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AFA: From the eyes of an Airman

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James meets with Airmen from the Air Education and Training Command at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept.19, 2016. Airmen were selected from Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Mobility Command, and AETC to man the American Airman Booth and represent their MAJCOMS at the conference. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James meets with Airmen from the Air Education and Training Command at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Md., Sept.19, 2016. Airmen were selected from Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Mobility Command, and AETC to man the American Airman Booth and represent their MAJCOMS at the conference. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Airmen from Air Mobility Command discuss their experiences and military backgrounds with those attending the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference at National Harbor, Md., Sept. 20, 2016. Three major commands, Air Force Global Strike Command, AMC, and Air Education and Training Command were represented at the American Airman Booth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Airmen from Air Mobility Command discuss their experiences and military backgrounds with those attending the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference at National Harbor, Md., Sept. 20, 2016. Three major commands, Air Force Global Strike Command, AMC, and Air Education and Training Command, were represented at the American Airman Booth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Airmen from Air Force Global Strike Command discuss their experiences and military backgrounds with those attending the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference at National Harbor, Md., Sept. 19, 2016. Three major commands, AFGSC, Air Mobility Command, and Air Education and Training Command were represented at the American Airman Booth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks)

Airmen from Air Force Global Strike Command discuss their experiences and military backgrounds with those attending the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference at National Harbor, Md., Sept. 19, 2016. Three major commands, AFGSC, Air Mobility Command, and Air Education and Training Command, were represented at the American Airman Booth. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AFNS) -- Airmen from Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air Education and Training Command represented their major commands at the American Airman Booth during the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference here Sept. 19-21.

During the conference, Airmen discussed with attendees their military backgrounds and experiences in the service. They were also given the unique opportunity to interact with Air Force senior leadership and industry leaders.

“We’re out there doing (the mission) and seeing so many of the things that are going right and going wrong, so we can offer that insight and experience,” said Senior Airman Jessica Deal, a C-130J Super Hercules loadmaster from the 39th Airlift Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

The Airmen spoke with numerous people, from cadets and retirees to generals.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been in an arena where there are so many senior leaders in one place,” said Maj. William Andreotta, an F-35A Lightning II Heritage Flight pilot from the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. “Today, we’ve seen probably four MAJCOM commanders, including our own AETC commander, the secretary of the Air Force, and others. It’s a chance that many people don’t have, to be able to ask your senior leaders questions right up front about issues and things that you’re thinking about in today’s Air Force.”

The Air Force is a technologically advanced branch of the U.S. military, with missions in the air, space and cyberspace that many times rely on the ingenuity of industry partners. While at the conference, the MAJCOM Airmen were able to meet with some of the companies that impact them on a daily basis.

“I talked to a lot of the people that make our parts, and that was just neat to put a face to those companies,” Deal said, adding that she was able to tell company representatives how effective their products are in action. “I talked to some of the guys that make the rudders. I went and talked to Boeing – we get our headsets from them. And I’ve been talking to a lot of people that have just come to stop by the booth and just ask what we do.”

Deal said she also had the opportunity to attend several of the briefings that took place during the three-day conference, and there was plenty of insight and advice that she’ll be able to take back to her squadron and share with fellow Airmen.

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