Good Hits: 7437

Next Meeting: 10/11/2016
1600-1700 Hrs
HQ AFTAC Building, "Green Room"

NOTICE: This is a Private Organization. It is not part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no governmental status.

The 'AFTAC Alumni Association' provides a forum for those wishing to maintain a relationship with the center and its people, active-duty and retired. Membership is open to past/present employees of all organizations associated with Long Range Detection (LRD) (AFMSW-1, 1009th SWS, AFOAT-1, 1035th FAG, LRDAA and AFTAC), and any subordinate field detachment.

Next Meeting: 9/9/2016
1130 - 1230 Hrs
Manatee Cove Golf Course (MCGC), (Putter Room)

Minutes of Last Meeting

The monthly meeting of the AFTAC Alumni Association was held on Aug 8th 2016 in the HQ AFTAC “Green Room”. Members present were Lou Seiler, Frank Hall, Ed Lindsay, Terry Hammond, Michael Steskal, Pat Snyder, Bob Wiley, Judy Henderson, Dr. Mike Young, CMSgt Brown, CMSgt John Howorth, Sean Ryan and Arlin Massey.

New Members/Guest: CMSgt Brown introduced his replacement, CMSgt John Howorth. CMSgt Howorth gave a brief history of his AF and AFTAC background.

Approval of Minutes: Seeing that no changes to the minutes were noted, Bob Wiley made the motion that they be approved as presented. Michael Steskal seconded. Motion carried.

Comments by AFTAC CC/CV: AFTAC CC/CV not present.

AFTAC Command Chief: AFTAC Command Chief not present.

Treasurers Report: Lou Seiler reported that Joe Goldian was unable to attend and did pass on and that there were no changes from last month’s report.

Membership Report: Michael Steskal agreed to take over the Membership Chair - welcome aboard. Membership Report will be presented at our next meeting. (OPEN)

Post Monitor: Judy Henderson reported that Pete Gilbert formatted the POMO (an all new process) and that it is out for review on Google drive and will be completed very shortly. (OPEN)

Historian: Dr. Mike Young announced that Bob Wiley was appointed to Heritage Committee as the alumni representative replacing himself in that capacity. He discussed that the Heritage Committee will start the Wall of Honor selection process the end of August. Bob Wiley will be drafting an email requesting nominations and justification requirements.

SAGE Shop: MSgt Aaron Trudel not present. (OPEN)

Old Business

WEB Site Consideration: With both John Horsch and Frank Calenda absent, further discussion was postponed. (OPEN)

AFTAC Cares Program: Sean Ryan stated the next meeting will be the first Thursday of Dec. (OPEN)

2017 Snow Ball: Sean Ryan reported that an article was completed for the next POMO and the contract, pending final vote and signing, was complete for the Hawaiian Hula Dancers with a cost $250.00. (OPEN)

Nomination Committee: Terry Hammond reported that where were several volunteers for several of the positions. Lou Seiler will create the ballots which will include the committee recommendations for each office as well as a wright-in provided for each elected position. The committee nominations are: President- Ed Linsey; Vice President - CMSgt John Howorth and Sean Ryan; Secretary - Arlin Massey; Treasurer - Joe Goldian. Elections will be held on Friday, September 9th during our next meeting at the Manatee Cove Golf Course. (OPEN)

New Business: None

Items from the floor:

Ed Lindsay provided details for upcoming “2016 AFTAC Alumni Association Annual Fall Golf-n’ Get Together” on 30 Sept. All details were provided to Pete Gilbert for inclusion in the upcoming POMO. It was suggested that the “Open to” should include “AFTAC Alumni and friends”.

Sean Ryan mentioned there were no updates on the Winter Social and we’re set to sell tickets the night of the event.

Adjournment: With no further business, Judy Henderson made a motion that we adjourn. Michael Steskal seconded. Motion Carried.

Next Meeting: The next AFTAC Alumni Association meeting will be held on Friday, September 9th at the Manatee Cove Golf Course, Putters Choice room, from 1130 – 1:00.

Agenda for Next Meeting Meeting

New Members/Guests Present
Minutes of Meeting on 8 August 2016
Comments by AFTAC CC/CV
Comments by AFTAC Command Chief
Treasurer's Report
Membership Report
Post Monitor Report
AFTAC Historian
Heritage Committee
Old Business
    AFTAC CARES Program
    2017 Snowball
    Continued AFTACAA WEB-Site Considerations
New Business
    AFTAC Toilet Bowl support - Msgt Eric Reda
    Elections for FY 2017
    Next Meeting
        Tuesday 11 October 2016, 04:00 PM (1600 hours)
        Lobby Conference Room BLDG 10989, PAFB
For the Good of the Association – All
Alumni-of-the-Year meeting follows the Membership Meeting
    Attendance limited to current AOYs

20 Year Wall Honorees
  • Ace, Jerry A.
  • Alexander, William N.
  • Amerena, Joe D.
  • Aning, Harm F.
  • Baker, Harold M.
  • Balentine, Robert A.
  • Blau, Robert O.
  • Breitweieser, Kenneth
  • Butler, Charles A.
  • Calenda, Anthony R.
  • Clambrone, Thomas W.
  • Cronin, George E.
  • Dahlgren, Arthur L.
  • Davis, James C.
  • DeSrosier, Charles P.
  • Draper, Reginald A.
  • Fish, Norman A.
  • Fuhr, William R.
  • Gailey, Carl W.
  • Gardiner, Edward T.
  • Gonzales, George A.
  • Harris, Eunice
  • Horsch, John T.
  • Huhs, Harold L.
  • Iske, Margaret A.
  • Johnson, Joseph M.
  • Jones, Robert H.
  • Klug, Dale E.
  • LaBarre, Gerald R.
  • Lucas, James S.
  • Magness, John H.
  • McBrearty, Charles
  • McGettigan, John W.
  • Milam, Judithe E.
  • Mirda, George M.
  • Murray, Gregory A.
  • Myers, Kenneth L.
  • Noe, Steve
  • Nolan, Dennis P.
  • O'Brien, David F.
  • Olmsted, George B.
  • Osborne, William
  • Ovitsky, Felix W.
  • Paquette, David W.
  • Pavik, A. L.
  • Phillips, Richard S.
  • Post, Robert A.
  • Secoy, John B.
  • Silhanek, Larry D.
  • Snelgrove, Robert B.
  • Stack, Paul V.
  • Sullivan, Thomas D.
  • Sykes, Teddie E.
  • Vlassick, Benjamin P.
  • Vlassick, Randall
  • Warfield, Carol
Wall of Honor

When I get the pictures of the plaques, they will be shown just like the 20 year wall.

  • Walter Singlevich
  • Doyle Northrup
  • Frank Pilotte
  • Charles McBrearty
  • Marvin Owen
  • Marcel Kniedler
  • Tom Ciambrone
  • Delbi Solari
  • Carl Romney
  • Kathy Leggett
  • Frank Pilotte
  • Thomas Niquette
  • Howard Hayden
  • Michael Harkins
  • Charles Butler
  • Gerald Leies
Alumni of the Year
  • Frank Calenda-2015 *
  • Sean Ryan-2014 *
  • Lonnie Gibbons-2013 *
  • Gene & Dee Melchior-2012 *
  • Dale Klug-2011 *
  • Jack Smith-2010 *
  • Jack Jackson-2009 *
  • Bob Wiley-2008 *
  • Bill Schmied-2007 *
  • Deborah Carson-2006 *
  • Mike Black-2005 *
  • Joe Goldian-2004 *
  • Pat Snyder-2003
  • Joe Johnson-2002
  • Jim Payne-2001 *
  • Ben Vlassick-2000
  • John & Christel Horsch-1999
  • Frank Hall-1998
  • Judy Milam-1997
  • Carl Gailey-1996
  • Clark Creery-1995
Some AOY

The Alumni of the Year that attended the last Snowball standing with Col. Sovada

Not Included

This page is still under construction.
We are still looking for some documentation.

