AFCEA International Chapter News
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Bernard In 2024, the chapter provided three scholarships to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students at El Camino College in Torrance, California. The chapter originally worked with the El Camino College Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship that provides permanent, sustainable funding for current and future students at this Southern California community college. More than 10 years ago, the chapter invested $25,000 to fund an annual $1,000 scholarship award named for the chapter. In recent years, the chapter has also funded two additional STEM scholarships per year to help additional deserving students achieve their goals of earning technical degrees.


Chapter President Thomas Merkle (l) shakes hands with Amy Gilliland, president, General Dynamics Information Technology, Falls Church, Virginia.  Gilliland shared her thoughts on how to build a culture of innovation within the workplace. She received a Greater Omaha Chapter coin for addressing the chapter in June. In June, Amy Gilliland, president, General Dynamics Information Technology, Falls Church, Virginia, spent time with the chapter sharing her thoughts on leadership and the role culture plays in creating an environment for growth and innovation. Gilliland said she was raised by a single mother who was an Army civil servant for 40 years. Her grandfather immigrated to the United States from Switzerland and later joined the military to serve his adopted country. She was influenced by this and saw service to country as a responsibility. She doesn't consider herself a technologist, but she's always surrounded by them. Gilliland discussed market trends-how the advent of COVID-19 accelerated technology. She also elaborated on how technology differentiates. In addition to speed, the necessity for security is important; of key significance is learning how to share data at the tactical edge. Gilliland commented "BYOE" (bring your own energy) as an impetus to creating a culture of innovation. Em ... READ MORE

LONDON CHAPTER - 06/26/2024

Pictured at the June celebration are (from l-r) Air Cdre Mike Wilson, RAF, chapter president; Air Cdre (now AVM) Tom Ashbridge, RAF, immediate past chapter president; and Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.), general manager, AFCEA Europe. In June, the chapter marked the 70th anniversary of its formation back in 1954, with a formal dinner held in the Founders' Dining Hall at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Many VIP Guests including past chapter presidents and seniors from defense, government and academia were among approximately 200 people who attended. The dinner was hosted by Air Cdre Mike Wilson, RAF, chapter president, and a very fitting after-dinner speech was given by Maj. Gen. Bill Robins, British Army (Ret.).

Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.), general manager of AFCEA Europe, delivered a message of congratulations and a certificate of recognition on behalf of Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, USA (Ret.), CEO and president of AFCEA International.

Gen. Staudacher also presented Air Cdre (now AVM) Tom Ashbridge, RAF, immediate past president, with his Chairman's Superior Service Award from AFCEA International.

TURKIYE CHAPTER - 06/12/2024

Osman Samim Kalaycioglu presents during the June webinar. The chapter organized a webinar on "CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear] Surveillance Systems" presented by Osman Samim Kalaycıoğlu in June. Participants understood that factors such as today's large number of nuclear power reactor wastes, the use of radiological substances in clinical medical practices and the easy buying and selling of toxic substances increase the CBRN threats in civilian environments. In the webinar, attendees learned about modern CBRN observation systems used especially on surface ships and their multiple usage areas, as well as the features and details of advanced models used in the detection of toxic industrial agents.

SLOVAK CHAPTER - 06/12/2024

Pictured at the June event are (from l-r) Brig. Gen. Aurel Sabo, rector of the Armed Forces of General M.R. Stefanik in Liptovsky Mikulas, Col. Ladislav Kollarik (Ret.), chapter vice president, Col. Miroslav Brvnistan (Ret.), chapter president, and  Petr Jirasek, regional vice president, Central Eastern Europe, and Lt. Gen. Lubomir Svoboda, 1st deputy CHOD, Slovak Armed Forces. The AFCEA Regional Conference co-organized by the chapter and the Academy of the Armed Forces of General M.R. Stefanik in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia (AOS), with support from AFCEA Central Eastern Europe Regional Vice President Petr Jirasek, became one of the chapter's best conferences focused on innovations in the field of cyber defense and current cybersecurity threats and trends.

The conference was attended by almost 250 experts, mainly from Central European armed forces, to discuss recent topics and showcase modern technologies and solutions for the armed forces and critical information infrastructure.

The conference was opened by Igor Melicher, state secretary of the Slovak Ministry of Defence, followed by Lt. Gen. Lubomir Svoboda, first deputy CHOD Slovak Armed Forces, Brig. Gen. Aurel Sabo, rector of the Armed Forces of General M.R. Stefanik in Liptovsky Mikulas, and Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.), general manager of AFCEA Europe. The two-day conference ... READ MORE


In June, Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, USAF, addresses the golfers before the round with tournament chair, Ned Clay. The annual Elmer J. Fuller Golf Scramble was a success! The event benefited from great weather and strong support from Maj. Gen. Anthony Genatempo, USAF, and the chapter. Marlborough Country Club once again provided an excellent venue, with the course in great condition and their signature burgers and hot dogs at the turn. The event was filled with camaraderie and social networking, which more than made up for any wayward shots or missed putts. The real winners of the event were the STEM scholarship recipients who benefited from the funds raised. It was wonderful to see such a strong community coming together for a good cause. Elmer Fuller served as a past chapter president and board chairman.


