Tuesday 23, April 2019

The langley crier fall 2018 icon
The Langley Crier
Fall 2018

"AFA Air, Space & Cyber
Conference 2018"


I just returned home from the AFA Air, Space and Cyber Conference and all I can say is wow! The overall conference attendance rose about 25% from just under 9,000 attendees to almost 12,000. That growth can be primarily attributed to more Airmen attending the event. Gen Goldfein encouraged all wing commanders to take advantage of what he calls the number one professional development opportunity of the year and AFA asc18 image1they took that advice. The symposium and the technology exposition halls were filled with flight suits and ABUs and those Airmen enjoyed the show. Our chapter was certainly well represented. We had many chapter members from industry manning the booths. ACC and all five wings were out in force. Add to that the 80 or so Airmen that came up on Tuesday on the AFA buses. General Spencer and the AFA National Staff put on an absolutely first rate conference.

The symposium presentations made defense news every day. On Monday, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced her vision of what the Air Force needs to look like to meet the mission set out in the new National Security Strategy. That Air Force includes 386 operational squadrons, up from 312 that we have now—that’s a 24% increase. She said the Air Force would need to increase readiness while growing in size to meet the increased challenges posed by our potential adversaries, especially China.

On Tuesday, Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein delivered his Air Force Update speech where he built on the ideas presented by Secretary Wilson. He said that we need to get back to our expeditionary roots in preparation for the next fight. He said he and the rest of the leadership will continue to empower squadron commanders so that they can prepare to deploy the entire organization including supporting elements to AFA asc18 image2establish, operate and defend as a unit even in a contested environment. He said he continues to believe that squadron leadership is the critical element of command that forms the backbone of our fighting capability.

Wednesday saw a change in pace when Amazon CEO and Blue Origin Founder Jeff Bezos took to the stage as the key note speaker. He provided an outsider’s view of what a successful acquisition process looks like. He said an organization needs to empower people to "get to yes” by avoiding layered decision processes. He said an organization needs to embrace experimentation— real experimentation where the outcome isn’t known beforehand. He described how a few successes will pay for many failures— the implication being failure is not a bad outcome if it leads to increased knowledge and advances ideas. The discussion was absolutely fascinating.

If you get a chance, go look at these presentations online. All the videos are available on YouTube now (USE THIS LINK for the Videos) and will be available on the AFA website in the near future. Make plans now to join us in person next year at ASC19.

Buster Douglas, President
AFA Langley Chapter




Entire Edition Available in pdf format or flip format



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:
contact@LangleyAFA.org
Buster Douglas: 850.218.4015 or Steven Bryan: 757.880.6540

 

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