By Iggy Videla
Iggy, a sophomore majoring in international affairs, serves as Activities Officer for the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt Capitol Chapter.
This summer, along with three of my Silver Wings colleagues, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2018 Air University Fellowship at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.
Over the course of four intensive days, we were immersed in the Air Force’s Air Education and Training Command, and explored and learned about the education and training that shapes Air Force officers and enlisted personnel. Topics discussed included everything from earning an associate’s degree to the planning and execution of grand strategies and war campaigns.
We were lucky enough to receive private, in-depth tours and briefings at Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer School, Air War College, the Center for Enlisted Education, and Officer Training School. We met with colonels, generals, and civilian experts throughout our trip. Our experience was also enhanced by witnessing firsthand the operational side of the USAF.
Through private visits, tours, and meetings with pilots and crew chiefs we learned about the 908th Airlift Wing, which is a C-130 Hercules group based at Maxwell, and the 187th Fighter Wing, which operates F-16 Vipers for Alabama’s Air National Guard. Our experience included time flying in the 908th’s F-16 simulator and watching afterburner takeoffs from the airfield.
The staggering size and complexity of the Air Force’s operations is something difficult to appreciate unless it is seen firsthand. Even more impressive was the professionalism and sacrifice of the men and women we met on our trip. It was an incredible program made possible by the generosity of the Air University Scholarship and Retired Colonel Joe Panza. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. I was proud to be a part of it.
I hope midterms treated you all well and welcome the newest associate class. I can't wait to meet you guys soon.
The AFA recently released its take on legislative priorities of the US Air Force and the military as a whole in the coming year. Check the website for a breakdown and explanation of the 'legislative issues' document attached.
Additionally, The Congress is pushing for a full review of US Navy priorities. This is likely a response to China's growing blue water fleet in both size and capability, as well as the multiple incidents sustained by the Navy in 2017.
I have attached the Air Force Association Document to this email.
Air Force Priorities:
The AFA divides its legislative priorities into three main areas: support for veterans/airmen/military families, force readiness, and modernization with an emphasis on science and technology. It sees budget caps as dangerous and views the current Air Force as small and not ready while facing staffing issues.
Support at Home
The Air Force has a long wish list and it will probably get passed for the most part.
Let me know if you have any questions or any tips on potential connections related to legislative affairs. Thanks.