Frank S. Calenda

Frank started his Air Force career in August 1955 and was in one of the last flights to complete the 3 month basic training at Sampson AFB in upstate New York. He attended a year long school at Lowry Frank Calenda Air Force Base to become a Nuclear Weapons Technician, working on some of the earliest Strategic weapons in America's arsenal. In 1960, he progressed to working with the nuclear warheads on the Atlas missiles at Offutt Air Force Base and Titan missiles at Larson Air Force Base. In 1964, he was selected to attend AFTAC's year long "Q" systems class at Lowry. That was followed with an assignment to the installations shop at McClellan. There, he installed "Q" equipment at several classified locations around the world. In 1967, he left to become the Maintenance Technician at the remote Navy site H2 in northern Iceland. The following year, he and his family were assigned to John Hay Air Base at Baguio City in the Philippines. He was the Assistant Chief Operator at that location. In 1970, they left for an assignment to Headquarters AFTAC in Alexandria where he worked in the Operations Directorate as the Supervisor of the Q data terminal. The year 1972 brought the move of AFTAC to Patrick Air Force Base. Frank joined the advance party in Florida and his task was to set-up the QSystem. Shortly thereafter, Frank and his family were assigned to Det 422 at Misawa, Japan. Frank became the “I” System Chief Operator at this location. The following year, they were sent to a classified OL where he performed advisory duties for two years. In 1976, he was reassigned to AFTAC headquarters at Patrick as the Superintendent of the Satellite Terminal until his retirement in April of 1978.

Following USAF retirement, Frank attended Brevard Community College where he attained an Associate of Science degree in Bio Engineering and was immediately hired by the then Holmes Regional Medical center in Melbourne as a medical equipment technician. He worked there for 10 years progressing to the Director of the BioMedical department with prime duties in the Radiology Department. Because of his experience with maintaining the cancer radiation treatment machine (a linear accelerator) he was offered a position with Varian Associates Medical Division in Palo Alto, California. He completed his BioMedical training with Varian through courses from Stanford University. He worked for Varian installing the Accelerators at various medical facilities around the United States and Japan. Frank retired from the work force in 1998.

Frank was married to his wife Edna in June 1959 in Hampton, New Hampshire. They have two boys. Tony, their oldest son, graduated from Satellite High and joined AFTAC for his entire 22 year Air Force career. Michael is an Associate Professor of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Frank, with the close support of Edna, has been a member of the AFTAC Alumni Association since 1978 when it was first formed by a small group of AFTAC retirees. Membership was around 40 members and was then a venue for comradery and friendship. During General Clappers command of the organization a number of years later, the formal Alumni Association was formed and members of the initial group were awarded lifetime memberships for their initial efforts. Because of his extensive traveling with his company early on, Frank’s involvement with the Association was minimal. Since his full retirement, he has become quite active with our present organization involving himself in many active duty functions in support of the Booster Club and other Alumni functions. Frank was the chair for the financial database and overall registration for the 2015 Worldwide Reunion, not to mention his forming a mini-reunion for Detachment 412 during the Denver, Colorado Worldwide Reunion in 2014. Frank is a go-to guy and we salute his selection as the AOY.

Very Well Deserved!!

Sean Ryan

Sean stepped up in September, 2009, to offer his services as the Chapter Secretary for the FY2010 Board and has continued in that ryan.png position since. We spotlighted him in PM2010.04 so you’d know him a little better and since that time we have learned just how invaluable he can be. In that issue we wrote, “By the way, nice picture,” we made sure we could do the same here.

Since becoming our Secretary, Sean has helped in innumerable ways, time and again, not only keeping the minutes of our minutes and distributing them, but keeping the association on track and making arrangements for our meeting locations and times.

This has included meetings we have in the 'Headquarters Building' and our off-site meetings at the ‘Tides,’ ‘Golf-Course Clubhouse,’ ‘Marina & Yacht Club,’ and the ‘Riverside Dining Facility.’ This includes last minute changes of dates and times and special meetings for the several events the association sponsors and the upcoming ‘WorldWide 2015’ Reunion.’

Sean has stepped up more than once to help with our major annual event, ‘SnowBall,’ and was the ‘Major Arranger’ for the most recent in 2014.’ He also assisted with this years ‘Center Annual Spring Picnic.’

Finally, Sean recently added another board position, ‘Publicity,’ to his resume and has redefined that position in a most positive manner. --Thank you, Sean, we salute you for the outstanding service you provide Alumni, and before that the Air Force, 1982-2008, and AFTAC, 1998-2008.

Alumni of the year, 2013
MSgt (Ret) Lonnie Gibbons


Col Parker, AFTAC/CV, presents the ‘Space Coin’ Certificate of Recognition and John Horsch the ‘Traditional T.’ Below, Ginny joins Lonnie in this honor. Write-up below from nomination submission.

gibbons1.png Lonnie and wife, Ginny, have been active members of this chapter since its establishment in 1991. Lonnie has participated in practically every membership meeting and served on numerous chapter event working committees during the last twentytwo years. His work especially assisting with arranging and coordinating social events including annual picnics and dinners, golf outings, and worldwide reunions held here in Colorado, has greatly contributed to sustaining this chapter’s longevity. For many years he has been the key person obtaining refreshments, ice, coolers and other supplies, and then hauling them and setting up at picnics and ) reunions. He has been the focal point for organizing and successfully managing the hospitality rooms at several of our hosted alumni reunions and especially the 2013 worldwide reunion here in Aurora, Colorado. When the calls go out for assistance, whether they be for help putting up decorations for the chapter’s annual Veteran’s Day dinner, providing food and refreshments after a golf outing, or any activity, Lonnie & Ginny consistently answer these calls - true AFTAC alumni team members.

Lonnie began his Air Force career in the administrative field enlisting in 1956. His first assignment out of basic training was a 12-month tour of duty in South Korea. This was followed by another hardship assignment lasting five years at the USAF Security Service Language School at Indiana State University. During this assignment he married Ginny and started a family. He got his introduction to AFTAC when he was assigned to SPINSTRA at Lowry AFB in 1964. This was followed by an overseas assignment to Detachment 418, then back to Lowry AFB in 1968 being assigned to Detachment 57. He served one more AFTAC overseas assignment at Detachment 333 during the 1974- 75 timeframe prior to being assigned to Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. After only a short time he was reassigned to Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs and then back to Lowry AFB where he retired from active duty in 1977. Lonnie signed on with the Defense Investigative Service in 1982 and is now living the life of a retired civil servant.

Alumni of the year, 2012
MSgt (Ret) Gene and Dee Mechior


Gene and Dee accept the ‘Space Coin’ Certificate from our President, Terry Hammond, following his announcement of their selection. Picture by Judy Milam-Henderson

A highlight of our annual SnowBall gathering was our President, Terry Hammond, announcing Gene and Dee Melchoior were selected for this honor by their peers of the years before. Gene and Dee's unflagging devotion to alumni, and the alumni assn, has been cumulative over the years and they have never failed to be major supporters of this annual event and many others. They were presented our 'Space Coin' plaque and Gene the 'Traditional T.'

Other notable events of the evening were the invocation by Sean Ryan, our Secretary, who preceded his prayer by naming Sages, and Spouses, who have deceased since last year’s Snowball, we had comments from AFTAC CC, Col Worley, and an exceptional Detachment 402 briefing by the Detachment Chief, SMSgt John Shank, (who was here for the Center's Commander's Conference). Det 402 was honored at this event as our 'newest Det,' and 'Japan' was our theme (Gene and Dee had the club-house decorated accordingly with many items from their travels and fellow colleague sages who donated items).

