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December 2012
In This Issue
National Officers Greeting
Field Ops Update
2012 Treasurer's Report
Zip Code Project Update
2013 Air Warfare Symposium
Field Spotlight: AFA Fun Run
CyberPatriot Strategic Plan
Group Legal Enrollment
Wilson Scholarship Winners
Government Relations Update

AFA National Report 


A Vietnam vet received this "Dirty Thirty" memorabilia collection from Whiteman Chapter.  See more photos in December's "AFA National Report" at




Important Dates

6 December
Finance Committee

7-8 December
Executive Committee

24-25 December
Christmas Eve/Christmas
(AFA National Closed)

31 December
New Year's Eve
(AFA National Closed)

1 January
New Year's Day
(AFA National Closed)

20-22 February
Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition
Important Note
* * * 
We are attempting to ensure all interested parties receive Newsline regularly.  In order to help with this effort, we request that you forward these newsletters to any interested persons in your chapters.  If you wish to be added to the mailing list, please let Seth Paltzer know at
Greetings from your National Officers...

As the year comes to an end, we want to start off with showing our gratitude for all that you have done throughout the year. We hope you will enjoy this special time of year with family and friends, and we look forward together to a great New Year.  


2012 has brought us many changes in terms of AFA leadership. While we said farewell to the AFA leadership team of Mike Dunn and Buck Buckwalter, we welcome Craig McKinley as President and Dick Newton as the EVP. Both have seamlessly integrated into the AFA family and we expect great things ahead.  


AFA initiatives continued to unfold throughout 2012. Our education initiatives continue to grow in scope and depth for all ages, especially with our annual conferences, professional development events and CyberPatriot program.

The 2012 annual conferences and symposia expanded their scope and continued to show development and expansion, serving as invaluable professional development events for all participants. Specifically, the 2012 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition was the biggest yet, with more than 65 conference addresses and panels, including an address by new Chief of Staff of the Air Force Mark Welsh. In addition, special heritage presentations were given to heroic groups who have dedicated a

lifetime of work in the advancement of aerospace.  



CyberPatriot, the National High School Cyber Defense Competition shows no signs of slowing down. Our unique STEM initiative continues to prosper, educating thousands of high school students on cyber security and gaining great recognition from media and industry. This year saw an increase in sponsor support as well as an increase in their reach, building the competition curriculum to help further prepare today's youth to be career- and college-ready.


Our initiatives to fulfill our mission to support our Airmen also increased. The Wounded Airman Program, established last year, was the beneficiary in the 2012 Cycling Classic from which a check for $25,000, raised through pledges made by those participating, was presented to help support the program.


The Air Force Memorial continues to serve as an emblem of gratitude to the many airmen who have served this country in times of war and peace.

Each year, we have to say our final goodbyes to AFA members and friends, and our prayers are with their families during this season. Their immeasurable contributions to AFA have helped shaped this great Association, and they will be missed.  



While we have the opportunity to spend the holidays with loved ones, we must remember the courage and commitment to service displayed by our Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers and Marines, who may

be separated for their families during this time. Their dedication is remarkable and we have great pride and appreciation in the work they do.  



The new year will definitely bring changes and new initiatives as well, including more focus on the people aspect of the AFA mission-highlighting our airmen and their families. Just to give you a sneak peak, such initiatives will include a Transition Program for Airmen leaving the service and an expanded Spouses Scholarship Program.


Without a doubt, the successes of this Association have to be attributed to you - the volunteers, members and staff at AFA national. Our hearts are truly filled with gratitude for all that you do. Together, as we move into 2013, we can build on those efforts to expand the reach of AFA to help improve the quality of life of our nation's Airmen and support our Air Force in the challenges ahead.  


From your AFA National Officers, may your holiday season be filled with much joy and happiness!





