style=font-size:large;| Air Force Association
|| Not for profit
|| Arlington, Virginia, United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
|| Individuals and companies
|| Education and advocacy
| Number of Members
|| 117,480 (2010)
| Key Personnel
|| Board Chairman S. Sanford Schlitt
President-CEO Michael M. Dunn
The Air Force Association
) is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit, civilian education organization, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its main role is promoting public understanding of aerospace power.
AFA disseminates information through AIR FORCE
Magazine, Daily Report
, General Billy Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies
, social networking, public outreach, and national conferences and symposia.
The association lists its mission as educating the public about the critical role of aerospace power in defense, advocating power and strong national defense and supporting the United States Air Force, the Air Force family and aerospace education.
The genesis for the Air Force Association occurred in August 1945 when Chief of the Army Air Forces General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....
Henry H. Arnold
Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold was an American general officer holding the grades of General of the Army and later General of the Air Force. Arnold was an aviation pioneer, Chief of the Air Corps , Commanding General of the U.S...
asked an executive of Eastman Kodak
Eastman Kodak Company is a multinational imaging and photographic equipment, materials and services company headquarted in Rochester, New York, United States. It was founded by George Eastman in 1892....
, Edward Curtis, to create an organization among veterans returning from World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
that would promote airpower and the cause of a separate Air Force. Curtis held an organizing meeting in New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
on October 12, 1945, to create a nonprofit organization to meet Arnold's goals. Other significant founders of AFA in attendance were John Allard, Everett Cook
Captain Everett Richard Cook was a World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories. During World War II, Cook became Deputy Chief of Staff for the U. S. 8th Air Force....
, James H. Doolittle, Deering Howe, Rufus Rand, Sol Rosenblatt, Julian Rosenthal, James M. Stewart, Lowell P. Weicker (Senior), Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney
Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney was an American businessman, film producer, writer, and government official, as well as the owner of a leading stable of thoroughbred racehorses....
, and John Hay Whitney
John Hay Whitney , colloquially known as "Jock" Whitney, was U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune, and a member of the Whitney family.-Family:...
The establishment of Air Force Association was made public by Doolittle in January 1946, who explained that it would be based on a "grass-roots structure", with affiliates on local, state, and regional levels, would publish a national magazine and would provide sponsorship for educational programs about the development of airpower.
The Association was incorporated in the District of Columbia on February 4, 1946. AFA's first national president was Doolittle, an aviation pioneer and recipient of the Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President, in the name of Congress, upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her...
. In July, Air Force
Magazine, then the official service journal of the Army Air Forces, became AFA's official journal at Arnold's behest. The next month a nationwide radio broadcast in observance of Air Force Day
Air Force Day is celebrated in Pakistan as a national day on 7 September, after the annual celebration of the Defence Day. Airshows and other programs mark the Pakistan Air Force's role in defending the nation in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965....
on August 1, 1947, was organized by AFA and featured charter members Jimmy Stewart, Jack L. Warner and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....
. In 1948 Doolittle took a year's leave of absence from Shell Oil, where he was a vice president, to establish AFA chapters nationwide.
President Michael M. Dunn has complained about both the termination of F-22 production and the 250 legacy fighters the Air Force had to retire to pay for upgrading the reduced F-22 fleet.
AFA is divided into three geographic areas, comprising 14 regions, each led by a Region President.
Predominantly a volunteer organization, the association has more than 200 chapters in 49 states (Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...
is the only state without a chapter) and other countries including the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...
, Okinawa, and the Republic of Korea. As of June 30, 2010, AFA had a membership of 117,480 of whom 37% (43,954) are life members (permanent membership), organized into local chapters. There has been a 23-year trend of declining regular membership, but increasing life membership. AFA membership in 2010 included 15% on active duty military and 70% retired or former military.
As part of its education mandate the association publishes Air Force
Magazine and the online electronic news brief Daily Report
. It also runs professional development conferences which feature speakers, workshops, trade shows and presentations by Air Force and national defense leaders. The organization has a public policy and research arm, the Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies run by director Dr. Rebecca Grant
Rebecca L. Grant is the Director of the General Billy Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies at the Air Force Association and a contributing editor for their Air Force Magazine.She is also a senior fellow at the Lexington Institute. She earned her Ph.D...
. AFA also has its CyberPatriot
national high school cyber defense competition, to promote student interest in cyber security and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
STEM fields is a US Government acronym for the fields of study in the categories of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The acronym is in use regarding access to work visas for immigrants who are skilled in these fields. Maintaining a citizenry that is well versed in the STEM fields...
career fields. The "Visions of Exploration" program has its members distribute educational materials to schools and concerned citizens. This is done in part through a joint multi-disciplinary science, math and social studies program with USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...
As part of its support programs AFA provides more than $1.5 million in scholarships, grants, and awards. AFA’s educational programs and scholarships are intended to encourage Air Force members to continue their education, provide funds to Air Force spouses working towards a degree, administer grants that develop programs promoting math and science skills among young people.
AFA was a key organization in building the United States Air Force Memorial
The United States Air Force Memorial honors the service of the personnel of the United States Air Force and its predecessors. The Memorial is located in Arlington, Virginia, on the grounds of Fort Myer near The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, at the intersection of Columbia Pike and...
and continues to be involved in its day-to-day operations.