Air Warfare Symposium Recap

AFA just wrapped up our 32nd Annual Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, FL and it was a huge success. Themed “Global Precision Attack” the agenda included many experts from across the Air Force, Think Tanks and Industry who explored the theme. The symposium experienced large growth in many important areas including symposium registrations, exhibitor registrations, and the total number of exhibitors. More than 2,300 people registered for the three-day event, which included 16 speaker sessions, 46 exhibitor booths, and 16,000 square feet of exhibits on the latest aerospace technology.

AFA’s goal is to provide professional development opportunities for Airmen. Once again the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III, and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody were the symposium’s keynote speakers. Full video coverage of their speeches can be found on AFA’s website.

The Honorable Deborah Lee James speaks at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium.

The Honorable Deborah Lee James speaks at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium.

Secretary James’ speech outlined the foundation for an upcoming third offset, following decades of nuclear deterrence and precision airpower in defense of the nation.

  1. Harness the power of automated learning systems
  2. Human-machine collaboration will play a key role
  3. Assisted human operations, including wearable technology or combat applications
  4. Human-machine combat teaming
  5. Network-enabled semi-autonomous technology
Artist rendering of the B-21.

Artist rendering of the B-21.

Secretary James also unveiled the designation for the Air Force’s new long range strike bomber, the B-21. James called on all Airmen to participate in a naming contest for America’s newest bomber. Active Duty, Reserve, and Guard Airmen, as well as their dependents, members of the US Air Force Civil Service, and Air Force retirees are eligible to submit up to three proposed names by May 6th. 

General Mark A. Welsh speaks at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium.

General Mark A. Welsh speaks at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium.

During General Welsh’s speech he discussed the importance for the Air Force to go “back to the basics” and outlined 10 fundamentals for Airmen to think about.

  1. People matter
  2. High ground is still high ground, and we own it
  3. Airpower is our greatest asymmetric advantage
  4. Airpower is a game changer … it’s time for Airmen to lead joint operations
  5. Quantity has a quality all its own
  6. The Air Force is “low density/high demand,” and without it you lose
  7. “One Air Force,” it’s the only way we’ll succeed
  8. Can’t build an Air Force overnight, can’t teach Airpower in a generation
  9. Leadership must be an asymmetric advantage
  10. Technology/innovation at the heart of success -- Air Forces that fall behind the tech curve fail
CMSAF James A. Cody gives remarks at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium.

CMSAF James A. Cody gives remarks at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium.

Chief Cody discussed how the Air Force has seen continuous combat for the past 25 years. The men and women who are serving in the Air Force today are more engaged around the world, but with fewer people than in 1991, and most having joined after 9/11. “You go from 134 combat-coded fighter squadrons to 55,” Cody said. “You go from about 946,000 active, Guard, Reserve, civilian Airmen down to about 664,000, yet we are more engaged today. That puts a tremendous toll on our people; it puts a tremendous toll on their families, and it’s put a tremendous toll on our country.”

Full coverage of the symposium can be found on Air Force Magazine’s Daily Report.

While we celebrate the success of the Air Warfare Symposium, we are not resting on that success.  We are now focused on making our Air & Space Conference on September 19th – 21st the biggest and best yet. This will be the must-attend event of the year! Please save the date and check back for more updates on our website