George Muellner Signature

George Muellner

Chairman of the Board


Scott Van Cleef Signature        Jerry White Signature   

       Scott Van Cleef                                         Jerry White

Vice Chairman of the Board                   Vice Chairman of the Board

       Field Operations                                Aerospace Education 


Ed Garland Signature           Len Vernamonti Signature   

         Ed Garland                                           Len Vernamonti

          Secretary                                                 Treasurer  


Please remember to submit requests for participation in field activities by AFA National Officers and Staff Members as soon as possible.  We use your request submissions to ensure visits are coordinated and scheduled in advance.  This helps to keep costs down and ensures we can provide the best support to the field possible.   Also, please submit events you are hosting so we are aware of what you are up to.  Please submit requests to


For full guidelines on the program and a request form, click here.

December Field Operations Update

By Scott Van Cleef 



Chapters are currently developing their annual Activity and Financial Plans for 2013.   This is an excellent time to take a fresh look at what your chapter has been doing historically. Are you stuck in a rut? Are you still getting a good response from your current programs or are they getting stale, with diminishing returns? If you've been stuck in a rut for a while, maybe it's time to look into branching out with new programs. Build chapter reinvigoration into your Annual Plan. Figure out how you can involve new groups into your programs, attract a new segment of your community, and support aerospace education and our Air Force family in more effective ways. Plan for success!


The 2013 Field Council has been formed and has begun its work. Besides finishing up some business from last year, this year's Council will focus in three main areas. First, we're going to look at developing effective field leader training programs that will reach down to every field leader who needs it. Second, we're going to review the AFA website to make sure the materials available to our leaders are relevant and up to date. In conjunction with that, we will determine how we can leverage information technology to make our field operations more efficient and user friendly. That will include more interactive forms, reporting procedures, electronic payments to chapters, data gathering and other initiatives. We hope to pick the low hanging fruit this year with our existing capabilities while making recommendations for fielding new capabilities for the future. Third, we are going to determine how AFA chapters can best offer and provide support to our Air Force family. Using a recent USAF survey on family support issues as a starting point, we will recommend how our chapters can fill in the requirement gaps to assist local bases and units with new and effective support programs.


The Field Council's challenge this year is not to do a series of studies that go nowhere, but to provide actionable and productive solutions to some of our most pressing problems. We have a good team lined up and I'm optimistic that we will find success.


As we finish up the year and head into the holidays, let me thank you for all you do to support our great association and our Air Force. You make a real difference during a time when we are needed more than ever. Happy Holidays and I look forward to working with you to make 2013 a great AFA year!

-Scott Van Cleef, VCOB-FO
2012 Treasurers Report

(The purpose of this report is to provide to those who were not able to attend the Convention an overview of the presentation I gave to the delegates; and to provide a year-end update to the entire membership. A copy of the full presentation can be found at


Convention Report Highlights:

  • We have a new management team in our Finance Department: a new Director, Deputy, and Chief Accountant. For the first time, both the Director and Deputy are CPAs.
  • We have finally resolved our tax status with the IRS. In a letter dated 31 Aug 2012, the IRS reported to us that we were officially listed as a public charity in all their databases. Therefore, our chapters and states are now authorized to provide receipts for charitable deductions to their contributors.
  • Because of recent changes in the governing laws and regulations, we had reached a crisis regarding the long term liability associated with the staff retirement plan. Unless changes were made, by 2020 our retirement fund liabilities would be greater than the total assets of the Association. With input and cooperation from the staff, we are changing from a Defined Benefit plan to a Defined Contribution plan. The new plan will become effective in January. With the new plan, we will have removed one of the greatest threats to our long term fiscal stability.
  • Even with the recent dues increase, membership dues will account for less than 14% of 2012 revenues. Unless the decline in membership is reversed, dues will contribute less and less to our bottom line.
  • Our final tax status with the IRS, discussed above, carries with it a requirement which will significantly change the way we operate. To remain qualified as a 501 (c) (3) public charity, we must show that a "substantial part" of our support comes from the public. While the Officers and Directors recognize that the time and talent our members so freely give is the major form of support we receive, the IRS does not. Just as individuals cannot claim a charitable deduction for their services, the AFA cannot count the incredible number of hours our chapters and members spent in executing our mission as proof of public support.

