Salutes & Awards

February 21, 2014

Air Force Association gives back to AF family

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Airman 1st Class PEDRO MOTA
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Brig. Gen. Mike Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander, congratulates Airman 1st Class Tanisha Pressley, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron flight medic, Feb. 4 after being awarded Thunderbolt of the Week in the Wing Conference Room. Thunderbolt of the Week is just one of the many programs on base that the Air Force Association supports.

The Air Force Association is best known for its first effort at establishing an independent Air Force in 1947. Since then, the AFA has been able to educate its peers and support the Air Force while advocating the efforts of the United States Air force.

The AFA is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes public understanding of aerospace power and pivotal roles it plays in the security of the nation while giving back to Airmen and their families.

“Here at the base, we give back through various events like Thunderbolt of the Week, and quarterly and annual awards,” said Tech. Sgt. Bruce Thompson, 56th Fighter Wing Information Protection chief. “We also donate to various cultural events throughout the year and donate more than $2,000 to the Luke Airman’s Fund.”

Educating the public on key issues surrounding the U.S. Air Force, airpower and national defense is a critical role for the AFA. For instance, the Air Force Magazine, the U.S. Air Force Almanac, and the electronic news brief Daily Report reaches more than 130,000 readers worldwide.

“We are part of a military coalition comprised of 33 organizations in pursuit of educating, advocating for and supporting Air Force members,” Thompson said. “AFA conducts national symposiums and disseminates information through outreach programs.”

When the AFA brings together Air Force leadership, industry experts, academia and current aerospace specialists from around the world, they hold an annual Air and Space Conference and Technology exposition to discuss the issues and challenges facing America, the Air Force and the aerospace community.

Not only does it inform the public of its Air Force, the AFA encourages and sponsors professional development seminars and recognizes excellence in education and aerospace fields through national award programs. They also present scholarships and grants to active-duty personnel, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members and their dependents, while awarding grants to promote science and math education at the elementary and secondary school levels.

“The strength of these individual organizations is represented by the number of members,” said Chief Master Sgt. John Mazza, 56th Fighter Wing command chief. “Airmen of all ranks should consider joining to demonstrate support for the organization, which benefits the whole Air Force team.”




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