Annual Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition




Annual Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition

By Mike Mitchell



August 3, 2009, Be a part of the Air Force Associationís (AFA) 2009 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition. This is truly a one-of-a-kind event where the Air Force Association brings together Air Force leadership, industry experts, and academia from around the world to discuss the issues and challenges facing America, the aerospace community, and our US Air Force.

Invited speakers this year will include the Secretary of the Air Force, the USAF Chief of Staff, the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, and other top Air Force, government, and aerospace industry leaders. The national conference attracts the top echelon of USAF senior leadership, including the commanders of every USAF command and military dignitaries from air forces worldwide.


The AFA 2009 Air & Space Conference is truly a one of a kind event where AFA brings together Air Force leadership, industry experts, academia and current aerospace specialists from around the world to discuss the issues, challenges and accomplishments facing the aerospace community today.

Technology Exposition will feature aerospace exhibitors from around the world that will display and demonstrate the latest breakthroughs in air and space technology. The exhibits at AFAís Technology Exposition highlight the most current developments in aerospace technology and education.

The event will take place, September 14th through 16th, 2009. The conference will be held at a new location, the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on the Potomac, in National Harbor, just across the river from Alexandria and minutes from downtown Washington, DC. 


The Air Force Association (AFA) is an independent, civilian education organization, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, focused on promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. 

AFA publishes Air Force Magazine, conducts national symposia and disseminates information through outreach programs. It sponsors professional development seminars and recognizes excellence in the education and aerospace fields through national awards programs. AFA presents scholarships and grants to Air Force active duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve members and their dependents; and awards educator grants to promote science and math education at the elementary and secondary school level.

AFA holds several symposia annually on current issues affecting aerospace power. The organization has also been an advocate in several prominent controversies, including the Revolt of the Admirals, the display of the B-29 bomber Enola Gay at the National Air and Space Museum, the creation of the United States Air Force Memorial, and the reinstatement of the promotion to major general of Terryl J. Schwalier, commander of the 4404th Wing (Provisional) at the time of the bombing of the Khobar Towers.

The positions held by AFA were, for the most part, sustained. While the location of the Air Force Memorial was moved off of Arlington Ridge, the controversial Enola Gay display was revised, and Gen. Schwalier was vindicated (with his promotion reinstated retroactive to January 1, 1997) by the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records, affirmed by the Secretary of the Air Force on December 21, 2007. AFA also successfully lobbied, in cooperation with Frederick C. Bock, for award of a group decoration for the 509th Composite Group. This unit had officially gone unrecognized for its efforts in ending World War II, and as a result of this campaign was awarded an Outstanding Unit Award with Valor by the Secretary of the Air Force on September 2, 1999.

The Air Force Association is led by volunteer leaders at the national, state and local levels. AFA has more than 230 chapters that hold elections and conduct programs to increase public understanding of key national security issues in their communities. Programs range from luncheon and dinner activities to symposia and legislative roundtables with Congressional leaders.

As of June 30, 2007, AFA has a membership of 125,076 of whom 35% (43,256) are life members (permanent membership), organized into 226 local chapters in 49 states (Maine is the only state without a chapter), the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Japan, Okinawa, and the Republic of Korea. AFA membership in 2007 included 15% on active duty military and 67% retired or former military.

In 1995 the demographics of membership were 24% life members (39,286 actual), 28% active duty, and 55% retired-former against a total membership of 170,881. Membership trends indicate that with the downsizing of the Air Force since 1991 (by approximately one-third), life membership has grown by 10% in actual membership totals while retired-former memberships have gone down by a slightly smaller percentage, but that active duty membership has been cut by more than half. Peak AFA membership was 237,722 in 1986, while life membership peaked at 43,389 in 2002.

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