July-September, 2015

Emerald Coast Guardian, Eglin AFA

President's Notes

I am drafting this, my last letter as your President, as I am waiting for my return flight from the National AFA Convention and Symposium in Washington DC.  I was honored and excited to attend this premier event on behalf of you, the Eglin Chapter.  My trip was very productive—among other things I attended the annual AFA convention/business meeting, national awards ceremony, Outstanding Airman of the Year banquet, visited Congressman Miller’s office to perform the “advocacy” part of our charter, attended a number of very inspirational and motivational seminars and participated in a fundraising reception for our very own Air Force Enlisted Village.  Please log into the website for audio and video transcripts of some of the presentations by senior AF leaders.

Before I go further I want to announce that my term is up 1 Oct and we will have a chapter election. As is typically the case, we have one candidate for each position, so let me encourage each of you to consider a) participating in our Executive Board and b) becoming an elected officer.  There is a ballot in the newsletter, but the candidates are:

President:  Candace Lovell (Current VP)
VP:  Lee Barnby (Recent transfer from Cal, where he was Far West Regional President)
Secretary:  Shirley Pigott (incumbent)
Treasurer:  Steve Czonstka (incumbent)

I can’t express how appreciative I am of all the above candidates and their willingness to volunteer.  As much as I would like to become a full time U12 girls soccer coach, I will stay on the board as VP for Awards and as a “Past President,” I will support the elected officers as the need arises. Please support the new chapter leadership!

We’ve had another busy quarter and next quarter promises to be equally busy.  I attended the Florida state AFA convention in July, and among other things, received quite a few awards on behalf of the chapter.  Please see the details about our (first) annual awards luncheon on 14 Oct, where I will attempt give due recognition to all the great Chapter achievements both collectively and individually.

By the time you are reading this, I will have represented the Chapter at Eglin's AF Anniversary Reception.  I will have also attended our sister chapter's (Hurlburt AFA) annual awards ceremony at the AF Enlisted Village.  I will also be privileged to have welcomed our 20th Chief of Staff, Gen Mark Welsh, and his wife Betty at a local reception. 

My two years as Chapter President certainly went fast.  While I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I would've liked, I'm excited about the new leadership team and the potential for the Eglin Chapter to shine in our mission to Educate, Advocate and Support a strong national defense and an unmatched Air Force providing air, space and cyber power options to our national leaders.  

Thanks for allowing me to serve as your President. 

Eddie McAllister
PS - Go Air Force!  Beat Navy! 

Eddie McAllister, Eglin AFA President, Col Retired; Larry Gallogly, Col (ret) RI ANG, now with Lockheed Martin; Gen Carleton Everhart, Commander, Air Mobility Command; Rich Johnston, Maj Gen (ret) USAF, now with Lockheed Martin; Lt Gen Brad Heithold, Commander, Air Force Special Operations Command at the National AFA Convention and Symposium in Washington DC. Interestingly, they were all C-130 crew members at Little Rock AFB in the early 80's as Lts and Capts.   


Please vote for the following candidates for Eglin Chapter office, by sending a yes or no email to
President:  Candace Lovell (current VP and long-time Board Member)
Vice President:  Lee Barnby (current Far West Regional President, AFA Field Council and Aerospace Education Council Member, Chairman's Citation recipient at the 2015 Convention, recently transferred from California)
Secretary:  Shirley Pigott (Incumbent, 22+ years on the Eglin AFA Board)
Treasurer:  Steve Czonstka (incumbent, 7+ years as Treasurer)

Eglin AFA Awards Luncheon on October 14th
On Wednesday, October 14th, 1100 AM, the Eglin AFA Awards Luncheon will be held at the Bayview Club on Eglin AFB. We will introduce our new Chapter officers and present numerous Chapter, State and National awards to members of our chapter.
The Air Force Association, Eglin Chapter
cordially invites you and your guest to a luncheon
Wednesday, the fourteenth of October
at eleven o'clock in the morning
Bayview Club, Sandollar Lounge
Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Chapter President
Eddie McAllister, Colonel,  USAF, Retired
will present
Air Force Association
National, State and Chapter Awards
to deserving recipients

               R.s.v.p. by 7 October                                                                      Dress Attire:
                Amy Gold, (850) 897-5995                                              Civilians:  Business Casual
                                                                Military: UOD
Cost of Meal:  Club Members:  $13; Non Club Members:  $14
On arrival, please proceed to the Sandollar Lounge to pay cash or by check for your meal.
No Credit Cards accepted.
If you need base access, please give Mrs. Gold your cell phone number
 and email address when you RSVP.
Transportation will be at the Armament Museum at 10:45 for those who need
base access.

