AFA Langley Chapter held their annual Airpower Symposium and Salute Dinner on Langley AFB from April 10-12, 2019. The keynote speaker for the symposium was the Commander, Air Combat Command (COMACC), Gen Mike Holmes. The theme of the symposium was "Operationalizing Cyber”. The symposium was expanded this year to add a half day of content on Wednesday 10 April. Wednesday’s symposium events focused on developing Cyber Professionals in addition simultaneously hosting 4 "round table” discussion with ACC staff on various topics. Thursday 11 April consisted of two sessions, an unclassified panel series at the
Bayview Commonwealth Center in the morning followed by classified briefs at Quesada Hall during the afternoon. The Salute Dinner was held at the Bayview Thursday evening and the symposium was closed out on Friday with the annual golf tournament.
The Symposium kicked off on Wednesday with Brigadier General (s) Chad Raduege, ACC/A6 addressing a standing room only audience on the roll of cyber at Air Combat Command. In addition, he focused on cyber professionals within the command and the important day to day work the accomplish in the mission area and how ACC would be addressing cyber challenges in the future. The ACC/A6 was followed by a panel consisting of Dan Johnson from Oracle, Susan Butts from Regent University and Sean "Cajun” Dean from Microsoft. The topic of the panel was "Developing IT Professionals” and was moderated by Maj Gen (r) John Maluda. All the panel members, while currently working with industry had military experience brining a unique perspective to the conversation. The discussion ranged from difficulty in recruiting and retaining cyber professions to a broad scope for the definition of cyber. The panel also discussed in initiatives being used to provide operational experience beyond mere certification and training levels and tools being used to retain cyber professionals in the commercial world. This panel was followed by a virtual panel consisting of Langley AFA member Jacob Satterfield, CDR Gray Wooten and members from the Tabb HS CyberPatriot Team and through video conferencing Brig Gen (r) Bernie Skoch the AFA Cyber Patriot Commissioner. The panel was moderated by Lt Gen (r) Michael Basla with a focus on what the AFA is doing through its CyberPatriot program to get middle and high school students with in the US excited and engaged in Cyber Defense through competition.
Simultaneously the AFA Langley Chapter hosted four, one-hour round table discussions with industry. The round tables were a smaller forum of ACC representatives and one member from each industry partner. The first topic focused on "Future Training Capabilities” and consisted of Ms. Casie Kirkland and Mr. Dale Blaylock A2/3, Lt Col Joe Moschella A3/5, and Mr. Gedeon Mariam A5T. The conversation focused
on realistic training requirements to include live on the ranges, virtual through simulation and opportunities for augmented reality training. The second round table consisted of Ms. Cristina Stone A2/9), Ms Jennifer Broome A5/2D and Dennis McDevitt from A3C. The topic was "Network and Data Access” and the conversation ranged from multi-level security, movement and sharing of data between the operational level of the AOC and DCGS to the tactical level and the need for assured secured communications in a contested environment with the bandwidth to handle the data. The third round table consisted of Mr. Joseph Butler A5A, Mace McLean A2/8Z, Maj Joshua Palochak A326 and Mr. Kirk Polder A2/8. The topic was Re-invigorating the Electromagnetic Spectrum. The conversation focused on electronic warfare and the need for the Air Force to refocus efforts on ensuring dominance in the electromagnetic spectrum not just for 5th generation and newer platforms but for 4th generation and legacy aircraft. The final round table was led by Maj Lucas Karl A2/5 and a team from the ACC A4 focusing on the new "Air Force Adaptive Basing Concept”. The discussion focused round logistics and fighting in an A2/AD environment at diverse bases in a theater for various amounts of short periods from hours to a few days. Wednesday was capped off with an icebreaker social at the Langley Club.