Year-End Update:

  • Not much has changed since the convention. The continuing uncertainty regarding the "Fiscal Cliff" will make our upcoming budget deliberations very challenging to say the least.
  • Our relatively new status as a public charity may provide us an opportunity to help ensure our financial viability. As we come to the end of the year, I encourage each of you to consider how you can become part of that proof of public support. For example, if each AFA member were to make a tax deductible contribution of only $5 per month to either the AFA or the AF Memorial Foundation, that would generate over $6 million per year. That amount would not only allow us to fully execute our mission to advocate, educate and support, but would also allow us to explore new areas of service to our Air Force and to our airmen and their families.

As always, if you have any comments or questions, my email is


Best wishes for the Holidays,


Len Vernamonti

National Treasurer, AFA & AFMF

Zip Code Realignment Project

Congratulations to Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas and North Dakota for returning their corrected Phase 1 zip code tables ready for action. Phase 2 files should be in your email by now. Well done! Congratulations also to Arkansas, Florida, Nevada, New York, Texas and Virginia who are actively working with AFA IT on their files. Thank you to the Northeast region for contacting us in support of their ZRP preparations.  Last but not least thank you, AFA IT staff member Chris Saik who creates and processes all those spreadsheets and zip code changes. Well done Chris.


Just a reminder that all files are due back at AFA National no later than March 31, 2013. Early returns are encouraged, welcomed and celebrated!

Questions? Laurie Brice (703) 247.5809

Field Spotlight
Former AFA Member of the Year Interviewed on Local Television

On the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Jack Westbrook, AFA Member of the Year 1987 and Gen Holloway Chapter member, was interviewed by the local news station about his experiences as a P-51 pilot in Europe during World War II. 

Check out the whole story and video here.

2013 Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition

The Air Force Association's 29th Annual Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition will take place February 21-22, 2013 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Invited speakers to the Symposium will include Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley, Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Roy and other top Air Force leaders.  


In support of the Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition, AFA's Central Florida Chapter will again sponsor its annual Air Force Gala and Golf activities. The golf outing will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Golf Course on Wednesday, February 20, 2013. Individual golfer price is $150. Tickets for the Golf Outing may be purchased through registration on the AFA website. For questions regarding the golf registration, please contact Jim DeRose at NOTE: Only 144 slots will be available for this year's golf outing. For all other golf questions including sponsorships and/or merchandise donations contact Bob Ceruti at




The chapter will celebrate "Air Force Education & Training" at its annual dinner, which will be on WEDNESDAY, February 20, 2013 this year.  Dress for this year's Air Force Gala will be Service Dress and/or Business Suit. Tickets to the Gala may be purchased through registration on the AFA website. For additional Gala information please contact Tim Brock at Brock1874@bellsouth.netor 407-359-4963.


As an AFA leader, you are invited to attend the symposium which will be held on Thursday, February 21, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:15 p.m., and on Friday, February 22, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. The standard registration fee for the symposium is $850 for an AFA individual member and $950 for non-AFA members. However, since it is important for AFA leaders to attend this national event, there is a special leader registration fee of $250 (for AFA National Officers, Region Presidents, Directors, National Committee Members, State and Chapter Presidents. [Note: Since this is not a directed meeting, this fee is not reimbursable for AFA leaders.] The registration fee includes one and a half days of sessions on 2/21-22; continental breakfast on 2/21-22; coffee breaks on 2/21-22; an exhibit hall lunch on 2/21; and a buffet reception on 2/21. Each AFA leader who registers at this special rate will be entitled to purchase an additional ticket to the reception/buffet for $175. In addition, tickets for the Central Florida Chapter sponsored events (annual Gala and Golf activities) can be purchased through the registration site.


Registration is now open. Please go to, click on the Air Warfare Symposium logo on the right hand side of the screen.  Select the 'Registration' button on the right side of the page; choose the 'AFA Leader' registration category from the drop-down to register. If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Katie Storm (ext. 5848)




AFA is pleased to extend our internal rate of $162 single/double per night, plus applicable taxes. Reservations will be accepted on a first-in basis until the block is full or until noon on Friday, January 25, 2013, whichever comes first. To reserve your hotel room, you must first register for the Symposium. At the end of the registration process, your Internet browser will display a registration confirmation page. Look for the 'Make Hotel Reservation' button - click that button and then input the appropriate information. NOTE: Do not call the hotel directly; this is the only avenue available for you to make your hotel reservation at this rate. If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Piggott at or 703-247-5800 ext. 4877.


