Region Review: Rocky Mountain Region
Some would like to be in the AFA Rocky Mountain Region just because of its location: mountain peaks, crystal clear streams, magnificent vistas, abundant wildlife, and wide open spaces. However, we know it for its members and for being the Western heartbeat of AFA.
The Rocky Mountain Region is made up of 5,329 members, organized into eight chapters, two state organizations and one great region. It is a very active region with direct chapter support for seven Air Force installations (Cheyenne Mountain AFS, The Air Force Academy, Peterson AFB, Schriever AFB, Hill AFB, Buckley AFB, and F. E. Warren AFB), plus multiple universities and schools with ROTC programs. Two first-class aerospace museums are directly supported, as are hundreds of aerospace-related corporations. The region is proud to be home of TWO national award-winning CyberPatriot teams that put a stake down as our leaders of tomorrow.
Utah- Led by State President Wally Saeger and Chapter Presidents Robert George, Andrew Clark and Brandon Strong.
Utah has three chapters that work closely together to support military members at Hill AFB, a broad spectrum of aerospace companies and ROTC units at major Utah-based universities. The state organization has been a national leader in Aerospace Education. People like Boyd Anderson have led national AFA educational initiatives, drawing from his experience with one of the few separately incorporated Aerospace Education organizations. Utah is home to the 3rd place CyberPatriot All Service Division winners: Clearfield High School AFJROTC.
Chapters also work together to host the annual Focus on Defense Symposium and Charity golf tournament, which has grown into a nationally recognized showcase for Air Force and Industry senior leadership to share ideas and perspectives on important national defense topics. Each year this event raises thousands of dollars for aerospace education. In 2012, the theme for this event was "Acquisition and Sustainment in the 21st Century AFMC". The Utah AFA Industrial Associates, whichrepresents the broad aerospace companies in the area, sponsored the 2012 Hill AFB Requirements Symposium. This event provided a forum for all organizations at Hill AFB to inform industry of their planned contract activities over the upcoming five years. It is always a huge success.
Colorado- Led by State President Tom Cavalli and Chapter Presidents Brian Binn, Chris Hassett, Richard Follmar and Rick Peterson.
Colorado has four chapters, as diverse as its topography. The Lance Sijan Chapter in Colorado Springs is very active, hosting the Space and Cyber Symposium, annual Air Force Ball and a rotating chairmanship of the Industry Military and Golf Event (IMAGE) golf tournament for the community. They sponsored the National Champion CyberPatriot All Service Division winners: Colorado Springs Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron. This Chapter was also the AFA Unit of the Year in 2011. The Mile High Chapter is Denver-based. It hosts an annual charity fundraising golf tournament, is a sponsor for the Estes Park Duck Race charity event to support base and educational outreach programs, and will host the 2012 Colorado Awards Banquet in August.
The Mel Harmon Chapter is very veteran-oriented, with programs for those in veterans' homes and direct support for a high-quality museum displaying air and space artifacts to inspire young and old alike. Their rocketry program has led to nationally-qualified teams. The Chapter is the 2012 Outstanding Small Chapter of the Year. The other small Colorado Chapter is the General Robert E. Huyser Chapter in Grand Junction which is hosting the Regional Meeting on October 13. This chapter, while among the smallest in the country, is very active in supporting veterans, Civil Air Patrol members and students in the community. In September the Chapter will assist with the local air show.
Wyoming- Led by Chapter President Irene Johnigan.
The Cheyenne Cowboy Chapter with 353 members is evidence that a small number of dedicated members can accomplish great things. The Cowboy chapter is very effective in supporting the 20th AF at F.E. Warren AFB and its local missile wing. This base is at the center of all ICBM activity and as such draws many distinguished visitors. Under Irene's leadership, the Cowboy Chapter leads the community effort in welcoming these individuals and maintains a great working relationship with elected officials. It also hosts the annual Air Force Ball and an awards event that would rival a state awards dinner for many State AFA organizations.
Past Region President Grant Higginbotham noted that we owe much to those who set a high standard of excellence in the Rocky Mountain Region and the broader AFA. Emeritus officers from this region include L. Boyd Anderson, Stephen P. "Pat" Condon, William Croom, George M. Douglas, Michael J. Dugan, Dan Hendrickson, Victor R. Kregel, Jack C. Price, E. Robert Skloss, Joan Sell, Robert G. Stein, Mark J. Worrick and Chuck Zimkas. Many of these past officers continue their AFA involvement in advisory roles or on various councils and committees.
The Rocky Mountain Region has always had a welcoming attitude; so if you move here, come join us. We welcome all who wish to participate in this wonderful mission.