Thursday morning kicked off with a keynote address from COMACC’s. Our first symposium round table followed the address consisting of SES Ted Uchida ACC A3-2, Mr. Dan Clothier (Northrop Grumman), Mr. John Borghese (Collins) and Col Thomas Bodnar ACC/A326 Non-Kinetics Division Chief. The topic of the panel was "Operationalizing Cyber into the Combat Air Forces” and was moderated by Maj Gen (r) Charlie Lyon. The conversation covered both military and industry challenges to included trusting and verifying source codes that are used both on aircraft and in support of aircraft missions such as maintenance and mission planning. The second panel of the series consisted of ACC Deputy A2 Mr. Shane Hamilton, John Clark (Lockheed), Brig Gen (s) Chad Raduege ACC A6 and Brad Stone (BAH) . This panel focused on Operationalizing Cyber into the ISR Mission Area and Mission Assurance and was moderated by James Merchant. Open architecture of the DCGS and best of breed software application were discussed. The concept that industry would be paid for how often a user chose "clicked” similar to commercial application stores for your cell phones.
The lunch time guest speaker was our new AFA President Lt Gen (r) Bruce "Orville” Wright. President Wright spoke about his vision for the AFA as the new President. His focus includes the importance of chapters around the country near all Air Force bases in order to educate,
advocate and support the mission of the United States Air Force. He also talked about the imperative of recruiting a younger generation to the AFA organization or it would "go the way of the buffalo”. President Wright encouraged membership both active duty and industry members and articulated that he wanted to hear directly from the field on new ideas and challenges to support the AFA mission.
After lunch, cleared attendees migrated to Quesada Hall for a classified session. Our first guest speaker during the classified session was Maj Gen Robert Skinner, Commander, 24th Air Force; Commander, Air Forces Cyber and Commander, Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. General Skinner is responsible for providing Air Force component and combatant commanders with trained and ready cyber forces which plan, direct and execute global cyberspace operations. Maj Gen Skinner talked about the mission of 24th Air Force and command relations to various combatant commanders. He also discussed the merger of 24th and 25th Air Force and the combat efficiencies gained by bringing these organizations together.
Our second guest speaker during the classified session was Mr. Robert "Bus” Bussian, a Defense Intelligence Senior Leader, is the Special Adviser for Innovation, Intelligence Systems Support Office (ISSO), Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. The Intelligence Systems Support Office develops and implements initiatives and activities for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Mr. Joseph Werther from SAF-AA with Mr. Bussian presented an overview of ISSO and how cyber is a critical element of their mission and focus for the intelligence community.
Our final speaker was Maj Gen Scott Pleus and ACC A5/8/9. Gen Pleus focused on the National Defense Strategy and how ACC requirements planning and programming are prioritized by that strategy. He discussed gaps and needs of ACC and the Air Force and where industry could help in the future. The classified session was wrapped up just in time for preparation of the annual Salute to Team Langley dinner.
After a short break guest reconvened at the Bayview Commonwealth Center. The dinner this year was a casual event with a BBQ self-serve menu. The evening started with a social hour followed by the presentation of the flag by the Langley Color Guard. The casual approach to dinner allowed for more social interaction and mingling among the guests. Our guest speaker for the evening was AFA Langley Chapter’s own Gen (r) Frank Gorenc who gave an inspirational speech about the Air Force and the imperative to properly fund it to ensure our national defense.
AFA Langley Chapter then "Saluted” the members of ACC who have deployed and are deployed from Langley AFB by highlighting a member from each of the 5 wings and the ACC staff that represented members from across Langley who have deployed in support of operations around the world. AFA Langley Chapter President "Buster” Douglas presented a check in the amount of $4000 to Team Langley to use for morale welfare activities. Mr. Douglas also presented the attending Color Guard team a monetary donation to assist with their annual travel expenses.
The following morning approximately 80 symposium attendees and supporters arrived at Langley’s Eaglewood Golf Course to compete in the annual Salute to Team Langley Captain’s Choice golf tournament.
AFA Langley Chapter would like to thank Team Langley and ACC staff for continued support of the Air Power Symposium as well as our generous sponsors, attendees, Chapter members and volunteers. This year’s event was exceptionally successful in goals and fundraising efforts. This annual symposium is the primary fundraiser for the Langley Chapter. It provides means to support the men and women of the US Air Force at Langley, its surrounding military community and our mission to connect with service members before, during, and beyond their time in uniform.