Airman honored as one of 2015's outstanding Airmen of the year

Staff Sgt. Kurtis Harrison, 96th Communications Squadron
by Jasmine Porterfield
Team Eglin Public Affairs

7/28/2015 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Staff Sgt. Kurtis Harrison, 96th Communications Squadron Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems Project Manager, was recognized as one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year, one of the top-level honors an Airman can receive.

"This recognition is so humbling," said Harrison. "I haven't been able to sit down and grasp the significance, but it's an honor to be recognized."

For Harrison's leadership, the news comes as no surprise. "Kurtis embodies all we look for on our Airmen," said Lt. Col. Robert Kelly, 96th Mission Support Group deputy commander and former 96th CS commander. "He sees every challenge as an opportunity to excel, he leads by example and he always remembers people are our number one priority."

Harrison is credited with many mission enhancements, including revamping the way Airmen perform flight line maintenance by installing local area network drops making their technical orders accessible electronically right at their maintenance station. Prior to this, maintainers would have to lug stacks of papers to their site to be able to run checklists manually, making the process trying and time consuming. "It's about us finding ways to innovate, work together and continue to grow as a force," said the 26-year-old. "Though I didn't maintain that fleet with my own hands, I was able to give those Airmen tools to help them get the mission done more efficiently."

In his current role as a C4 project manager, Harrison caught a design flaw in a range tower blueprint where all communications functions were missing, which are vital to sending and receiving feedback during testing and training. His catch saved more than $35,000 in construction costs.

Harrison's achievements range from restoring communications access in support of crucial missions to assisting in the transfer of communications functions for entire units from one location to another, unhampering mission operations. According to Kelly, the Airman's countless achievements are a facet of what really makes him stand out - his character. "Kurtis's passion and energy are infectious, raising the performance of not only himself, but those around him," he said. "He never stops learning about our Air Force and mission and is always looking for ways to do this better in a fiscally constrained environment. I think his can-do attitude is what we need in today's Air Force." Being a hard worker is nothing new to Harrison. He held his first out of many jobs at the age of 13, helping to support his single mother and two brothers. By the time he reached high school, he attended six elementary schools and five middle schools, as his family moved often for better work opportunities, he said.

A jack of all trades, there was no job he hadn't done, but according to Harrison, that wasn't enough for him to stay put. "I knew I wanted to do something more with my life - I just didn't know what," he said. "One day, my boss at the time said to me, 'Kurtis, just do something,' and it clicked for me. Joining the Air Force was one of the best decisions I've made." The Irondale, Ala., native recalled how he prepared for basic training, increasing his exercise routine and running daily. By the time he made it to the June 2008 training, he felt confident in his physical abilities until he got a glimpse of what was expected of him. "I looked over the exercise schedule and thought, 'there's no way I can do all that,'" he said. "I asked one of the guys from a higher flight if it got easier, and he said, "no, but you get better.' I've held on to that perspective throughout my career."

His mindset propelled him through basic and into his vigorous career as a cable/antenna systems Airman, a behind-the-scenes career field vital to the mission's success. It was Harrison's aspirations that made him an ideal candidate to be an Airman Leadership School instructor - an opportunity he said he could not pass up. He is scheduled to train this fall to fully take on the role as a mentor. "I want to strive to be the leader others want to be - to lead by example," said Harrison, who plans to make the Air Force a career. "I'm not perfect, but I wake up every day, count my blessings and realize I'm given another opportunity to make an impact on someone else's life, or even my own, and I want to take advantage of that. It's not about being perfect - it's about striving to be better."

Harrison's selection as one of the Air Force's OAY will work hand-in-hand with his soon-to-be position. For the next year, he will serve as an ambassador for the Air Force, traveling across the country to speak to fellow Airmen about growth and leadership. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to travel and work as team with the other 11 honorees and see what impact we can have on our Air Force this year," said the NCO. For now, the award-winning Airman has a window of time to soak it all in, including preparing for and welcoming his second child in mid-August. He credits his family, his leadership and his fellow Airmen as those who have had and continue to have an impact on his success.

"Success is not an accident - it takes planning and having the right circle of influence around you to push you up," said Harrison, who hopes to reach the rank of chief or possibly join the officer ranks. "This isn't about me. If anything, this award is a testament to the people around me." Harrison attests anyone can achieve success with a strong support system of great people with positive attitudes and enthusiasm. "When you toss a single rock into a pond, there's a small ripple effect that quickly fades," he said. "When you toss a bunch of rocks continually over time, the ripples get bigger and overlap, continuing to affect the water around it. This means if we use our experiences to invest in others, the ripple of success will continue throughout the pond."