Dee made a short 'thank you' speech and Gene gave us a shout!! Later they wrote, "We totally enjoyed last night’s Snowball and to say the least, it was a wonderful surprise to be given the award! Our association has so much shared history. It is our pleasure to be a part of the group! We thank everyone for this honor."


Gene, joined by Dee, accepts the ‘Alumni of the Year, 2012’ trophy from Col Worley/CC and Chief Neri/CCS. Photo by Bob Wiley

Gene and Dee were also honored at the 'Center Annual Award Banquet' the following Tuesday evening (02.12) with a trophy bearing the 'Alumni of the Year, 2012' Selection. (pictured above) NOTE 2: Gene and Dee had made ‘origami doves’ for the tables. Later they sent note writing, “Please put the website listed below in the PoMo. Some folks at the SnowBall want to try the paper folding art. Thanks.”

Alumni of the year, 2011
Dale Klug

klug.png This year's SnowBall was one of the best ever; food was great, Chief Nederhoed's Detachment 460 briefing was right on target, entertainment "rocked," and having our 2011 ‘Alumni of the Year (AOY),’ Dale Klug, and spouse Rose, (pictured) travel from CA, rounded out the program.

We had sufficient time to socialize with all our alumni, active-duty and with a wonderful assortment of Hors d'oeuvres before our program started. Bob Wiley treated us to a slide show featuring past SnowBall performances and a montage of activities in which alumni members participated during the past year.

Chapter President, Terry Hammond, opened by introducing our dignitaries attending; Vice Commander Col Roberts, Chief Scientist Dr. O'Brien, Director of Staff Mr. Whidden, Superintendent CMSgt Nederhoed, Historian Mr. Young, Inspector General CMSgt Revels, Materials Director Dr. DeForest, Atmos/Space Directorate Lt Col Wingate, and Dale and Rose Klug. The Center's 'Commander's Conference' had been delayed so we were not graced by Detachment 460 Commander’s, Major Johnson, attendance this year ... maybe we'll be back on track next year.

Then Rebecca Lehnerz performed the National Anthem acapella (great job). Following that Sean Ryan, our Chapter Secretary, led us in an invocation.

Dinner followed with a buffet that was excellent; the Grilled Salmon, Chicken Marsala, and Prime Rib were abundant with all the trimmings. The staff really did a great job preparing and serving dinner. Their choice of dessert was perfect with a Vanilla Ice Cream Raspberry Parfait to top off a scrumptious meal. I saw a lot of guests trying to get that last bit of ice cream from the bottom of the parfait glass. No one went home hungry!

Chief Nederhoed gave us an excellent briefing on "A day at Det 460." He showed the diversity of the challenges the detachment members face each day as they maintain the array of seismic equipment; from terrain, weather, wildlife, and giant mosquitoes. Having been stationed at the detachment, Chief Nederhoed was an exceptional stand-in for the detachment commander.

At the shank of the evening Terry re-presented the 'Space Coin' ‘Alumni of the Year 2011’ plaque to Dale Klug; it had been presented initially when Dale's AOY selection was announced at the California Chapter 'WorldWide Reunion' in May of last year. Dale had a few words of thanks and presented the Center with several artifacts for the 'Hall of Heritage,' a plaque from now closed 'Technical Operations Division,' and a real surprise when he donated an original coffee cup used by recently deceased (Aug), and beloved Center Icon, Mary Welch. She had asked him to hold the cup while he was visiting with her at the HQ many years back and Dale had held on to it for all the ensuing years.

Keeping with the theme of this event, we then played several 'Alaska' knowledge quizzes-prizes were awarded by Gene and Dee Melchoir to the person who answered the most questions correctly. Seems we had a tie between Sean Ryan (our own Chapter Secretary) and Dr. DeForest (TM Director). They both received dinner gift cards. Many of us remained for much longer to enjoy the great music provided by Entertainer, Billy Lee, and dancing that followed. At the end of the evening, most attendee's thought the music set just the right tone giving us mellow background music during the meal and then stepping it up several notches afterward. Some admitted staying so late the South Gate was closed when they left and they had to make a Uturn for the trek to the main gate!!

Jack Smith


Jack accepts trophy from Col Prupas, with Lloyd French, Alumni President and John Nederhoed in attendance.

Wow, what a six-day period we had, Feb 05-10! It started ‘rollin’ with the ‘SnowBall’ and marched forward to the ‘Center Annual Awards Banquet.’ These are annual events made very special this year when our ‘Alumni of the Year, 2010,’ Jack Smith, CO Chapter President, showed his considerable respect for this once in a lifetime honor. He, and his wife, Helen, traveled from their home in the Denver area to be here in person to express their unbrideled appreciation and humility for this selection.

Jack and Helen started the recognition period by moving into base dig’s right on the ocean arranged by CMSgt John Nederhoed/CCS, with assistance from CMSgt Dave Melton/TM, our assn vice. They were also treated to a HQ Building and ‘Hall of Heritage’ tour by CMSgt Steve Revels/IG. These experiences were just the beginning as they were recognized at both the ‘SnowBall’ and the ‘Awards Banquet in a grand style. A portion of the well attended ‘SnowBall’ (02.05) was dedicated to Jack’s accomplishments and he had time to speak to the group about what the honor meant to him. It was very moving to hear him speak, meaning all the more because of their efforts to be here. (much more on the ‘SnowBall,’ with pictures, later in the issue, ‘Alumni Events’)

Jack, and others to be honored, made a grand entrance into the ‘Center Awards Banquet’ on the following Thursday by entering the room though ‘Arched Sabers,’ pictured here. Other military ceremonies performed prior to dining was the ‘Presentation of Colors’ by the ‘Honor Guard’ and the ‘POW/MIA Table’ ceremony … these presentation’s are made all the more special as they are being done by our successor’s, those currently serving AFTAC’s mission. There was also an invocation by Chaplain Capt Williams and the ‘National Anthem’ by Ms Rebecca Lehnerz, a member of the ’Greenlight Band’ who has performed at numerous AFTAC and Alumni events.

Walter ‘Jack’ Jackson

Jack’s selection as our 15th AOY was announced on Jan 30th at SnowBall XII. Here we see him accepting Jacson.png the ’Traditional T’ and our ’Space Coin’ plaque from Assn President, Lloyd French. In making the announcement, Lloyd spoke of Jack’s accomplishments for the assn (see editorial), and his involvement with veterans everywhere. For this ‘Salute,’ we asked Jack to provide information about himself. As you read what follows, you will come to fully understand Jack’s selection for this honor.

Jack was born and raised in Philadelphia. After graduating from high school, he entered the Air Force, completed basic training and received his first assignment as an Air Policeman at Craig AFB, Selma, Alabama. After this assignment, he served at Bitburg Air Base Germany, George AFB, Victorville, California, Danang Air Base Republic of South Vietnam, Langley AFB, Kusan Air Base, Korea and Patrick AFB, Florida.

While serving his country, Jack had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling and was in 13 countries around the world. He was active in sports playing football in Germany and softball as a pitcher. He was also on the Air Training Command swimming team in 1959 finishing third place in the 100 yard back stroke.

After retiring from the Air Force, Jack worked as a Veterans Employment Representative with the state of Florida. After 22 years he called it quits and is now enjoying his retirement.

He is a member of the Vietnam Veterans of Brevard color guard, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled Americans, American Legion, VFW, Veterans Memorial Center, Brevard Veterans Council and the AFTAC Alumni Association (being one of the first to join).

Jack is on the VVB Reunion Committee for the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall. He brought Stand Down for homeless veterans to Brevard County. He also worked as a County Service Officer and was a National Service Officer for the American Legion.

Jack is the proud father of two girls and two granddaughters. Unfortunately his wife of three years passed away in November of 2009. He is proud to have served his country and enjoys volunteering wherever needed and enjoys retirement to the fullest.

