AFCEA International Chapter News
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BELVOIR CHAPTER - 12/16/2021

Students at Fort Belvoir Upper School in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, familiarize themselves with Microbit devices that will be used in the Escape the Planet hackathon in December. The chapter is excited to announce its inaugural Escape the Planet hackathon event. Developed in conjunction with the AFCEA Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Student Chapter, AFCEA International, representatives from military academies and Fairfax County Public School faculty and high school students, Escape the Planet is a series of basic coding challenges built around a space exploration mission storyline. The challenge engages middle school students to assist the fictional Belvoir AFCEA Space Alliance (BASA) on their mission of discovery to Planet X to bring back recently detected evidence of "proof-of-life."

This pilot effort is scheduled for December 16 - 17 and will support ongoing coding curriculum being taught at each of the competing schools with the hope of seeding future interest and participation in Science Technology Engineering Arts & Math (STEAM) events. As part of the ongoing mission of the chapter, grants are being offered to each of the competing sc ... READ MORE


In September, 1st flight, 1st place winners and winners of the Two flights of golfers from government and industry joined a shotgun scramble in September at the Atkinson Resort and Country Club in New Hampshire to benefit the chapter's education fund. Jamie Thurber, incoming chapter president, welcomed guests to the post-tournament luncheon and thanked the many industry sponsors for their invaluable support of the event, which raised thousands to support the chapter's STEM scholarships. Golf committee co-chairs, Troy Blanchard, Google Cloud, and Ned Clay, Forcepoint, awarded prizes to individual winners (closest to pin, straightest drive, etc.) and trophies to Flight 1 and 2 winners. They concluded by thanking the many golf committee volunteers and paid special tribute to Jeff Katz, the chapter's perennial overall golf committee chair, for his many years of faithful service organizing and directing every spring and fall tournament for the past several years.


In August, the chapter announced its upcoming fall schedule supporting the local military community.

Plan to attend the upcoming Golf Tournament, Wright IT Summit (WITS), and/or Casino Night! The dates for these events are: Monday, September 13 - Daniel J. Curtis Memorial Golf Tournament; Tuesday and Wednesday, September 14-15 - Wright Information Technology Summit (WITS); and Tuesday, September 14 - Dayton-Wright AFCEA Casino Night

Event details can be found at the links below. The chapter will follow any pertinent COVID guidelines in place at that time. The WITS agenda continues to be updated and can be viewed at:

Please contact Krystin Fakalata at

All chapter events support STEM scholarships and teacher grants.


Col. Kristen Thompson, USAF (l), commander, 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, poses with Col. Larry Fletcher, USAF, chapter president. Col Thompson was the speaker for the August luncheon and received a Greater Omaha Chapter coin for addressing the chapter. In August, Col. Kristen D. Thompson, USAF, commander, 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, spent time with the chapter discussing the 55th Wing and how they use information. Col. Thompson touched on Offutt's heritage. It was first used as an Army post called Ft. Crook in the late 1890s but was later renamed after Omaha native 1st Lt Jarvis Offutt, who died during World War I. Col. Thompson added that the 55th Wing is the largest wing in Air Combat Command and the second largest wing in the Air Force. The 55th is host to approximately 50 mission partners on Offutt. Col. Thompson elaborated it's important to talk across organizations functionally. As one of Offutt's mission partners, the 16th Air Force focused on improving lines of effort. Understanding the adversary is the foundation of information warfare and the 16th Air Force will work toward integrating all of the 55th Wing's elements as they are currently working on common problems.

Col. Thompson talked about the ... READ MORE


Brig. Gen. (P) Rob Collins, USA, program executive officer, Command, Control, Communications Tactical (bottom l), and Brig. Gen. Jeth Rey, USA, director, Network Cross Functional Team, along with a technical panel comprised of (top l-r) Brent Smith, deputy product manager, Tactical Cyber and Network Operations; Justin Seehusen, assistant product manager, Tactical Mission Command; and Master Sgt. Nathan Hunsaker, USA, noncommissioned officer in charge for the Network Cross-Functional Team, and Lt. Col. Natashia Coleman, USA, product lead, Unified Network Capabilities and Integration, share candid insights from Soldiers on Capability Set 21 fieldings over the past six months. In August, the chapter organized its first in-person event since February of 2020. Over 130 guests met to hear candid soldier feedback from the operational community on Capability Set 21 technologies. Brig. Gen. (P) Rob Collins, USA, program executive officer, Command, Control, Communications Tactical, and Brig. Gen. Jeth Rey, USA, director, Network Cross Functional Team, and panelists, discussed how the Army is conducting soldier touch points across all formations to include Infantry brigade combat team, Stryker brigade combat team, armored brigade combat team, Division, Corps and expeditionary signal battalion-enhanced, and how the Army is using this direct feedback to innovate and improve future network capability sets.

