsten Miller, Laurian Vega, Barbara Petilli and Jen Buchanan. Photo courtesy of John Garcia. In May, the chapter's Women In Intelligence Group (WIIG) book club met to discuss Dr. Lois Frankel's "Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office." The discussion centered on specific steps to achieving further success at work through astute networking, communication and mentorship. The WIIG book club has met since 2007 to address the challenges and issues women leaders face in the government, military and industry communities. The group is inspired through sharing career experiences and meets regularly to discuss books on business, career development and technology.


More than 250 attendees pack the auditorium of the Military University Institute in Lisbon during the chapter's Cybersecurity Forum in May. The chapter hosted the Cybersecurity Forum 2017 in May, in partnership with IDC Portugal for the sixth consecutive year. Speakers included national and international experts in cybersecurity. This year's event, "Digital Security: a pervasive threat vector for economic, competitive and criminal subversion," was held at the auditorium of the Military University Institute (IUM) in Lisbon. The objective of the forum was analyzing how national organizations must rethink their strategies of information security and risk management, a reality—that of digital transformation—that is increasingly at the top of the organizations' priorities. The key factor is the ability to harness information security as a facilitator for digital transformation The event was attended by more than 250 representatives of institutional organizations, armed and security forces, industry and entities from the scientific and technological systems community.


Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins Jr., USAF (Ret.), begins his presentation on cybersecurity and its training demands at the chapter's May luncheon. The chapter held a luncheon in May with speaker Lt. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins Jr., USAF (Ret.), at Shaw Air Force Base. He spoke about cybersecurity and the demands of training required to prepare airmen to live, fight and win in a cyber world. Gen. Hawkins was the first commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Networks, serving commanders, U.S. Cyber Command and the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer. Now president of the Hawkins Group, a service-disabled, veteran-owned business, he provides clients solutions for cybersecurity, strategic planning, risk management and leadership development. The general is an internationally respected subject matter expert on leadership, strategic planning, cybersecurity, information technologies, military matters and Christian discipleship development. He serves on the board of directors and advisers of several corporations and organizations and is the director of Ezra Vision Ministries, which conducts shor ... READ MORE


Chapter President Col. Sean Murphy, USAF (l), presents a chapter coin to Gary Sparks, instructor at Metropolitan Community College (MCC), Omaha, Nebraska, the keynote speaker at the chapter's May luncheon. Gary Sparks, instructor at Metropolitan Community College (MCC), Omaha, Nebraska, spoke with the chapter in May about becoming a cyber Center of Academic Excellence (CAE). First, Sparks talked about how he watched and participated in Exercise Cyber Shield 17 at Camp Williams, Utah. The event improves cyber acuity and teaches many lessons. Sparks then explained that CAEs receive their designation from the National Security Agency after in-depth assessments ensuring that they meet rigorous requirements. The goal of the CAE program is to reduce vulnerability by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with this expertise for the nation. Sparks elaborated on the differences between two-year institutions and four-year institutions. He commented on the CAE application process and how MCC has been approved as a cybersecurity facility. In concluding, Sparks pointed out that MCC's two-year degree articulates well to four-year schools.

TURKIYE CHAPTER - 05/23/2017

Chapter members gather for the spring meeting in May at the Middle East Technical University Alumni Association's Vişnelik Facility. The chapter's spring 2017 meeting was held in May at the Middle East Technical University Alumni Association's Vişnelik Facility. Past President Yalcin Onyuruand Col. I. Bora Buyukoner, TUA (Ret.), current board of directors, and Young AFCEANs attended the meeting to discuss the chapter's future activities.


Maj. Gen. Cedric George, USAF, deputy director of resource integration and logistics chief information officer (CIO) (r), moderates a panel that includes John Koski, director of information systems and technology for the SAF/FM CIO (c), and Col. Kjall Gopaul, USAF, deputy director, Air Force Personnel Operations Activity, at May's Montgomery Information Technology Summit (MITS). In May, the chapter hosted the 24th annual Montgomery Information Technology Summit (MITS) at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center in Montgomery, Alabama. The theme of this year's summit was "Accelerating Data-Driven Decisions." Chapter President Brian Knott and Cynthia Crews, MITS 2017 government liaison and chief of contracting for Business and Enterprise Systems, Maxwell-Gunter Annex, opened the conference, and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange extended a welcome. The conference featured an assortment of presentations from a variety of speakers, including Richard Aldridge, program executive officer, Business and Enterprise Systems (PEO/BES), Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Alabama; Maj. Gen. Cedric George, USAF, deputy director of resource integration and logistics chief information officer (CIO), Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force; Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess Jr., USA (Ret.), Auburn University's senior co ... READ MORE