Lights, camera, action! The team poses for a group shot at the May event. The chapter's Emerging Leaders hosted a professional headshot night for both members and nonmembers. It was a great opportunity to get updated professional pictures for those 10-year-old LinkedIn photos! Everyone enjoyed networking over small bites and most importantly continuing to promote and grow this amazing chapter. The chapter would like to thank David and Barbra Hiltz for showcasing their photography skills and taking the photos. They are the unsung heroes of the chapter in 2023! Lastly a big shout out to the Common Craft for accommodating the event.


Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, USA (Ret.), president and CEO of AFCEA International (fifth from l), visits with chapter members in May. In May, Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, USA (Ret.), president and CEO of AFCEA International, visited with members of the chapter to discuss events and operations over lunch.

CZECH CHAPTER - 05/29/2024

Petr Jirasek, regional vice president, Central Eastern Europe Region (r), and Hana Dubravova, Police Academy (3rd from l), meet with the representatives of the National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NCISA) in May. The chapter organized its 75th Security Seminar dedicated to current trends in the field of cybersecurity. The seminar took place on the premises of the Police Academy of the Czech Republic in Prague with the participation of experts from the state administration, the army, the private sector and the academy.

BONN E.V. CHAPTER - 05/28/2024

During the May event, Lt. Gen. Frank Leidenberger (Ret.), Maj. Gen. Michael Färber, Col. Bernd Stingl and Jochen Reinhardt engage in a panel discussion. Armed forces must combine across all military dimensions. This ensures they are resiliently connected and always have access to mission-relevant data. To exchange information about current information technology projects and technological developments intended to increase operational readiness, the chapter and BWI invited representatives from military and industry to Cologne, Germany, in May. More than 130 participants joined the conference, which took place under the heading: "With Information and Command Superiority To Combat Superiority-the Digital Contribution to Operational Readiness of the Bundeswehr." The focus of the day was the most important technologies and projects for the German military to become digitally fit for war. The topic is not new, as Brig. Gen. Armin Fleischmann, Federal Ministry of Defense and chapter chairman, made clear in his keynote. Since the war in Iraq, there have been requirements for conducting combined operations. Unlike then, today, technologies e ... READ MORE


Thomas Merkle, chapter president (foreground), offers welcoming remarks for the Chapter's 8th Steps for STEM 5K in May. In May, the chapter hosted 8th Steps for STEM 5K Run/Walk. The race was held at Papillion, Nebraska's Walnut Creek Lake.


Thomas Merkle, chapter president (l), shakes hands with Isaac Piper, instructor of technology experiences, Applied Information Management Institute, Omaha, Nebraska. Piper was the speaker for the May luncheon and received a Greater Omaha Chapter coin for addressing the chapter.
In May, Isaac Piper, instructor of technology experiences, Applied Information Management Institute (AIM), Omaha, Nebraska, spent time with the chapter, sharing his role within the Omaha community to improve STEM. Piper talked about his job at AIM where he's responsible for fostering youth and technology programs throughout Omaha. Through coordination with area schools, he brings in various experiences with technologies to help inspire students to seek careers in technology. His objective is to build technology literacy skills with kids who might have limited opportunities to interact with technology. Piper discussed some of the tech initiatives he's been involved with, such as the University of Nebraska at Omaha's College in Engineering Computational Thinking Bins, which necessitates hands-on learning and is much more effective than the instructors only talking about what they do. Piper has earned the Federal Aviation Administration Remote Pilot Certificate (Part 107) required to b ... READ MORE


In May, 18 exceptional men and women are recognized. Pictured are (l-r) IT1 Michael Reeve, USCG; Master Sgt. Joseph Metelko, USAF; Maj. Matthew Sinda, USA; Senior Airman Jonathan Rush, USAF; SFC Charles Studer, USA; Sgt. Samantha Delgado, USMC; Maj. Michael Lehmer, USMC; Lt. Gen. William J. Hartman, USA, U.S. Cyber Command; Master Sgt. Benjamin Zufelt, USAF; Tech Sgt. Joseph Allen, USSF; IT1 Nichola Isaak, USN; Maj. Roberto Molineros, USSF; Lt. j.g. Justin Steiner, USCG; Capt. LaVell Williams, USAF; Tech Sgt. Franko Salajcik, USAF; and Maj. Michelle Smith, USAF. In May, the chapter held its 17th Annual Military IT & Cyber Leadership Awards that recognized outstanding officers and enlisted service members across the services and the joint community for their significant contribution to the warfighter using information technology and cybersecurity. This event is a salute to the information technology and cybersecurity warfighters for their service and dedication and recognizes their contributions and sacrifices in defending our nation. The event was keynoted by Lt. Gen. William "Joe" Hartman, USA, deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command.

Recognition was given to 18 exceptional service men and women at the chapter's Military IT & Cyber Leadership Awards event. Each branch of the armed services-the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Space Force-had two awardees, one enlisted and one officer, from any location worldwide, nominated for their significant contributions over the past year. Special ... READ MORE

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