Thursday 18, July 2019

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The Langley Crier
Winter 2018
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"Chapter Meeting Highlights"

At our October Chapter Meeting, AFA Langley was honored with two guest speakers. First was CMSAF Gerald Murry, USAF (Ret.), who is currently the Director Enterprise Sustainment at Lockheed Martin. CMSAF Murry’s opening sentence --"I am going to talk about a topic that we all have an emotional connection to… THE CHANGE OF UNIFORM!” – got our attention. Uniforms are going through significant changes now as they did in his time. Our current ABUs are going out. However, what the audience may or may not have known, Murry was the one who brought the ABUs to the USAF.

CMSAF Murry provided an animated, humorous but factual account of his first task assigned by the 17th USAF Chief of Staff, Gen John Jumper, in 2002 as Murry transitioned into his new role as Chief Master Sargent of the Air Force. His task was to bring a new fitness program to the Air Force, which included revamping the weight program, updating regulations, abolishing the "ERGO Cycle” which eventually also led to the design of current USAF ABUs and fitness wear. Lt Gen George Taylor, 18th Surgeon General of USAF and Murry spent a full year working with the medical and personnel communities to move forward with an improved weight and fitness program.

Previously, Congress had designated the US Army as lead for uniform design and creating the standard BDU (predecessor of ABUs). However, over the years, the military branches started customizing the BDU out of necessity for specific operational needs. But the Army would not take recommendations to change the BDU design nor did it budge from its original design. Finally the Marine Corps broke ranks and designed five uniforms for their various needs. Seeing that Congress didn’t object, other branches followed suit. Murry’s next assignment was to design what is currently referred to as the ABU, stating "I know more about American thread count than one should know!” He shared an entertaining account of the challenges a uniform designer encounters and production mishaps and alteration nightmares. We thank CMSAF Murry for an outstanding speaker engagement!

As our second guest speaker, we were honored by Purple Heart recipient, MSgt Alexander Bustard and his wife, currently assigned to JBLE. MSgt Buster also is actively involved in the AFA Chapter as VP of Airmen - Family Programs, and often assists with Wounded Airmen events. Bustard recounted his assignments that that up led to the tragic day he received head trauma injuries and lost fellow convoy airmen due to an IED that his vehicle encountered. He also shared with the audience current PTSD challenges he (and his wife) face as part of daily life. MSgt Bustard emphasized the importance of PTSD awareness amongst warfighters and the need to provide the critical care that they need. (Continued from page 7) Currently six Purple Heart recipients are stationed at JB Langley-Eustis. If you get an opportunity to attend a speaking engagement presented by one of these recipients, we strongly encourage it. Additionally, you can support the Wounded Airman fund through many events in our local area throughout the year.
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In November, guest speaker, Larry Averbeck (ACC/A10) spoke at our Veteran’s Day chapter luncheon which we were also honored by guests from the Purple Heart Association. Purple Heart recipients from the Vietnam conflict spent time with our members sharing their stories from the Vietnam conflict. Our time socializing with them was exceptional in building a better understanding of the challenges they faced then and today.

In December our guest speaker was Major General Kevin Huyck . Maj Gen Huyck is the Director of Operations, Headquarters Air Combat Command. He is responsible to the Commander, ACC, on all matters pertaining to the direct operational planning, training, command and control functions needed to deploy and employ regular and Reserve component combat air forces, including more than 1,900 aircraft. Maj Gen Huyck spoke about a very wide range of topics from across all aspects of the Air Force. As well, he also spoke to many of challenges he faces at the ACC levels and personally. Some of his highlights and priorities are:
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  • "It’s often easy to repair a problem, but very difficult to plan to avoid problems 20 years down the road.”
  • His challenge is to train airmen and equip them for the fight ahead which changes in nature literally every day.
  • The Air Force squadron is the foundation to any mission and they need to be supported.
  • Readiness is key and thanks to CMSAF Wright, USAF has eliminated or reduced a tremendous amount of non-applicable or no longer necessary training requirements so that airmen can focus on the mission at hand and critical training that leads to mission success and promotion.
  • Cyber is the new wave and USAF has to prepare for that or be left behind.
  • Critical to recognize and understand that not everyone learns in the same way or at the same rate. Acknowledging this will allow for more efficient and effective training which will be beneficial to the total force for the long haul.
Team effort is key!!!

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The Langley Crier is a publication of the Langley Chapter 323 of the Air Force Association, P.O. Box 7370, Riverdale Station, Hampton, VA 23666

For Information or Questions:
Tyler Johnson: 757.660.6609 or Steven Bryan: 757.880.6540


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