Robert ‘Bob’ Wiley
Alumni Of The Year, 2008!!


Bob is presented the traditional AOY ‘T’ by the
Florida Alumni Assn President, Lloyd French..

Bob was also recognized at the ‘Center Annual Awards Banquet’ in February, and will be again at the May ‘WorldWide Reunion.’ He has been a member of the association since his retirement in 1985. Over the years he has been a mainstay contributing articles and photographs of the alumni activities for the Post-Monitor and was association President, FY2007/08. During this time, he completed action for an LRD 50th Anniversary Commemorative coin to ‘fly in space.’ This coin will be presented to the Center for display in the ‘Hall of Heritage,’ and the few remaining coins in this series will be presented to deserving alumni. Bob also took the lead in encouraging additional participation in association management and increasing membership. He is Chair of the 2009 WorldWide Reunion Committee.



In a first for the association, the AOY selection schmied2.png was made in May (usually, Dec-Jan), and announced prior to the annual SnowBall (Jan-Feb). We broke precedent to recognize a most deserving individual in front of peers he serves so well and at an event with a large, varied audience, the 2007 Colorado sponsored, WorldWide reunion. The Colorado Chapter President, Jack Smith, in a ceremony during the reunion banquet (6/10), noted the many accomplishments Bill rendered as a member and in serving on the board. “He is a member of both the Colorado and Florida chapters, where he is a Lifetime member. He joined the CO chapter even before he retired in 1991 and since that time has served our chapter very actively and has been a board member for almost 15-years. He has been critical in the success of our chapter since he first signed on and has been deeply involved in every reunion, to include this one, and every other facet of our chapters operation.”

The ceremony concluded with the AFTAC Commander, Col Westergren, making the actual announcement of Bill’s selection and presenting the ’Traditional T.’

Other AOY’s in attendance included Frank Hall (98), John Horsch (99), Joe Johnson (02), and Ginger Vlassick representing Ben (00, deceased).



Congratulations Deborah for this important recognition during SnowBall IX. The highlight of the annual event, the announcement recognizes the many contributions Deborah has made to supporting alumni and the association-especially in the areas of reviewing portions of this publication and her management of the annual SnowBalls.

Spotlighted in the September Post-Monitor last year, her alumni association peers selected her for this honor. Her many accomplishments are detailed in that issue. Thank you Deborah and we look forward to your continuing assistance. Additionally, Deborah was recognized at the Center Annual Awards event. More on that, and a picture, in the ‘Center Annual Awards’ article that follows and in the ‘Prez Sez’ column.



Mike accepting ‘AOY’ shirt from assn president, Carol Snyder

Mike is the associations’ original and continuing webmaster (www.aftacalumni.org). His selection was announced at the SnowBall on January 28th, and he was also recognized at the Center Annual Awards Banquet on March 2.

Mike’s service to the Air Force started in October, 1972. and to AFTAC in June, 1981, where he served until his retirement in August, 1992. His AF assignments took him to Lowry, Eglin, Aviano and Tyndall AFB’s, and his AFTAC duties were in Advanced Technology (with a side-trip to TN) at the headquarters.

Mike joined the alumni at retirement and in 1996 he and two other members, Clark Creery, Mike Black, the association’s ‘Alumni Of The Year,’ was among those honored; his wife, Toni, was also there to enjoy the occasion.

Among the association members in attendance were the President, Carol Snyder, past-Vice, Pat Snyder, Dave O’Brien and wife, PJ, Chuck McBrearty and wife Linda, John Loftis, John Carson, Gary Killian, Dennis Gilroy and our Post-Monitor rovin’ reporter and digipic photographer, Bob Wiley and his wife Judith.

The Center Commander, Col. Turner, and Superintendent, Chief French (both association members), presided and presented the trophies. Mike was recognized for his continuing contributions to the Center and to the alumni (see the page 1 ‘Salute’ for details).

The alumni attending were honored and rewarded by being seated with the AFTAC Squadron Commander, Maj Trevillin, and his First Sergeant, SMSgt Parkhill, and at a table near the dais with a clear view of the ceremonies and the band stand . "Full Spectrum", the Band of the USAF Reserve, from Warner-Robins provided music for dining and a short program before the awards presentation. Following the presentations, the ‘Green Light Band’ raised everyone's spirits with a couple of rousing patriotic songs.

Col Tuner closed the presentations with a recap of 2005 highlights on newcomers, transfers, retirements, mission accomplishments, etc. He finished with a recitation of what he called a "ditty", "I Love AFTAC" (see active-duty pages). Other alumni still serving AFTAC as Civil Service who were honored included Gary Killian and John Carson.



Congratulations Joe. Your selection recognizes your extensive time and service. And this service has been long in tenure and broad and deep in application.

Joe began attending association meeting even before he retired, starting in 1991. He currently serves as our treasurer and, in 1999, served as our Vice President. During this period Joe has never failed to step forward to help in whatever endeavor the association was involved in. He has personally managed several golf tournaments, and was ‘Joe on the spot’ for reunions and other association matters. He has been a member since 1991.

Joe was born in North Carolina in 1949 and joined the Air Force in Jan, 1968. He served in AFTAC from 4/68 to 7/74 and 7/75 to 9/91. His final assignment in AFTAC was as Manager, Treaty Monitoring Operations Program. Joe retired as a MSgt in September 1991. Joe's assignments include American Samoa, Mindinao Philippines, Wonju Korea, and several tours at Denver and the various Headquarters locations. Joe was one of the first AFTACers to perform Treaty directed inspections on Soviet missiles.

Thanks Joe, for your service to this country, AFTAC, and now the association. Your contributions are truly appreciated. Congratulations again on your selection as our 'Alumni of The Year, 2004.' Joe’s selection was announced at the association’s annual SnowBall on Feb 5th and he was again recognized at the Center’s Annual Award Banquet on March 3rd.



The highlight of our annual association Snow- Ball on February 18th was the announcement of the selection of Jim Payne as the '2001 Alumni of the Year.' He received a special coin that flew on the Shuttle Orbiter 'Atlantis' on the occasion of the Air Force, and AFTAC's, 50th anniversary (Sep-Oct '97). Jim will also be honored at the AFTAC Command Award ceremony on April 24th at the PAFB NCO Club, come on out and show your support (info. page 19). At the presentation, Joe Marshall, Association President, noted that Jim began his Air Force career in October, '52. He first served in Ground Radio at Japan, NJ, and MS. In May '62, he was assigned to AFTAC initially serving in the 'R' technique. Jim worked at several detachments as well as at Denver, Germany and California. In 1981, Cot. 'Meis' selected him to the organization's highest enlisted post, 'Senior Enlisted Advisor,' and he served in this capacity until his retirement in '83. Along the way. Jim earned a Master of Science degree in Management and was decorated with the Meritorious Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster. He has been an active supporter and lifetime member of the Alumni Association since the first year of its existence in 1985. In 1999, he accepted the Membership chair and has made notable contributions in that position.

Jim has implemented procedures and changed the membership data from a hardcopy status to a computer generated product, and at the same time linking the Worldwide Directory, Membership Directory and the individual data of 4000 records.

Jim has also established procedures to contact individuals who register on the web page and any member who 'overlooks' their dues. He makes them aware of the advantages of staying with, or joining, the alumni association in a very informal, friendly manner. Jim also handles all requests (letters, emails, packages), and ships any items ordered from the association's 'Shop.' All in all, Jim does an outstanding service for your association. Thank you Jim, for your continuing service to the Air Force, AFTAC, and the Long-Range Detection Alumni Association.


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Colorado Fall Breakfast

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Long story...I am still alive and was not drawn and quartered by the angry mob. It all worked itself out in the end and did not hear any negative feedback (probably whispered in hushed voices. Thank you so much for all of you that came out to help and make this a successful event.

