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President's Corner - September 2016

It's that time of year; baseball in full frenzy, football gearing up for another season and our
Anniversary activities are right around the corner. The golf tournament will be at an outstanding new venue. We are installing four super silent heroes into the Hall of Honor. And, the guest speaker at the Banquet this year is Lt. Gen John Bansemer. The general has been around intel his entire career, much of it in the SIGINT business including command of the 70th ISR Wing a couple of years ago. Before his current job, he was the Dep CSS at NSA and the J2 for OIR (the force fighting in Syria and Iraq). He is currently working with the DNI, Dir/Gen Clapper. He should give us some great insights from that level.

I have recently been able to visit several of our operational units, from Elmendorf, to Nellis to Beale to Ft Meade. You would be extremely proud of our young men and women in the middle of the fight every day. I was able to attend the Red Flag 16-3 exercise...in the 116-degree heat. The integration of tactical aircraft with our ISR aircraft (RC-135, U-2, RQ-4) along with our Cyber, Space and EW assets was truly unbelievable. The "non-kinetics duty officer" and his missions were on-par with the fighter and bomber missions. This was not possible just a couple of years ago.

I am also privileged to be speaking at the 6916th Reunion. This will be primarily the Athen's crowd that I was fortunate to serve with from 1982-84. This was a chaotic time; the Beirut Marine Barracks bombing, F-14 shoot-down in the Bekaa Valley, Israeli incursion into Lebanon, Arafat being ousted out of Lebanon, Ambassador Habib's shuttle diplomacy, and the first three-ever deployments of the RC-135 into Egypt and Sudan. It will be great to see some of the true heroes of that unit again.

Finally, we continue to take every opportunity to enlist new membership in our active duty and recent retirees with limited success. Unfortunately, as the Fallen Eagles list continues to get longer, our new membership gets shorter. We need your help in recruiting members. The FTVA supports its members, local chapters and our successor organization, the 25th AF, in every-way we can: i.e. the Larson Awards (Comfy/Sensor Olympics), deployed & family picnics, memorial plaques around the world and many other pop-up areas that the active duty just can't fund anymore.

Thanks again for your continued support to the FTVA and our chapters in the field...and remember to "Remain in Touch"!

Ron

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File last updated: August 15, 2016 4:10:48 PM CDT