We are so fortunate to have the Air Force Enlisted Village (AFEV) in our very own neighborhood. Nestled on Sunset Lane in Shalimar, the Air Force Enlisted Village was created to provide surviving spouses and retired airmen with a safe and dignified residence. This venture has been supported fervently by Bob Hope, his pilot Col Bob Gates and Gerald Ford, just to name a few. Following the credo set by his predecessor, CMSAF #9 James C. Binnicker, that AFEV treat its residents as they would their own Mom, Brooke McLean, President and CEO plans to meet the demands of the ever growing Air Force Enlisted Village by embarking on a capital campaign. The village currently supports 465 residents. The environment is comfortable and welcoming. There are five Bob Hope Villages and the Hawthorn House, which is an assisted living and memory care residence. Air Force Enlisted Village’s original location, Theresa Village, was recently sold to help fund the construction of Bob Hope Village 5, which just opened in July, 2015. The projected expansion is centered on the community center which is only sized for 250 residents and is starting to show its age. Renovating and expanding the Community Center is the focus for the capital campaign.  Once completed, McLean will continue to improve the campus in an effort to meet the demands of the aging population.  Census data shows 3 million people a year turning 65 years old.  That’s 9,000 people a day, projected for the next 20 years.

The Air Force Enlisted Village welcomes donations of all kinds.  They graciously accept gifts of cash, checks, credit card payments, land, property, stocks, and securities. Options include payroll deduction, employer matching gifts, or a bequest in your will.  See their website at for more information on charitable giving options. 

Volunteer opportunities abound for individuals and groups who are interested. Squadrons and base units have assisted in larger tasks such as painting and landscaping.  Individuals have assisted residents with “honey-do” lists or just spending some time visiting. At the Hawthorn house, there are sessions that are more interactive such as singing/games, etc. Holidays are also a great time to get involved.

Eglin AFA Members Supported the Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive Celebration on Saturday, August 22nd

The Eglin Chapter of the Air Force Association assisted at the AF Armament Museum honoring our World War II veterans with The Spirit of ’45. Pictured is retired Lieutenant Colonel Clyde Morehouse and his wife, Katie. Shirley Pigott, Chapter Secretary, registered the couple with Chapter Vice President Candace Lovell. Photo contributed by Candace Lovell.

Bill Pattison, who helped organize the Spirit of ’45 Event is pictured with Steve Czontska, Eglin AFA Treasurer. Candace Lovell and Steve Czonstka are pictured helping with the event. Pictures by NW Florida Daily News.

Eglin AFA Hosted a Luncheon featuring General Kostelnik on Homeland Security

On Wednesday, July 29th, Eglin AFA hosted a luncheon featuring  Major General Kostelnik (USAF, retired) titled “UAS [Unmaned Aerial Systems] on Leading Edge in Homeland Security.”  It was a fascinating event held in the Sand Dollar Lounge at the Eglin AFB Bayview Club.  You can view the presentation slides on our Eglin AFA Chapter Web Site at  Hover over the Events tab and click on Past Endeavors.

Northwest Florida State College Foundation Banquet

Chapter Board Members Shirley Pigott, Doug Hardin, Bob Patterson and Loyal Weaver attended the Northwest Florida State College Foundation annual dinner Friday, August 21st.  Hayley Woods, one of the Chapter’s scholarship recipients, was on the program. Dr. David Lambert, Chief Scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Munitions Directorate at Eglin AFB addressed the attendees.  

Loyal Weaver and Bob Patterson at the NWFSC Foundation Dinner

Doolittle Raider Last Reunion Book presented to the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida’s Military Exhibit

Eglin AFA Treasurer Steve Czonstka presents the Doolittle Raider Last Reunion Book which the Eglin Air Force Base Chapter of the Air Force Association & Aerospace Education Foundation received for their $5,000 donation to the Doolittle Foundation to Crystal Brown, Education Coordinator for the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida in Valparaiso, FL. The book was donated to be displayed in the Museum’s Military Exhibit where it can be viewed by the public.

43rd annual Doolittle Scholarship Open golf tournament

The 43rd annual Doolittle Scholarship Open golf tournament will be held on Thursday, November 5, 2015, at the Eglin Golf Course in Niceville. This year’s tourney will be played on the historic Eagle course, the oldest golf course in the area.  Check in starts at 7:00 a.m. and the tournament kicks off with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. 

The tournament is open to the public and cost is $50 for active duty military, $75 for Eglin Golf Course members and $100 for all others, which includes green fee and cart, range balls, lunch, refreshments on the course, and an awards party.  Registration forms are available the Eglin AFA website:  Questions may be directed to Steve Madley, (850) 803-2280.