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Registration table with all the helpers..Frank & Edna Calenda, John Horsch, Carol Snyder, Gene and Dee Melchior
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Current AFTAC  Commander, Colonel Dyball

Frank Hall, Frank and Edna Calenda, Gene and Dee Melchior for putting the goodie bags together. Frank Hall, Frank and Edna Calenda, Gene and Dee Melchior, John Horsch, and Carol Snyder for ensuring that the registration and sign up process went smoothly.

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Bad weather looming

Bob Wiley for taking all the photos...even on the course with rain looming..can't wait to see those. All of you that helped pick the door prize tickets and place them out for the players to collect. Frank C. for keeping the cash box safe and Joe Goldian for settling up the bill.

You all made my part so much easier and there is no way we could have pulled it off without everyone chipping in (pun intended).

The winners are:

Third Place

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3rd place----Brian Stillwell, Bruce Snelgrove, Brad Neihart, Don Gilbert 

Second Place

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2nd place---Aaron DeGraaf, Alice Chan, Darcy Cannon, Evan Carlson  

First Place

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1st place---Joe Hauser, Bob Callahan, Sonny Ziegler, Don Capps (not pictured)  

Show Photos in a Slide Show.

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What an interesting evening this year even if we were slightly upstaged by the HQ Awards Ceremony where we let the cat out of the bag as to the Alumni of the Year 2015. Our goal was to make it a total SB1 surprise and it actually was. We then followed that ceremony with the Alumni Snowball on the 20th of Feb 2016. Our advertising only brought forth 64 alumni to the Holiday Inn of Viera, Florida. The hotel did a bang-up job setting up the tables and serving Chicken Marsala, Roast Beef or a Vegetable Plate depending on your individual order.

The evening began with a slide show of the 2015 Alumni Activities running in the background while members networked and renewed old friendships. That is the beauty of such an event. Once the assignments are served, folks move, retire or just decide to go their own ways, the Snowball event is one that brings us back together for a few hours. A full bar was set-up in the ballroom and that gave us access to the refreshments. The evening was opened by our President Lou Seiler who welcomed all, recognized members of the senior staff in attendance and led us in a pledge of allegiance to the flag as well as a song by Rebecca Lehnerz. Invocation by Sean Ryan followed and dinner was served. We had a slight hick-up with the presentation of names of those who have passed since our last Snowball. Folks took that in stride and Lou Seiler stepped in and read the names so folks might know who has passed.

Following the meal we took a short break before the main Speaker had agreed to brief the Alumni. SB2Colonel Jennifer P. Sovada, Commander, Air Force Technical Applications Center, graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1994 addressed our group. The Colonel is a career intelligence officer who has commanded an intelligence squadron and served at the squadron, center, major command, joint, interagency levels.

Colonel Sovada gave us a briefing on where we were, where we are going, and how we now fit into SB3the 25th Air Force as a Wing. This was quite interesting and her grouping of 7 slides certainly showed us graphically just how we are serving the country in our very important mission. Those who missed the Colonel’s briefing certainly missed quite an interesting twist on how AFTAC has and is improving as a necessary intelligence arm in our country.

Following the Colonel’s briefing, our President called John Horsch to the podium who announced that, yes – Frank Calenda was selected as the 2015 AOY.
SB5Frank was presented the traditional ‘T’ and copy of the silver coin that he will be presented once a slight glitch can be rectified at the jewelers. The presentation was made by Colonel Sovada and CMSgt Brown. Frank was asked to say a few words and once he was at the podium he announced that his speech would be very short. Then he pulled out a stack of notes about 5 inches thick. Frank is often not a man of few words, but this was a joke for effect……Good Job Frank.


Past AOY’s were asked to assemble for a photograph and those present came forward and said “cheese”. The presentation culminated a very great evening and that was supported by many Alumni Volunteers, specifically Lou Seiler, Sean Ryan, Carol Snyder and Ruth Creery…Thanks to all of you…….


NOTE: Unless otherwise requested, we will credit you, by name, for notifying us of information for this page.

05.20 Posting. Seismological Instrument Technicians I and II, installs and maintains electronic earthquake monitoring equipment throughout the State of California for the Department of Conservation ($3410-$4679/month including excellent benefits). Interviews/positions exist only in Sacramento. Go to www.jobs.ca.gov for bulletin. Submit State Application Form 678 and experience exam by 06/17/2016. Questions call 916-322-7685.
Carl D. Petersen
Field Operations Manager

Please provide 'Job Offered/Wanted' to John Horsch


AFTAC Commander briefs SECAF on North Korean actions:


Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James listens to Col. Steven M. Gorski, commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center, discuss the actions AFTAC has taken with regard to North Korea's purported nuclear test Sept. 9, 2016. James was visiting Patrick AFB, Fla., to witness the launch of an Atlas V rocket and took time out of her schedule to get briefed by Gorski and his nuclear treaty monitoring experts about how the center measures seismic activity and compliance with nuclear treaties. The secretary was also briefed about the capabilities of the WC-135 Constant Phoenix, AFTAC's atmospheric collection aircraft that has been deployed to the region to collect accurate information on levels of potential radiation in the area of concern. Pictured at the table from left to right: Dr. Jarris Taylor, James' deputy assistant on Strategic Diversity Integration, James, Gorski, and Chief Master Sgt. Michael Joseph, AFTAC's Command Chief. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

By Susan A. Romano, AFTAC Public Affairs PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.
Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Florida -- Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James listens to Col. Steven M. Gorski, commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center, discuss the actions AFTAC has taken with regard to North Korea's purported nuclear test Sept. 9, 2016. James was visiting Patrick AFB, Fla., to witness the launch of an Atlas V rocket and took time out of her schedule to get briefed by Gorski and his nuclear treaty monitoring experts about how the center measures seismic activity and compliance with nuclear treaties. The secretary was also briefed about the capabilities of the WC-135 Constant Phoenix, AFTAC's atmospheric collection aircraft that has been deployed to the region to collect accurate information on levels of potential radiation in the area of concern. Pictured at the table from left to right: Dr. Jarris Taylor, James' deputy assistant on Strategic Diversity Integration, James, Gorski, and Chief Master Sgt. Michael Joseph, AFTAC's Command Chief. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

4-star returns to 1st assignment for WiSE keynote address:


Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, delivers the keynote address at the 2016 Women in Science and Engineering Symposium at Patrick AFB, Fla., Sept. 7, 2016. Pawlikowski was invited by the Air Force Technical Applications Center to address the 250-plus crowd to discuss diversity in the workplace, especially tailored to women in science, technology, engineering and math. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ben Thacker)

By Susan A. Romano, AFTAC Public Affairs PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.
The U.S. Air Force’s third-ever female 4-star general returned to her first assignment to deliver keynote remarks at the Air Force Technical Applications Center’s Women in Science and Engineering Symposium Sept. 7, 2016.

Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, opened the 3-day symposium with a speech that reflected on her time as an engineer, dating back to her high school days in 1972 and leading up to her first assignment as the chief of mass spectrometry for AFTAC in 1984.

“When I was in high school, my dad made me take a drafting class and encouraged me to pursue a degree in engineering,” said Pawlikowski. “I’ll be honest with you – if you’ve never had to take a drafting course, you’re lucky. Of all the classes I’ve ever taken, drafting is not on my list of favorites!”

After high school, Pawlikowski earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1978 from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, a school very close to where she grew up. While she was on the path to both academic and professional success, she discussed the uphill climb she had in a field dominated by men.

“As many of my school girlfriends were taking music and chorus and home economics classes, I was in a class with all men. I felt very alone and isolated, and oftentimes not welcome. My girlfriends and I would meet up at lunchtime in the cafeteria and I wouldn’t be able to share in their conversations. It was tough for me. It wasn’t until I got to college and joined ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) that I truly felt part of a team, part of something big, and part of something that made me feel like I really belonged.”