We are looking forward to having another successful meeting at the Rosen Shingle Creek. Here are some highlights about the property:

  • Check-in time is 3:00 p.m. Check-out time is 11:00 a.m.
  • Less than 20 minutes from the Orlando International Airport. Visit 
    for directions or for transportation information.  
  • Multiple dining options from full service restaurants to a 24-hour deli and market place. Please check out all of their options at
  • Four pools and a spa.
  • Discounted golf available - just mention you are with AFA.
  • Self parking is $16 per day, however, if you mention you are with AFA, you will receive 50% off; Valet parking is $20 for the day and $21 overnight.


Field Spotlight    

Paul Revere Chapter 3rd Annual Fun Run 


 Massachusetts Chapter 178 Paul Revere hosted its 3rd Annual AFA Fun Run on November 10th.  The event was a great success, attracting 266 participants who ran or walked the 5k/10k course.The event was hosted by the Bedford Veterans Administration, and assisted by volunteers from Boston University ROTC and Lowell ROTC and JROTC.  For photographs and race results, visit  
CyberPatriot Strategic Plan

CyberPatriot's strategic plan has been drafted. In 2013 CyberPatriot will rely even more heavily on AFA chapter, states and regions to help recruit teams to CyberPatriot. Stand by for big news on the 2013 CyberPatriot Schedule.


Also check back to our website in mid-December to see if any teams in  your area have advanced to the Semi-finals in our All Service and Open Divisions.

Member Benefits Highlight

Enrollment for AFA Group Legal Services Plan 


Enrollment is now open (through December 28) for AFA's Group Legal Services Plan.  Whether you're buying a new home, drawing up a will or just need some legal advice, MetLaw® -- the Air Force Association's Group Legal Services Plan administered by Hyatt Legal Services (a MetLife company) -- provides you easy access to more than 12,000 carefully selected, experienced network attorneys nationwide who can provide you with a wide range of services.


With MetLaw®, a participating local attorney is just a phone call away.

Cost is $211.80 per year total for you, your spouse and eligible dependents. Once you've paid the enrollment fee, you receive full representation for many of your personal legal needs throughout 2013.  


To view a complete list of covered services (and exclusions) visit and enter access code 6090026.


To enroll, call AFA Insurance/Member Benefits department at  



Deadline for enrollment is December 28, 2012!

2012 Michael Wilson Scholarship Recipients Announced

 The Michael Wilson Scholarship, established by San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson in honor of his father, was recently awarded to two Air Force ROTC cadets.  The 2012 recipients of the scholarship are Cadet William "Nathan" Schimmel, of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Cadet Daniel L. Myers, of The Ohio State University.   


For the full story on the scholarship and this year's outstanding recipients, please click here.

Field Spotlight 

Edward J. Monaghan Chapter Member Wins State Award  


Suellyn Novak, of the Edward J. Monaghan Chapter in Alaska, was recently awarded the Governor's Veterans Advocacy Award for her tireless service to veterans through a variety of organizations.  She has helped run a "Fan Mail for Troops" program, contributed to the upkeep of the 11th Air Force Memorial, and serves as Executive Director of the Alaska Veterans Museum. 


See the whole story here

 AFA Government Relations Update

This year DoD proposed doubling and tripling pharmacy copays for military beneficiaries.


To counter this, the House National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)called for reducing the proposed increases, capping any increases after FY 3013 by linking future annual copay increases to the percentage increase in military retired pay. To pay for these more moderate increases, the House version established a five-year pilot program to require TFL beneficiaries to use the mail-order system for one year for refills on maintenance medications.


The Senate was silent on the matter, in effect accepting the DoD proposal that would double the copays this year and triple them over the next five.

AFA joined The Military Coalition in supporting and advocating for the House plan. We teamed up with other TMC members and hit the Senate for several meetings. AFA sent a letter to Senate leaders and advocated for an amendment to agree with the House provision. Although the amendment did not pass the Senate, as of this writing, AFA is still pushing for the House provision to stand during conference.

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