Thursday 18, July 2019

The langley crier winter 2017 icon
The Langley Crier
Winter 2017

"Chapter Meetings"

The Langley AFA Chapter meeting on November 14th featured Major General John K. McMullen, Deputy Commander, Air Combat Command. General McMullen provided a brief breakdown of ACC’s structure, mission and highlighted current priorities, challenges and opportunities for the Command.

November meeting image 175pxAir Combat Command’s structure and mission were summarized in three main points. ACC provides forces and Combined Air Component Commanders (CFACCs) to U.S. Central Command (USAFCENT), Northern Command (USAFNORTH) and Southern Command (USAFSOUTH). At the same time ACC is also a force provider to other Combatant Commanders including U.S. European, Pacific and Strategic Commands. ACC accomplishes its "Organize, Train and Equip" mission through the USAF Warfare Center, 1st Air Force, 9th Air Force, 12th Air Force, and 25th Air Force.

General McMullen reviewed the ACC Mission -- "Control and Exploit the Air.” To accomplish that mission, General Holmes (ACC/CC) is focused on three priorities: improving squadron readiness, building better Joint leaders, and "bringing” the future faster. Primary challenges at this time include the current Air Force pilot shortage, the warrant officer aviator hurdle, the coming shortage of aircraft maintenance personnel and the possibilities of BRAC actions in the future. At the same time General Holmes sees many opportunities in the future. Include in this list an opportunity for enlisted members to become RQ-4 pilots, a potential RPA expansion at Shaw AFB, other UAV base location expansions to improve morale of operators and provide more relocation opportunities, the consolidation of the 24th and 25th in an effort to better integrate the service’s cyber and ISR capabilities and reduce redundancies in staffing, several future F-35 beddown locations at non-CONUS bases that currently operate similar fighter aircraft, and the Light Attack Aircraft experiment that is underway at this time.

WASP patchDuring the November monthly meeting, Colonel (Ret) Jay Pearsall gave a special presentation by introducing the Williamsburg Aviation Scholarship Program (WASP). The purpose of WASP is to create career opportunities in aviation, help build and sustain local aviation, and support national programs designed to mitigate projected pilot shortages. To learn more about WASP and opportunities to support, visit

The December Chapter meeting for Langley AFA fit neatly into the category of "Life Long Learning”. We were honored to have Mr. Bob Berrier, a retired NASA Aeronautical Engineer, educate us on vortices and vapour cloud production relative to their impact on assorted aircraft in flight. Sounds really technical, but Mr. Berrier made the subject very enjoyable. We in the audience observed examples of natural and engineered vortices as well as various vapour clouds produced during supersonic, subsonic and transonic flight. Bob shared the basic mechanics of supersonic shock waves and their unique audible effects and other physical outcomes associated with a sonic boom. The thunder-like noise heard from on the ground occurs when an aircraft or other type of aerospace vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound, December meeting image 175pxor "supersonic.” Mr. Berrier explained that there are several factors that can influence sonic booms - weight, size, and shape of the aircraft or vehicle, plus its altitude, attitude, and flight path, and weather or atmospheric conditions. A larger and heavier aircraft must displace more air and create more lift to sustain flight, compared with small, light aircraft. Therefore, they will create sonic booms stronger and louder than those of smaller, lighter aircraft. The larger and heavier the aircraft, the stronger the shock waves will be.

Mr. Berrier started his career at NASA Langley in 1963. During a career that spanned 54 years, he made significant contributions in advancing the state of the art in both propulsion and aeronautics and authored or co-authored over 90 technical publications. He is a nationally and internationally recognized authority in the field of propulsion airframe integration and played a major role in the development of many advanced military aircraft currently flying today. Mr. Berrier retired from NASA in June 2005 but remained active in the field as a Distinguished Research Associate and part-time Alliant Techsystems and Analytical Mechanics Associates employee at NASA.

Mr. Berrier is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and recipient of the Society of Automotive Engineering Charles M. Manly Memorial Medal, the NASA Exceptional Engineering Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the AIAA Air Breathing Propulsion Medal. In 2017, he was elected to the North Carolina State Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Hall of Fame. (Editor’s Note: GO WOLFPACK!)

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:
Mark "Buster" Douglas: 757.269.2621 or Steven Bryan: 757.880.6540


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