FREEDOM THROUGH VIGILANCE ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 691616
San Antonio, Texas 78269-1616
1. September 29, 2012 FTVA ANNUAL GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING. After Vice President Ron Haygood determined we had a quorum, President Lee Anthony called the meeting to order at 1143 hours in the Bernard A. Larger Auditorium (BALA), building 2007 (Larson Hall), HQ Air Force ISR Agency, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
2. Attendee with the earliest employment connection was Bob Finch who started his service in 1952.
3. Attendee who traveled the farthest: Ken Een, who traveled all the way from Hawaii to join us.
4. Reading of the Minutes: Minutes of the SEP 2011 FTVA General Membership Meeting were read and approved.
5. Treasurer’s report: Was read and filed for audit.
6. Vigilant Partners Update: Jim McLendon provided excellent update on the Vigilant Partners program and its continued success.
7. FTVA History Update: Barnie Gavin provided a recap of the previous year’s history and let us know he will adjust the time window of the history report to match the General Membership Meeting. The annual History Reports are now available on the FTVA website.
8. Membership Update: Bob Baert provided an update on membership, which is down a bit but more stable; meaning the numbers have been fairly consistent for the past several months.
9. Hall of Honor Update: A.J. Harrison thanked everyone for their help and contributions during the Hall of Honor nomination and selection process for the year. Additionally, he thanked Bob Sherwood for his exemplary program management over the previous several years. President Lee Anthony echoed AJ’s laudable comments to Bob Sherwood.
10. Spring Social Update: Ken Williams recounted the Spring Social as the largest group to date with 115 participants. The banquet later tonight will be the second largest in attendance numbers to date, with 255 tickets sold.
11. Sports Update. Joe Hurst announced that the golf tournament on Thursday (27 Sep) had a full docket with 144 golfers participating. The winning score was a 58.
12. Picnic Update: Jacque Lerma updated everyone on the picnic yesterday (28 Sep) afternoon. We had a great turnout, although weather was a bit of an issue. Jacque also invited everyone who can play a musical instrument or who can sing to come on out next year and participate in a jam session to liven things up a bit.
13. Newsletter Update: Dennis Rassmussen provided an update on Newsletter highlights and activities over the past year. The Newsletter is now at the maximum size allowed by the post office under its current class. Unfortunately, the Fallen Eagles section continues to grow. Thanks to Bob Baert, the Newsletter is now available in soft copy, which is in color; and thanks to the many people who have opted to switch to receiving the Newsletter this way because it saves us time, money, and effort (not to mention paper).
14. Chapter Reports: FTVA President Lee Anthony remarked that the various chapters are the life’s blood of the FTVA because of the number of new members who have joined specifically because of the active chapters in their area.
- ALOHA CHAPTER. Ken Een: The Aloha Chapter meets once per quarter; the chapter remains relatively strong and consistent in numbers; but there have been challenges in recruiting new members, especially among the Active Duty demographic. Mr John Toillion works inside the unit spaces and interacts with the 324th Commander frequently to ensure information gets passed appropriately. There are some initiatives that the Aloha Chapter members are working. First will be a move to expand actively into the volunteer arena to start helping at the USO and other areas. Second, there will be a Medal of Honor Recipient Reunion in Hawaii next month (Oct 2012) and member of the Aloha Chapter, along with members of the 324th, will help with that event. If you are ever in Hawaii, stop on by to see us!
- GOLD COUNTRY CHAPTER, Dick Sachetti: Beale Air Force Base has a strong history associated with ISR, especially the aircraft. That base has been the home of U2s, SR-71s, Global Hawks, and now MC-12s. Gold Country Chapter members are active with the 548th ISR Group on Beale to help stand up and improve their heritage hall and Group HQ building foyer and lobby areas to expand their displays of historical items.
