Notes from the President of the Air Force Historical Foundation

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As the Air Force Historical Foundation approaches its fiftieth anniversary in 2003, I am pleased to report the Foundation continues to fulfil its mission of preserving, perpetuating, and publishing the history and traditions of the United States Air Force, its predecessor organizations, and the airmen of both genders and all races, whose lives and dreams were devoted to flight.

The annual Foundation meeting was held at Andrews Air Force Base on October 16, 2002. The highlights of the meeting follow:

1. Aronhalt, Stringer & Company completed their annual audit for FY 2001 (June 1, 2001-May 31, 2002) and determined the Foundation's financial operations conform to generally accepted accounting principles.

2. The Foundation's annual budget fluctuates significantly from year to year. While expenses are generally stable, income can fluctuate dramatically. For example, the Foundation enjoyed revenue over expenses of $10,000 in FY 2001. However, income from important sources in FY 2001 will not reoccur in FY 2002. The Foundation expects reduced interest and dividends from its mutual fund and other financial instruments, plus cancellation of the Air Force's annual purchase of our book, A Few Great Captains. The reductions are expected to be counterbalanced by other foundation activities, as discussed below.

3. Participants discussed symposium possibilities for 2003 -- the centennial of flight year. One major possibility is that the symposium will be jointly sponsored by the Foundation and the RAF Historical Society, covering air power history from the early twentieth century though Desert Storm. A final decision will be made in the spring.

4. The members agreed that trustees over the age of 75 should be designated "Trustee Emeriti." They will, however, be encouraged and expected to continue to participate fully in Foundation activities.

5. A trustee committee led by Lt. Gen. Earl Brown, USAF (Ret.), including Maj. Gen. Charles Link, USAF (Ret.), and CMSAF Sam Parish, USAF (Ret.) will develop a slate of nominees for the next Foundation president. President of the foundation since 1996, General Smith agreed to remain in office until the next annual meeting.

6. Colonel Marston reported that the Foundation's illustrated history, The Air Force, is now in bookstores. It makes an excellent holiday gift and it is hoped air power enthusiasts will place it on their wish list. The Foundation's book on Air Force technology entitled Chasing the Silver Bullet USAF Weapons Development from Vietnam to Desert Storm, will be in bookstores in the spring. It will provide useful insights into the decision-making processes that have resulted in the USAF being the most capable air force in the world.

7. Annual and lifetime membership fees have not changed in more than ten years, while the cost of doing business has risen steadily. The trustees voted that, effective January 1, 2003, lifetime membership will be $750 and will include a complimentary copy of The Air Force. Annual individual membership will be $45 per year. The annual institutional membership will be $55 per year. The $35 membership fee for two years for enlisted members, junior officers and students will remain as it is today. …