AFTAC leadership extended an invitation to the AFMC commander to serve as the WiSE keynote speaker not only because of her background and expertise in engineering, but also because of her connection to the nuclear treaty monitoring center.

“I was thrilled when I learned I received an assignment to AFTAC’s McClellan Central Lab in California,” the general said. “Here I was, a very young lieutenant, given the chance to put my T-square and blueprints expertise to work! And what made it even more gratifying was the fact that I was part of an exciting, vitally important mission.”

AFTAC’s WiSE Symposium is in its third year and has grown from 14 speakers and panelists its first year to 34 in its third. The event encourages diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by providing inspirational presenters and engaging discussions for both women and men in and outside the federal government.

Much to the delight of symposium attendees, an unexpected speaker surprised the audience on day three of the event. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, who was in town visiting the 45th Space Wing to observe the launch of the Atlas V, treated the guests to some words of wisdom and encouragement.

“I’d like to share a few lessons I’ve learned on how to be successful,” James said to the standing-room-only crowd. “The first is to be ethical. While as a leader I am comfortable making a decision based on an 80 percent solution, I will never compromise my ethics. That has to be 100 percent all the time. The second is the importance of a mentor. I encourage you to seek out a good mentor; invite someone you respect to have a cup of coffee. You’ll find most people love talking about the subject they care most – themselves! The Air Force has a great program called ‘MyVector’ where you can be paired up with leaders who share your passion and interests. But do you best to seek diversity in your network.”

Other distinguished speakers included Sue Gordon, deputy director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Kay Spears, vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin; Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, military deputy for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition; Maj. Gen. Heidi Brown, director of Global Operations, U.S. Strategic Command; Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amy Courter, former National Commander and Chief Executive Officer of Civil Air Patrol; and Dr. Jarris Taylor, deputy assistant secretary for Air Force Strategic Diversity Integration.

This year’s theme, “Breaking the Norm,” was created to help guide the symposium’s numerous discussions and breakout sessions in the direction of how professionals can work to dispel myths and outdated mores that women are not ‘normally’ found in STEM fields.

Dr. Alison Tamasi, a radiochemistry team lead in AFTAC’s Ciambrone Radiochemistry Lab, volunteered as a moderator, helped craft questions for a panel, and attended several presentations and breakout sessions.

“I truly enjoyed the whole symposium,” she said. “The networking opportunities were world-class, but it was also amazing to meet women I looked up to and hear that they faced some of the same difficulties I have. Supporting women in STEM is something that everyone needs to have a vested interest in, not just women; otherwise the culture will never change.”

According to AFTAC’s WiSE program coordinator, the symposium planning team that put it together had multi-faceted objectives the group wanted to achieve.

“We need to inspire diversity of thought through STEM outreach,” said Maj. Mandi Fuller, a space program manager with AFTAC and program coordinator for the 3-day event. “As an organization, we also need to gain an international perspective and leverage global strengths in STEM fields and replicate them. By doing so, it will give us the ability to establish mentoring and networking opportunities to future support career growth in these highly technical and demanding career fields.”

Fuller added, “As women, we need to share success stories and lessons learned from women and men, particularly those in education and industry, which in turn will help shape the future of the STEM career fields within the Department of Defense. I’m extremely pleased with what we have been able to achieve with this year’s event!”

More than 250 people attended the 2016 WiSE Symposium, and AFTAC plans to continue to host the event for years to come.

Senior Pentagon leaders visit AFTAC’s community school:


Ed Lee, program coordinator for historically black colleges, universities and minority-serving institutions, looks over classwork with Clayton Hovik, a 5th grader in Stephanie Lay’s science class at Endeavour Elementary School in Cocoa Fla., Sept. 7, 2016. Lee visited the Title I facility to observe the partnership between the school and the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

By Susan A. Romano, AFTAC Public Affairs PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.
Senior officials from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) toured Endeavour Elementary School in Cocoa, Fla., Brevard County’s first and the State of Florida’s only elementary-level community school during their visit to the Air Force Technical Applications Center Sept. 7, 2016 for the center’s annual Women in Science and Engineering Symposium. Dr. Jarris L. Taylor Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Strategic Diversity Integration, Col. Angela Giddings and Maj. Denisha Darcus, both with the Air Force Diversity and Inclusion office, and Ed Lee, program coordinator for historically black colleges, universities and minority-serving institutions, traveled to the school, with which AFTAC has had a community partnership since May 2015. The quartet, accompanied by AFTAC’s human resources program manager Rose Day, met with Endeavour’s principal and assistant principals, Rachad Wilson, Doreen Carlo-Coryell and Christy Meraz. Also in attendance was Michele Scott, planning director for Children’s Home Society.

After pleasantries and introductions were exchanged, the group sat down in Wilson’s office to discuss specifics of Endeavour’s community school program and to answer questions the visitors had about AFTAC’s mentorship and the school’s demographics.

“Two things come to my mind when I think about AFTAC and the impact they’ve had on us as a school,” Wilson said. “The first thing is last year’s Math and Science Night. We had the largest turnout of both parents and students for as far back as anyone here can remember. It went beyond our expectations and we couldn’t have done it without the folks from AFTAC making it as interactive, educational and entertaining as they did.”

Wilson continued. “The second thing is the opportunity AFTAC gave us by taking ‘our babies’ to the Science Bowl in Orlando. They restored faith in these kids by bringing home the point that just because our students come from poverty doesn’t mean they lack great minds.”

After discussing various aspects of the community school concept, Wilson and his staff brought the group on a tour of the campus, including a visit to two math classrooms and the school science lab. They also stopped by Endeavour’s “Responsibility Room,” a portable trailer where students who are struggling with behavior issues can come to re-vector their thoughts and cool down before returning to their classroom.

The Responsibility Room is also where children receive needed items that have been donated, such as uniform shirts, gym shoes, school supplies, backpacks, and even healthy snacks. Several of AFTAC’s private organizations have contributed to the cause with various donations.

Jackie Nichols oversees the room and takes great pride in the assistance she provides to the students.

“Many of our kids just need a little extra help since their families might not be able to afford simple things like pencils and notebooks,” she said. “We also offer weekend meals to certain children who might have to go home to an empty refrigerator. Little things like that really make a difference.”

Taylor requested to visit the school to see the work being undertaken between AFTAC and Endeavour, specifically from his vantage point as the Air Force’s senior official responsible for oversight of all programs affecting diversity integration and outreach in the Air Force. And while he had heard and read about the partnership, he was quite surprised to see for himself the depth of their program.

“As I look around and see what’s being accomplished here, I realize this is precisely the kind of program I want to see benchmarked throughout the Air Force,” said Taylor. “Airmen are volunteers by nature, and dedicated to service. This partnership is something that needs to be replicated, and I hope my office can play a role in spreading the word about this enormous success story.”

AFTAC CGOC awards scholarship to local teen:


Col. Jeffrey W. Dyball, vice commander of the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., presents a certification of recognition to Madison Zook, recipient of AFTAC Company Grade Officer Council’s annual scholarship. Zook, a recent Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School graduate, received the $500 award July 29, 2016 for her essay on business analytics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

By Susan A. Romano, AFTAC Public Affairs PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.
When she’s not executing her stickhandling skills on the lacrosse field, you might find Madison Zook helping grade school students improve their literacy, volunteering as a Relay for Life captain, or taking the stage with her fellow thespians at her high school.

And if that’s not enough, you might also find her spending time at her church working on various community service projects or attending Future Business Leaders of America meetings – all while balancing an eye-watering 4.3 grade point average.

