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President's Corner - December 2006

Dear FTVA Members,

Our association enjoyed another annual reunion weekend of events in September. The weather was beautiful, allowing us to complete a set of activities that combined remembrance, recognition, recreation and camaraderie.

The reunion golf tournament took place on the Alsatian Golf course in Castroville. The tournament was a great success with 144 golfers and outstanding support from the course management and a lot of hard work by Joe Hurst. Everyone enjoyed the golf and the barbeque at the club house after the tournament. Joe has started working with the Alsatian Course management to plan next year’s tournament over the next several months.

The Remembrance Ceremony held at the EC-47 memorial in front of AIA headquarters provided everyone who attended a chance to reflect on past events and associations with colleagues present and absent. The AIA Commander, Major General Craig Koziol, delivered a moving address on the importance of the command's mission, the dedication of its people, and the need to preserve a sense of heritage that connects our past with current operations. The ceremony included a great performance by the Alzafar Shrine Highlander Bagpipe Band and an F-16 flyover. The RC-135 that was scheduled to take part in the ceremony had to be cancelled at the last moment due to mechanical problems. As has become the custom, FTVA members assisted by Joe Hurst and Command Chief MSgt Ted Colquhoun called out the names of fallen eagles who died during the past year, followed by a 21-gun salute fired by the AIA Honor Guard. The association very much appreciates the cooperation and efforts by the command staff and Major (Ret) John Doherty to make this and all anniversary events a success.

The picnic that followed the remembrance ceremony was a fun event for the several hundred who attended. A.J Harrison, assisted by MSgt Jacqueline Lerma was the driving force behind making the afternoon so enjoyable. Turn out was great. Everyone enjoyed the food, drinks and entertainment. Grover McMakin stopped by to make sure that all was going well. The membership table headed by Bob Baert did a brisk business of signing up members for another year and selling command-related mementos.

Saturday's events began with the Hall of Honor induction ceremony that added four distinguished members Col (Ret) William P.Fife, Col (Ret) James W. McLendon, CMSgt (Ret) James C. Swindell, MSgt (Ret) Delano R. Jolly, to its roll. Next at the State of the Agency presentation, Major General Koziol provided an update on the command's organization and operation. These annual updates provide an outstanding link between how things worked in the past and the evolving command mission and tools in use today. We are deeply indebted to Major General Koziol and his staff for the time and care that are expended in preparing these presentations. Following the command presentation, a brief FTVA business meeting announced the re-election of Bob Cope as Treasurer for two years and Loran (Phred) Sevening as Secretary for two years and concluded with reports from several association officers.

The AIA anniversary banquet held on Saturday evening at the Lackland Gateway Club was enjoyed by the nearly 300 people who attended. In his after-dinner speech, Major General Craig Koziol, Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency addressed the important role that AIA is playing in on-going operations against global terrorism. He congratulated our newly inducted HoH members and the entire FTVA membership on their contributions -- past and present. At the conclusion of the dinner, the Air Force Band of the Westonce again provided outstanding dance music for many who stayed, well into the night.

The association owes a large debt of gratitude to Ken Williams and Major Bernard Cruz (and many others) for orchestrating a mountain of details associated with a large dinner. Well done, Ken and Major Cruz!!

Over the next year, I will continue work to make FTVA an even stronger organization than it is today. My hope is to bring the organization into even closer relationship with AIA. I want to get the word to the current members of AIA that they are welcome to become members of FTVA. Current and past members of USAFSS, ESC, AFIC, and AIA can join the FTVA. I urge every FTVA member to join in this endeavor.

The Freedom Through Vigilance Association Board has selected 27-29 September 2007 for the next Reunion. This will give you all plenty of time to make plans to attend. We look forward to seeing you all in September.

As we approach the holiday season, best wishes to you and your families. As the war on terrorism rolls on, let us join in thoughts and prayers for the safety of all Americans, particularly those wearing our country's uniform.

Remain in touch,

Robert Crabtree

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File last updated: March 21, 2013 8:18:17 PM CDT