Chapter President Brian Knott (r) and Charisse Stokes, the chapter's Education Foundation director (c), present an Array scholarship and internship in May to Nicholas Homsher (2nd from l), with Richard Aldridge, program executive officer for Business and Enterprise Systems, Maxwell-Gunter Annex, Alabama (2nd from r), and an Array representative.  In May, the chapter hosted its annual Education Foundation luncheon to recognize and reward 12 outstanding students from the Montgomery, Alabama, River Region. The luncheon took place in conjunction with the chapter's annual information technology conference, the Montgomery Information Technology Summit (MITS), at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center in Montgomery. The luncheon drew a full house from industry, government and military. Charisse Stokes, director of the chapter's Education Foundation, presided over the luncheon with the assistance of Senior Master Sgt. Neil Stewart, USAF, chapter vice president. The chapter was honored to have Richard Aldridge, program executive officer for Business and Enterprise Systems, Maxwell Air Force Base, Gunter Annex, Alabama, not only attend the luncheon but also assist in handing out awards during the ceremony. The chapter awarded $15,000 in scholarships as part of its High School Information Technology Summer In ... READ MORE

ALAMO CHAPTER - 05/21/2017

CEO of VETMotorsports Peter Cline (l) discusses pre-race procedures with veterans at the chapter's first outreach effort with the nonprofit in May. The chapter hosted eight veterans from the Austin and Houston areas for a Texas Spokes Sports Car Club autocross event in May in Austin as part of its first outreach effort with VETMotorsports. A unique nonprofit, VETMotorsports recruits veterans, embeds them with professional racing teams or puts them behind the wheel to race themselves, and covers all expenses for them and a caregiver to take part in the experience. “We’re very excited to support and be associated with VETMotorsports,” said Chapter Chairman of the Wounded Warrior and Military Family Endowment Fund Committee Jeff Kendall. “We had a fantastic first event together in Austin. The vets we sponsored had a great time learning how to use memory retention, responding to adrenaline proactively and enjoying some military-to-civilian integration. We’re grateful to VETMotorsports for all they do to support our veterans and look forward to many more events like this one.” By placing veterans in hands-on, high-stress, team envir ... READ MORE


Patrick Marr (l), chapter 2nd vice president, congratulates Maj. Matthew Speed, USAF (r) on his selection as the chapter's AFCEAN of the Quarter at the chapter's luncheon in May. Patrick Marr, chapter 2nd vice president, welcomed guests to a speaker series luncheon in May at the Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel, Bedford, MA. Gen. Robin Rand, USAF, commander, Air Force Global Strike Command, who is responsible for organizing, training and equipping the nation's ballistic missile and bomber forces and command of over 33,700 personnel, enthralled a packed audience of government and industry representatives with a discussion about the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, focusing on the country's strategic capabilities. Following Gen. Rand's captivating address, Marr presented the chapter's AFCEAN of the Quarter Award to Maj. Matthew Speed, USAF, for his outstanding support helping to organize and successfully execute the chapter's recent annual ROTC scholarship awards luncheon.


The chapter awarded $40,000 in scholarships-its biggest total yet-and $5,000 in grants to educators at its annual scholarship and grants awards banquet in May. Lance Litteken, chapter vice president of scholarships and grants, presided as master of ceremonies for the event at the Bellecourt Manor in Belleville, Illinois. Scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 each were awarded to 16 exceptional high school seniors and college students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. A panel independently reviewed and rated students' applications and then ranked them according to their consolidated scores. Award amounts were determined based on these rankings. Scholarship recipients and their respective colleges include Anna Bartz, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Meghan Bibb, Baylor University; Joey Black, Valparaiso University; Paul Carter, the University of South Carolina; Connor Flack, the University of Tulsa; Amanda Grither, the U ... READ MORE

ALAMO CHAPTER - 05/16/2017

Col. James Cluff, USAF, 25th Air Force vice commander, discusses 55th Airborne platforms during the chapter's May luncheon. Breaking down silos across intelligence typologies is key to successfully providing worldwide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to our military. This collaborative effort was stressed by Col. James Cluff, USAF, 25th Air Force vice commander, Joint Base San Antonio, at the chapter's May luncheon. "We must harmonize intelligence across the spectrum to get the right information at the right time, to the right decision maker," he said. Col. Cluff provided examples of critical times when varied members of the intelligence team—analysts, advanced researchers, service members and linguists alike—worked together seamlessly to quickly collect, analyze, interpret and disseminate data key to decision making during operations on the ground. He explained how his team obtains national tactical integration from the signal intelligence (SIGINT) system and provides it to deployed tactical warfighters and air operations centers worldwide. Discussing the challenges of daily operation ... READ MORE

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