- HERITAGE CHAPTER, JJ Graham: 2012 has been another busy year for us, with many robust challenges. The initiative we started a couple years back to print and hang historical scrolls depicting highlights from each decade has hit a roadblock for multiple reasons; we all thought it was a great initiative but just not meant to be. We will use the money that was donated for that activity and apply to something else. Doc Garrett is the Goodfellow AFB Chief Historian and is actively pursuing meaningful ways to make the best use of the buildings on base to showcase historical displays. Among the successes over the year are Cressman Dining Facility and Leftwich Hall; and we also have the Hall of Heroes at Seibers Hall. We are planning to plus up the displays in those facilities. Sgt Dale Brandenberg is the only member of Baron 52 who has not been memorialized through having a building named in his honor. We are looking at building 448 to name after Sgt Brandenberg. Former (and current) members of the 94th Intelligence Squadron members are looking at holding their reunion at Goodfellow next year. If that happens, the Heritage Chapter team will play a role in hosting the event. Next year, 2013, is the 55th anniversary of the intelligence training school at Goodfellow. We continue to host our international students in the intelligence technical training at our quarterly events. If anyone wants to reach out to us, Larry Miller, Larry Ross, and I – JJ Graham – would probably be the best points of contact. We appreciate the support!
- ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHAPTER, Barnie Gavin: We had our first meeting in October, 2011 and by November of 2011 we formed the Rocky Mountain Chapter. If anyone is interested in holding a reunion in the area, we will gladly do what we can to assist, but recommend you come in the summer. We hold our meetings on the second Thursday of each month; and our main focus is supporting the 544th Intelligence Group at Peterson AFB. We rotate our meeting locations to facilitate Active Duty attendance from the 544th. We often have our meetings in Rhino’s, which is Greg Roman’s and Rick Ozman’s bar. The 544th Commander will join us at a meeting soon. We have a liaison in the group and we actively help out where we can with awards or other areas. One activity that we recently started is a mentoring program where we reach out to assist any of our Active Duty members who may wish to get the viewpoint of one of us more seasoned personnel. We also have a program where we reach out to mentor and guide Air Force Academy Cadets who are bound for the 14N, Intelligence Officer, career field. We are actively present each time the Academy hosts a Career Day. There is planning underway for some sort of MC-12 memorial at the Academy. We will participate and assist when and where we can; more to follow as this one unfolds. Overall right now we have about 40 members, and there are many more in the area who are potential members; and we are working to expand our membership. BIG SAFARI will hold their reunion in Colorado next year and the Rocky Mountain Chapter will be there to help in any way. Please take a look at the new Rocky Mountain Chapter website when you get a chance. Upon conclusion of Barnie’s presentation, President Lee Anthony thanked Barnie for all his hard work in actively supporting the FTVA for all these years. Lee shared with the audience that Barnie is responsible for standing up the Heritage Chapter in San Angelo, TX; and the Rocky Mountain Chapter. Two strong chapters both started by Barnie Gavin.
- SUNSHINE CHAPTER, Jim Kaus: The Sunshine Chapter does not really have any concentration of members in any specific populated area, we are scattered all over the state; from Key West to Pensacola. Right now we have 92 members, and because we are all over the state it is a challenge to have meetings that will be attended in any number; so most of our communication is by email. We have a website and a Facebook page now. We are trying to find our way and we have offers out there to help the Active Duty members in any way; at any of their events.
15. ELECTION OF OFFICERS: Bob Cope was reelected as Treasurer, and Loren “Phred” Sevening was reelected at Secretary, both for two-year terms.
16. OPEN FORUM:
- President Lee Anthony reminded everyone of the need to always handle classified information appropriately. Just because many of us are no longer in uniform does not take away the responsibility to always handle the material properly.
- Danny Russell: Hats off to the Hall of Honor; it is a great initiative to honor those and highlight their accomplishments. It is a great honor to meet as many of them in person as possible.
- Mike Meermans: The Berlin Airlift Memorial is in a state of disrepair; there is movement underway to collect funding to repair it.
- Ron Haygood shared with us that historically we have had people stationed all over the world; but we are now seeing units shut down, and we are talking major units such as Misawa, Menwith Hill, and others; all due to technology now allowing us to pipe data when and where we need it.
- AJ Harrison: I want to thank BJ Jones for doing the great slide presentation that we enjoyed earlier today, and also for his time and effort as the DJ at the picnic.
17. There being no further business, a motion was made, seconded, and approved to adjourn at 1249.
LOREN R. “Phred” SEVENING