2013 Air and Space Conference

Monday - 9/16/2013, 4:41pm EDT

Federal News Radio broadcast live from the Air Force Association's 2013 Air and Space Conference where agency leadership, industry experts, academia and current event specialists from around the world came together to discuss the issues and challenges facing America and the aerospace community.

Listen to Executive Editor Jason Miller's interviews with event participants, speakers and organizers.

Gen. Craig McKinley
President
Air Force Association

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Craig McKinley, president of the Air Force Association, joined Federal News Radio's Jason Miller to discuss the goals of the event.

Brig. Gen. John Michel
Commanding General
NATO Air Training Command - Afghanistan

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NATO's Air Training Command in Afghanistan is expecting to grow by 40 percent over the next two years — even as the United States withdraws from that country. The goal is to train the Afghanistan Air Force to be capable, sustainable and independent by the end of 2017. Brig. Gen. John Michel, commander of NATO's Air Training Command-Afghanistan, talked with Federal News Radio about what comes next.

Bernie Skoch
Commissioner
Cyber Patriot program

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The AFA's national high school cyber defense competition, Cyber Patriot, will celebrate the best and brightest students in STEM education at the Air and Space Conference this week. Over a thousand teams participated in this year's competition. It's the first year the challenge has been open to students in middle school. Bernie Skoch, commissioner of the Cyber Patriot program, discussed the competition with Jason.

Mark Uberauga and Rob Marshall
Air Force Seven Summits Challenge Team

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The Air Force's Seven Summits Challenge team reached the top of Mount Everest in May of this year. They've flown a U.S. Air Force flag alongside the Stars and Stripes at the highest point on each continent — and they did it in a record eight years. Now they want other airmen to follow in their footsteps. Two members of the team, Mark Uberauga and Rob Marshall, spoke with Jason about the group and how others can get involved.

Outstanding Airmen of the Year

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One airman helped improve the mental health of hundreds of her fellow Air Force members. Another used robots to protect service members and blow up improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan. These are two of the four Outstanding Airmen of the Year named by the Air Force. Jason spoke with two of the recipients — Casey Anderson, a mental health technician at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas, and Jason Payne, a combat control craftsman with the Red Troop 24th Special Tactics Squadron at Pope Field in North Carolina.

Lt. Gen. David Deptula
Dean, Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies
Air Force Association

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The Air Force is in a transformative stage dealing with issues such as budget cuts, force reductions, more focus on the cyber domain and the advent of unmanned aerial vehicles. Those are among the challenges and opportunities the service faces. David Deptula, a retired Air Force lieutenant general and now dean of the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies, joined Jason to talk about the changes and challenges the Air Force faces.

Brian Anderson
Sergeant-at-Arms
Doolittle Tokyo Raiders

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In World War II, a group of U.S. Army Air Forces — known as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders — led the first air raid on Japan during World War II. Brian Anderson, the sergeant-at-arms for the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, has been calling on Congress to pass a bill authorizing the Congressional Gold Medal for the members.

Dr. Sydney Savion
Author
"Camouflage to Pinstripes"

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More than one million men and women are expected to leave the military over the next decade. Making the transition from a regimented, top down, command-and-control organization to one that tends to be the exact opposite can be difficult for many servicemembers. Dr. Sydney Savion, a retired Air Force officer and author of "Camouflage to Pinstripes: Learning to Thrive in Civilian Culture," joined Jason to discuss how service men and women can adjust and thrive in a new world.

Photo Gallery

Brig. Gen. Bernie Skoch, commissioner of the Cyber Patriot program, spoke with Federal News Radio's Jason Miller about this year's competition. View more photos from the event by clicking here.