So it stands to reason that the recent Edgewood Junior/Senior High School graduate received a $500 scholarship from the Air Force Technical Applications Center’s Company Grade Officers Council for her outstanding achievements July 29, 2016 at a ceremony held at the nuclear treaty monitoring center at Patrick AFB.

The council reached out to Brevard County schools to advertise the scholarship to high school students in the area. Criteria for eligibility included a minimum 3.0 GPA, graduating/graduated from a Brevard County high school, and accepted into a 4-year institution of higher learning.

AFTAC’s CGOC is an alliance of company grade officers (lieutenant through captain) whose charter is to promote the development of CGOs throughout the Air Force; develop and maintain an informational network to enhance professional development; encourage community service and camaraderie; and provide a communication structure to deliver the pulse of the CGOs to Air Force senior management.

The CGOC board presented Madison with the council’s annual scholarship that recognizes local students who are pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). Applicants were required to submit a resume, a list of community service involvement, all organizational memberships, and a 2-page essay on one of the four aspects of STEM.

Madison’s essay was entitled, “The Significance of Data Science” and it focused on a topic that is close to her heart: business analytics.

“I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree in business and I thought I’d focus my essay on that subject,” she said. “Part of the essay question asked about what I felt the lasting effects will be in my selected field of study, and I stated that business analytics will have the largest impact in the next decade on the medical field, the military, intelligence agencies and the business world, primarily because they’re all driven by scientific questions, technological innovation and societal demands.”

Madison’s parents Lee and Rhonda were present when AFTAC’s vice commander, Col. Jeffrey W. Dyball, presented her with a certificate of recognition for her efforts.

“We are extremely proud of her,” said Rhonda. “As the youngest of our three children, she has always been the competitive one. Last summer she attended the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Program at Annapolis, which was a very competitive program. We know she’s going to do well with whatever career path she chooses.”

AFTAC’s CGOC sifted through several applications and found all the submissions to be top quality.

“It was tough for us to narrow down the winner to just one person,” said 1st Lt. Michael Duff, CGOC STEM scholarship chairman. “But Madison’s definitely stood out, especially with the amount of accolades, honors and community service she’s performed throughout her high school years. We’re proud to present her with the $500 scholarship. It was definitely well earned.”

Madison is headed to Auburn University in the fall and hopes to someday own a cosmetics company, where she can apply every aspect of her business analytics degree.

With seconds remaining, AFTAC hockey club knots the score:


Jesse Hall, member of the Athletes for Teamwork and Charity hockey club, celebrates his tying goal during a game against the Orlando Fire Department Aug. 6, 2016 at the Space Coast Iceplex in Rockledge, Fla. Hall and his teammates from the Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick AFB, Fla., played in the charity match to raise money for Pawsitive Action Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs to veterans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Susan A. Romano)

By Susan A. Romano, AFTAC Public Affairs PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.
In a game filled with end-to-end action, members of Athletes for Teamwork and Charity (AFTAC) battled the Orlando Fire Department in a hockey match Aug. 6 to benefit Pawsitive Action Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs to veterans.

The teams squared off at the Space Coast Iceplex in Rockledge, Fla., with fans of both teams filling the stands. It was a gentlemen’s match where all the standard rules of the game applied, minus hip checks and heavy hits.

Team AFTAC is comprised of members from the Air Force Technical Applications Center, the Department of Defense’s sole organization responsible for nuclear treaty monitoring at Patrick AFB, Fla. Other players from Patrick’s host wing, the 45th Space Wing, are also on the roster.

Before the first faceoff, members of AFTAC’s choral group, Atomic Blue, sang the National Anthem; from there, a ceremonial puck drop occurred at center ice, and then the stage was set for three periods of exciting hockey.

Team captains Bill Hungate and Aaron Trudel formed the team as a means to raise funds for people and charities in need. Since the team’s inception in 2015, they’ve been able to raise more than $20,000 for various causes.

“We aim to support people and organizations that have some kind of connection to the Air Force and the military in general,” said Hungate. “The Orlando firefighters have made the trip to Brevard County on several occasions to support our charities, so this game was a great way for us to help them out with a charity that’s near and dear to their hearts. It’s even more rewarding knowing Pawsitive Action enhances the lives of veterans with disabilities.”

Back and forth scoring seemed to dominate the game, but at one point OFD pulled ahead by three goals.

“I got a bit dejected mid-way through the 2nd period when the score got to 5-2,” said Trudel. “But in true AFTAC fashion, we kept at it, and with just 24 seconds left in the 3rd period, Jesse Hall scored the tying goal. We nearly pulled out the win in the last few seconds of the game, but the OPD goalie made an incredible save as the buzzer sounded. We had him standing on his head for much of the 3rd period!”

The game ended in a 7-7 tie, but more importantly, the teams were able to raise $1,600 through donations, ticket sales and souvenir purchases.

“The Orlando Fire Department hockey team is a class act and we modeled our team after theirs,” said Hungate. “They have a deep and talented roster and it is truly an honor to skate on the same ice with them. I just want to thank the OFD team for making the trip for this great game and great cause, and to all of the fans who carved time out of their schedule to support us. We’re looking forward to making this an annual game on our schedule!”


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Current Obituaries

Hubert 'Rusty' Ridens, Jr. - 9/8/2016

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana on September 17, 1943. Departed on September 8, 2016 in Melbourne, Florida. Rusty retired CMSGT US Air Force and after Air Force retirement he retired after 20 years with Boeing. Hubert is survived by his wife, Donna of 54 years; Son and daughter in law, Kevin and Michelle Ridens; and grandchildren Stephanie and Stevie. A graveside service will be on Monday, September 19, at 1:30pm at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery. In Leiu of flowers please make a donation to The Wounded Warrior Project in his Name.

Mike McClellan later added, "Sorry to say that Rusty passed away at 5AM on September 8, 2016. He was a great friend, CSMGT, and inspiration! He will be deeply missed. We had the chance to be at the hospital on the evening of the 7th to say our farewells. I swear he knew we were there!.."

Mike wrote again, adding, "I don't know where to start with my relationship with Rusty! We were in a car pool from Palm Bay to Patrick every day with Wayne Pulliam, Rusty, And Jeff Bartow for several years. The trips are what made most of our days bearable after work. Rusty had a great sense of humor all the way to the point where he had me thinking I had a flat tire and needed to pull over, only to find out it was him pounding on the side of my car in rhythm with the rotation of my tires! While I was going to college, Rusty was instrumental in keeping me on track and continuing to finish my degree! Several times I was at the point where I thought I had enough and wanted to quit, but Rusty was always there convincing me to continue? When I finally graduated, Rusty gave me the famous "now that's what I'm talking about"! I'm going to seriously miss him and will always love him!"

Tom Eddleman provides the link to the obituary (Clark's update above) with the 'Guest Book,'

William Hemp Clarke - 8/29/2016

Col. William Hemp Clarke, (retired USAF) age 84, of San Antonio, TX passed away August 29, 2016. He was a 1954 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. After retirement from the USAF he worked for Lockheed at The Kennedy Space Center in Florida from 1984-1994. Survivors include his wife, Shirley Clarke of San Antonio: children and their spouses, Karen and BrigGen Sean Murphy of Virginia, Steven and Deborah (Arevalos) Clarke of Virginia; and 4 grandchildren. He will be buried at West Point. - See more here.

Jacqueline Ann Ballard Hopkins - 8/24/2016

Jacqueline Ann Ballard Hopkins, daughter of Janice Marea Price Ballard and Arthur Herbert Ballard, II entered into life on July 21, 1935 in Springfield, MA. She went home to the Lord, peacefully in her sleep on August 24, 2016 after battling cancer for 7 years. She grew up in West Hartford, CT. Most of her life she worked as a bookkeeper, retiring in 2004 from H & R Block. She was a life member of the Air Force Sergeants Association Auxiliary. She served as international president of the Auxiliary for two years. Jacqueline is survived by her husband of 62 years, TSgt, Retired, Marvin Gilbert Hopkins, 5 children, Mark Arthur Hopkins, Keith Timothy Hopkins, Russell Alan Hopkins, Allison Marie Hopkins Rathburn), and Scott Andrew Hopkins, also by her brother, Arthur Herbert Ballard, III, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She had many friends in AFSA, the Air Force, and her church Christ Community Church in Carmichael.

