Federal Drive Show Blog - September 16, 2013

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

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today's Interviews:

The Federal Drive broadcast live from the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition today. Federal News Radio's Jason Miller was there speaking with the event's participants, speakers and organizers. All of those interviews can be found below.

Gen. Craig McKinley
President
Air Force Association

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For three days, Air Force leadership, industry experts, academia and current event specialists are coming together at the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition. 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

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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, joined Federal News Radio's executive editor, Jason Miller, at the Air Force Association's annual Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition.

Bernie Skoch
Commissioner
Cyber Patriot program

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The Air Force Association's national high school cyber defense competition, Cyber Patriot, will celebrate the best and brightest students in STEM education at its 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 from the event.

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 joined the Federal Drive from the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition. Federal News Radio's executive editor, Jason Miller, spoke with Mark Uberauga and Rob Marshall.

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. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller interviewed two of the recipients at the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition — 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 Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller at the association's Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition 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. Federal News Radio's Jason Miller spoke with Anderson from the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition.

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 Federal News Radio's executive editor, Jason Miller, at the Air Force Association's annual Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition to discuss how service men and women can adjust and thrive in a new world.

Richard Breakiron
Network Capacity Domain Manager
Army CIO's Office

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The Army's in the middle of a huge upgrade of its network infrastructure that moves data between its bases in the continental U.S. For some installations, the updates will boost their network capacity to 10 times what they have now. The project is using a set of technologies the Defense Department wants all the military services to standardize on, so the Air Force has agreed to share the new infrastructure. Richard Breakiron is the network capacity domain manager in the Army CIO's office. He tells Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu about the technology behind the upgrade.

Lael Keiser
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Missouri

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Just because Congress enacts a law with new benefits doesn't mean everyone eligible receives those benefits. In fact, often people entitled to certain programs might not even be aware they're available. That's where outreach organizations come in. By using outside groups as well as state and local governments, federal agencies can help ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of programs. Lael Keiser, associate professor of political science at the University of Missouri, joined the Federal Drive to discuss this issue.

Heard Tom and Emily talk about another story during the show, but don't see it here? Check out our daily federal headlines for the latest news affecting the federal community.