The tournament is sponsored by the Eglin Air Force Association Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Proceeds from the tournament will help provide college scholarships for deserving Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) cadets at area high schools, top graduates at the Community High Okaloosa Institutes for Career Education (CHOICE) Okaloosa Aerospace Academy at both Choctawhatchee and Crestview High Schools, as well as the Air Force ROTC program at the University of West Florida.  The foundation also provides resources for the Engineers for America program at the Air Force Armament Museum, the Civil Air Patrol, CHOICE Okaloosa Aerospace Academy at Shoal River Middle School, in addition to other math and science fairs in the county. 

In 2011, the foundation surpassed the $1 million mark for funds raised, based in large part to the generous support of our local community.

Election Year Dos & donts

It's election season again, and as the campaigns and debates heat up, it is important to remember what the AFA can and cannot do. Participating in elections on behalf of our organization is not allowed. We could lose its tax-exempt 501(c)3 status if we are found to be in violation. Individuals acting as private citizens are able to do any campaigning they would like, but not while acting on behalf of the AFA. When acting in an official capacity with the AFA or identifying yourself with the AFA in any way:
■ Do not endorse a candidate.
■ Do not support a particular political party.
■ Do not invite candidates to speak, unless you invite all of them.
■ Do not give AFA money or time to any campaign, this includes using AFA money to attend a fundraiser. Individuals are allowed to volunteer or donate as private citizens, but not as representatives of the AFA.
■ Do not tell your members how to vote. Messages do not have to state a name or party to be in violation; anything that refers to distinctive features of a candidate's platform or biography can be considered an endorsement.
■ Do not approach candidates and ask them to endorse AFA policy positions.
■ Do not link to a candidate's page or otherwise endorse on your Chapter website, Facebook page, Twitter account, or other social media.
These rules apply to you as an AFA Member. Remember that many of our members have attached automatic signature elements to their personal e-mail shells which either identify them as an AFA member, or a Chapter State or Region officer.  If you use that email account to either author or forward communications supporting or opposing a partisan candidate or policy, that signature element must not be attached.  You can, of course, do whatever you would like as a private citizen, but the organization itself, including our Chapters, States, and Regions, cannot do any of the above, and you cannot use your AFA membership as justification for endorsements if requested. You can, however, still invite incumbents to speak in their current role - not as a candidate. You can still engage in public advocacy and education through our Airpower Advocates program, but not for a particular candidate.  Such advocacy should be confined to our AFA Statement of Policy and Top Issues as approved at the National Convention. If you have any questions or would like to see if a particular Chapter or State event meets appropriate standards, contact the Field Services department of the National Staff.

Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Myers

As we all grieve the senseless death of Deputy Myers, you may be wondering how you can best help his family and his colleagues at the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Ofice.

If you’d like to make a donation that you know will go directly to Deputy Myers’ family, please make that tax-deductible donation to the OCSO Sherriff’s Star Charities fund. (If it’s more convenient for you to deliver your donation to the FWB Chamber, we will hand deliver it to the Sheriff’s Office.)

OCSO Sherrif’s Star Charities

Thank you for your generosity toward this grieving family and Deputy Myers' colleagues.      

Thank you to Our Community Partners
Raytheon 60 2nd St, Suite 601, Shalimar, FL 32579
Lockheed Martin Corporation-Tobi L Allen 5600 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
Paul S. Hsu TTE 819 Choctaw Lane, Shalimar, FL 32579
Bill Kirk 1100 Troon Dr W, Niceville, FL 32578 897-1365
Lamar Outdoor Advertising:Joseph Raines 223 Greenacres Rd, Ft Walton Beacn, FL 32547 
Lockheed Martin Corporation-Accounts Payable Cntr PO Box 33010 Lakeland, FL 33807-3010
Ann Shambo 1005 Lake Dr, Niceville, FL 32578
St Joe Community Foundation: Jant Greeno, Exec Dir: 133 S Watersound Pkwy, Watersound, FL 32413
Investments Unlimited-Cliff Long PO Box 623, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549-0623
ATK - Bob Blake 2803 Sam Snead Court, Shalimar, FL 32579
COLSA Corporation: Anderson/Orcutt/Warner/Williams 51 3rd St Bldg E, Shalimar, FL 32579
Jimmie Adams Gen (Ret) 320 Sand Myrtle Trl, Destin,  FL 32541
Jacobs Technology, Inc 1030 Titan Crt, #100 FWB FL 32547
Harvey F Eckhoff VFW Post 7674: Quartermaster Account PO Box 456, Mary Esther, FL 32569-0456 
Total Parts Plus: Dr Paul Hsu, Chairman 709 Anchors St, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32578 
Bluewater Fitness Center 4591 E Hwy 20, Niceville, FL 32578-8844
Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport - Mike Stenson 1701 State Rd 85 N, Eglin AFB, FL 32542 
Magnolia Grill 157 Brooks St SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548