Dear members and friends of the Foundation:
My incoming message as your new President noted that our Foundation is now in its 63rd year of operation, not far behind our Air Force as it celebrates its 70th. As we reach that seven-decade milestone, your entire Board is united in their intent that the Foundation grow as a strong, independent voice within the air power community, filling a special role of promoting the legacy of Airmen, and educating future generations to understand and draw motivation from the monumental footsteps of those who “soared before.”
We do that best when we keep our eyes firmly fixed on the goal of educating senior leaders within the defense community and the general public about the contribution of air power to our nation’s security. Indeed, the Air Force contributes in a special way, when comparing it to the other Services. Air Power History bears witness that the Air Force is the iconoclast among the military departments, always seeking to find and use solutions that go over or around obstacles, rather than simply driving through them. As a case in point, the Air Force’s Secretary and Chief of Staff just published their top priorities, which are to 1) restore readiness; 2) cost-effectively modernize; 3) drive innovation; 4) develop exceptional leaders; and 5) strengthen alliances. In a very real way, such objectives—however different they have looked over time—are constants in Air Force history. Stories of overcoming technological, operational, and conceptual challenges fill the pages of Air Power History and the “to-do” lists of modern Airmen. As we at AFHF continue to tell our Air Force’s story—the Airmen, the machines, and the conflicts—innovation and ingenuity must remain a special point of emphasis. It links yesterday’s Airmen in an important way to those serving today.
Your board has been busy this past quarter narrowing down nominations for our major awards—those honoring the contributions of Spaatz, Holley, and Doolittle. Those selections will be announced in the near future. Some recognition may occur outside Washington (as we did last year), but we will honor all of our winners at the Annual Awards Banquet, including our Best Book Reviewed and Best Article awards from last year’s Air Power History issues.
In the spirit of overcoming obstacles, we are experiencing a slight setback as the small but mighty AFHF staff had to vacate regular office space at Andrews AFB while Civil Engineering replaces some ancient heating and air conditioning equipment. We hope work will be complete by September. Until then, we soldier on in true “virtual office” style—so far, so good.
A parting thought: The AF Historical Foundation is a remarkable national asset. In a world where too few take the time to record or reflect on the drumbeat of events, we occupy a special place in recording the history of America’s Air Force. Whether you are an expert historian, a reader of history, a serving or former maker of airpower history, or simply one who values the lessons and humanity that history transmits through generations – our role in capturing some of the most audacious and difficult endeavors in human history is not trivial. This is a worthy cause and one I hope you value. Your generous contributions to the Foundation—whether in time, wisdom, advocacy, or funds–matter. Without them we could not accomplish our mission, and we are deeply grateful. Come up on frequency and “check in” any time.
Christopher D. Miller, Lt Gen, USAF (Ret)
President and Chairman of the Board (Effective June 1, 2017)
Fall 2017 issue of Air Power History is out!