ALAMO CHAPTER - 08/24/2021

The chapter hosts its first in-person luncheon of 2021 at the Randolph Air Force Base Parr Club in August. Attendees included industry, academia and military members of the Air Force Developmental Team. The chapter held its first in-person luncheon of 2021 at the Randolph Air Force Base Parr Club. Brig. Gen. Robert Lyman, USAF, assistant deputy chief of staff for Cyber Effects Operation, Air Force A-2/6, was the guest speaker. As the Cyberspace Operations and Support Career Field functional manager, Gen. Lyman is responsible for the development of 36,000 officers and enlisted personnel. He balances costs and risks for Air Force Cyber Effects programs. Additionally, Gen. Lyman is responsible for integrating the U.S. Air Force's air, space and cyberspace effects operations capabilities into the joint fight by informing policy, synchronizing relevant efforts and advocating for resources to provide secure, reliable and timely information to joint warfighters.

Gen. Lyman provided some of the recent highlights of the A-2/6. A few major changes include a new chief of staff and a new secretary of defense along with the standup of the U.S. Space Force. "Increasing sophistication, ... READ MORE

ALAMO CHAPTER - 08/24/2021

Rick Lipsey, chapter president, presents the Dr. Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship on behalf of the AFCEA Education Foundation to Sean Garnsey at the chapter's August luncheon at Randolph Air Force Base. The chapter was pleased to present the Dr. Ralph W. Shrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship on behalf of the AFCEA Education Foundation to Sean Garnsey. Sean is a University of Texas at San Antonio student currently working on his Ph.D. in electrical engineering. He accepted the scholarship graciously as he explained a bit about the history of the Chamorro people of Guam and their strong ties to the military culture. A hearty congratulations, Sean!

ALAMO CHAPTER - 08/21/2021

In August, the chapter's Emerging Leaders come together for networking, bowling and some brews at Bowl  and  Barrel in San Antonio. <br /> In August, the chapter's Emerging Leaders hosted its summer Tech on Tap. Around 25 people took over the five bowling lanes and their respective tables at Bowl & Barrel in the popular San Antonio Rim area, bringing together both members and newcomers. The caliber of attendees ranged from University of Texas San Antonio students, active-duty and reserve Air Force airmen, defense contractors and recruiters to industry professionals. With a generous selection of food and beverages, most participants stayed well after the event was over. Some major highlights from the night came from acquiring new member commitments and additional volunteers for the upcoming October 21st Mentor Protégé Night and the Alamo ACE Conference held November 15th through the 18th. Shawn Cressman, chapter vice president of Emerging Leaders, recalls the best part: "It was coming together to network with our ambitious local Emerging Leaders to make connections and forge some lasting relationships."


The chapter held its August Lunch & Learn presented by the General Services Administration (GSA) and sponsored by Meridian Partners. The event was attended by members from across industry, academia, U.S. Southern Command and the Defense Information Agency. Many thanks to all who attended. Special appreciation goes out to the guest speaker, Jan Zeigler, for providing great information and awareness on the GSA small business programs, initiatives and resources.


Previously postponed, the chapter's award ceremony takes place in August at Fayetteville State University. Cadet Desiree Bliss (c) receives an award from Marv Gordner, chapter president. Maj. Louis Hare, Army ROTC, assistant professor of military science, and John Bellamy, executive director, Defense and Homeland Security, join in the photo. The chapter's ROTC and Veteran's Scholarship Program was held at Fayetteville State University (FSU) in August. During the event, the chapter awarded scholarships to ROTC cadets at Campbell University, North Carolina State and FSU. Also, a veteran at Fayetteville Technical Community College received a scholarship. These awards were in addition to chapter scholarships given to graduating high school seniors and local Teacher STEM Grants.

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