Alex DiSanto - 8/15/2016

Alexander John DiSANTO Colonel, USAF, Retired, who was a B17 navigator in WWII and Disanto.jpg a B29 navigator in the Korean War, died August 15, 2016 at his home in New Market, VA after a long illness. He was born in Clyde, NY on February 5, 1922 and was raised in Newark, New York. He enlisted in the US Army in July 1940, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in July 1944. From 1944 to 1945 Colonel DiSanto flew 30 combat missions over Germany in B17s and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters. In February 1949 he re-enlisted in the US Air Force, and flew 39 combat missions over North Korea as a B29 Navigator. He was awarded four additional Air Medals for his combat service. During the 1950s He flew with the Strategic Air Command on B29, B36, and KC135 aircraft. Later he served as a commander and staff officer in AFTAC, and was stationed in the US and overseas. He retired from the US Air Force in June 1973. Following retirement, he did volunteer work for many years at for his church in Fairfax City, VA; he moved to Florida in later years and volunteered at the Veterans Clinic in Viera, Florida. Colonel DiSanto was an avid golfer, a champion bowler and stained glass artist. He produced many exquisite works of stained glass art over the years for family and friends. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 52 years, Betty Smith DiSanto in October 1997. He is survived by his wife, Laurie DiSanto (nee Bailey) of Melbourne FL; two daughters, Suzanne Ewing (Gerald) of Orlando, FL and Nancy Staples (Wyatt) of Fort Valley, VA; a son, John Michael DiSanto (Patti) of New Market, VA; eight grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. Also survived by many nieces, nephews and their children, and many wonderful friends all over the world. With sadness we're informing you and the AFTAC organization that Alex died this past Monday, August 15, 2016 at home after a long illness. Click here for the Obituary. He was 94. He was so proud to be associated with the AFTAC organization, and while we were not able to attend very many of the events since his decline in health, he read the Afterburner with interest and enjoyed keeping up with the group even though most of his peers have long passed. Thank you for helping him receive his newsletter. Kindest Regards, Laurie DiSanto

William Richard Osteen - 8/1/2016

William Richard Osteen, 83, died Monday, August 1, 2016 at Shannon Medical Center Osteen.jpg surrounded by his loving family. Mr. Osteen is survived by his wife of 56 years, Dolores, two children: Diane Janzen from Fredericksburg, TX, and Renée Beale and son-in-law Joe Recchia from Austin, TX. He also leaves behind two grandchildren, Autumn (JB) Byerly of Indiana, Lauren (Shay) Wilde of San Angelo, TX, along with two great grandchildren, Brooklyn and Brynn Byerly; his brother, Gene Osteen and two nieces, Marsha and Angie. Mr. Osteen was born April 5, 1933 and raised in Bloomingdale, Georgia. William, better known as “Richard” was retired Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force, where he worked as an electrician, in radio and transmitters, with the Air Force Technical Applications Center, and Air Force recruiting. While spending the early part of his career at Goodfellow Air Force Base, he met his wife Dolores. They spent the first 33 years of their marriage in Aurora, Colorado, where in the high mountains of Colorado, Richard’s love for the outdoors became his passion. He was an avid fisherman and hunter. Both he and his wife moved to San Angelo, TX in 1996 after his retirement from the military. When Richard wasn’t spending time with family, or casting a line into the Concho River, he was volunteering his time with the San Angelo State Park, and was a member of the West Side Lions Club where much of his charitable work and easy smile will be sorely missed.

On behalf of my mother, sister, and myself, we would like to thank you. We are so proud to know my father was part of a wonderfully supportive network with such kind and generous people. Your assistance during this difficult time has been appreciated. With much friendship, Renée Beale

Bob Schley - 6/5/2016

Steve McDonald just called from Texas with information that Bob Schley passed away on June 5th with a fatal heart attack." It was later reported, " ... (verified) Bob passed away on the 5th and they have already cremated him. No obituary was published and they are not sure if the family is going to have a service or not." NOTE: No more informtion is known at this time.

Archived Obituaries

loving memory
SAGE SHOP Enter Sage Shop

The ordering information has been updated as follows:
Mail orders, unless otherwise instructed, to:

AFTAC Alumni Assn,
ATTN: Sage Shop, MSgt Aaron Trudel
Box 254892, Patrick AFB FL, 32925-0892

Phone 321-494-3456
Email: C5jetmech81@gmail.com

Add $5.00 for shipping/handling of 1 Item & $1.50 for each additional. (no shipping cost for Logo pins)


Active Duty / AFTAC Alumni Association
Calendar of Events
Sept 2016 to Feb 2017

Show Calendar

Sages are invited and encouraged to attend these events.

If there are any questions please email John Horsch

Board Members

Elected Board

  • Ed Linsey
    Ed Lindsay
  • John Howorth
    CMSgt John Howorth
    (Vice President)
  • Arlin Massey
    Arlin Massey
  • Head Outline
    Joe Goldian

Appointed Board

  • Chief Joseph
    CMSgt Michael Joseph
  • John Horsch
    John Horsch
    (AOY Coordinator and
    Post Monitor/Web)
  • Head Outline
    Mike Young
    (Hall of Heritage)
  • Bob Wiley
    Bob Wiley
    (Hall of Heritage)
  • Judy Henderson
    Judy Henderson
  • Frank Calenda
    Frank Calenda
    (IT Services)
  • Michael Steskal
    Michael Steskal
  • Sean Ryan
    Sean Ryan
  • Aaron Trudel
    MSgt Aaron Trudel
    (Sage Shop)
AFTAC Symbol
'AFTAC Cares' for Deployed 2016.06.15 Posting. We have nine deployed.
AFTAC Symbol

In 2007 The AFTAC Spouses started 'AFTAC CARES,' a program to send 'care' packages to deployed AFTACers and family members/friends.
Contact AFTAC Spouses for information.

Website Editor's Note: The Alumni Association actively supports 'AFTAC Cares' and asks that all Sages to be involved. "Thank You's" are encouraged and can be sent to AFTAC Spouses

AFTAC Spouses Notice: Help with the packing is appreciated. Contact the The AFTAC Spouses or the 'Calendar of Events,' on this website, for date and location information. Feel free to send a 'Friend Request' to 'AFTAC Spouse' or join the AFTAC Spouse Group by clicking the following link, HERE.


On May 2007, five care packages were sent to our deployed personnel containing many items suggested by those recently returning. Many packages have been sent since that time.

Some suggested items are, but not limited to:

  • Socks
  • Baby wipes
  • Gold Bond powder
  • Individual microwaveable brownies
  • Drink mixes

Magazines should be sent in a flat rate priority mail box. This ensures that the packages would proceed directly to the military member and not be held up in a processing center.

Other items should be small to keep the mailing costs down and should be items that are useful in a remote location and not frivolous (i.e. a minion doll)


We are continually in the process of preparing care packages and collecting the names and addresses of our deployed family members. Volunteer help is greatly appreciated.

Monetary donations, both mailed and in person, have been received and are very much appreciated. If mailing, please send them to the following:

AFTAC Alumni Association
P.O. Box 254892
Patrick AFB, FL 32925-0892

Mark them, 'AFTAC Cares Program,' and direct their use, if you desire. That PO Box is checked on a regular basis. If writing a check, please make out to Diane Widden since the spouses are not an official organization in any way. She will make sure the funds are used as you direct.