2022 State of the Foundation
Dear Foundation Members:
As Jonna Doolittle Hoppes and I come to the end of our first year as Chairman and President, we look back on a number of successes – successes brought about by members, board members, staff, and volunteers. You’ll find links to these projects…and access to our matchless collection of articles and book reviews that capture the history of the United States Air Force…and now the United States Space Force on our new website.
Steve Newbold, one of our Executive Officers and Treasurer, and Kristin Walker, our Branding and Project Consultant, have spent much of this past year working with our agency partner, The Cirlot Agency, rebranding the Foundation and designing this new, more user-friendly website. The new website will highlight our programs and research efforts while allowing users to gain valuable insights into future initiatives and opportunities to get involved.
In February, the Foundation kicked off our new Book Club featuring Fighter Pilot, Christina Olds’ biography of her father, Robin Olds. In April, we highlighted Jonna’s book, Calculated Risk. John “Pepe” Soto, Senior Defense Analyst, is the creative force behind this program and co-moderates the interviews with me. Pepe has also enlisted a group of highly accomplished volunteers that assist with being sure the session is running smoothly and available for any who were unable to join us live. The Book Club meets via Zoom every other month. For those who have not yet had an opportunity to join us, we certainly hope to see you at an upcoming session.
The “9/12 Project” has launched, and details related to how to get involved are available on this website. The “9/12 Project” aims to collect and preserve the personal voices, stories, and perspectives of Airmen, Guardians, DoD Civilians, and Dependents on the Air Force’s experience in Afghanistan, beginning on September 12, 2001, through the end of the war in Afghanistan. These stories will help preserve individual histories and serve as a scholarly and educational resource to provide future audiences a glimpse into the 20-year war both at home and abroad. We hope you will consider participating.
Robert Arnold, the grandson of General “Hap” Arnold, has given us the opportunity to digitize his grandfather’s archives. The archives include pictures, films, papers, and voice recordings – many never before released publicly. As we embark on this project, we have partnered with the University of Alabama’s School of Library and Information Studies. Our initial efforts this Spring were through a graduate student seminar course and have included the stand-up of an Exhibition-style viewing of materials. This viewing consists of a small sample collection of General Henry “Hap” Arnold materials and a sample oral history from the Foundation’s “9/12 Project.” As we continue to move forward with these efforts, we plan to begin creating a more expansive, searchable library of materials to support the Foundation’s mission of educating and promoting the preservation and appreciation of the history and heritage of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Space Force, and the organizations and individuals that have come before.
In working to advance the Foundation’s mission, General (ret) John Barry has assembled our first group of Air and Space Museum CEOs, forging new partnerships to help further the preservation of Air and Space power history. By focusing on the collections and expertise of these new partners, we hope to increase our visibility among various audiences and further our efforts in safeguarding and communicating the history and legacy of U.S. Air and Space operations.
In other exciting news, John “Pepe” Soto, our new Chairman of the Advisory Committee, is assembling a panel of historians to serve as advisors on several new projects. Please stand by for some exciting announcements. Along with these efforts, the Foundation plans to eventually expand the opportunity to capture oral histories to include the broad spectrum of Airmen, Guardians, Reservists, and DoD Civilians who have served this nation. We hope to include a forum for spouses and children to share their stories and offer advice on the unique challenges and opportunities military families face throughout their service members’ careers and into retirement.
The Foundation also plans to expand our partnership program with other organizations that have helped make and capture Air Force and Space Force history. We hope these efforts and work with other groups, such as the 100th Bomb Group Foundation, will provide additional resources for our members and various audiences while helping further the mission of these individual groups through building increased awareness of their efforts among our members.
As always, we remain extremely proud of the contributions Air Power History makes to the Department of the Air Force’s historical record through unique scholarly articles and a broad range of book reviews.
Finally, we would like to hear from you. Please share your ideas and consider getting involved. The continued success of many of our current and future endeavors depends greatly on the support of our members. If you are not yet a member, I hope you will join us here at the Air Force Historical Foundation!
General Mike Holmes, USAF (Ret)