AWC lecture series serves as outreach



by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs


2/10/2012 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Air University and the Air War College are currently presenting the Gen. Henry "Hap" Arnold Lecture Series to universities across the country. The series, which offers three distinct perspectives on national strategy, was presented at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., and Rutgers Business School in Newark, N.J., and is slated for Westminster College in Salt Lake City and George Washington University in Washington, D.C., later this month.

"It serves as an outreach program between the Air War College and other institutions of higher learning, but beyond that it showcases our product, the students," said Gene Kamena, professor at the Air War College and the facilitator of the series.

He said the series allows the Air War College to interact in a larger academic circle.
"We are a graduate-producing institution," he said. "This lets us establish links, exchange ideas and have conversations with other graduate-level institutions around the country. It's a great opportunity."

The lecture series doesn't just benefit the Air War College. It gives students the opportunity to take what they've learned, present and discuss it in a academic setting. Three students give a presentation at each event and then host a panel with a faculty moderator.

Col. Christopher Bado, a student at the Air War College who presented at the first event at Washington State, said he appreciated the chance to speak.

"It was a great opportunity for me personally," he said. "Part of the purpose of the Air War College is to develop us as senior leaders. It was a chance for me to practice and get experience speaking in a public forum and relating to people outside the military, a great building block in the senior leader development that happens here."

The event also allows the students to represent the Air War College and the armed forces as a whole in an academic community that may not have a lot of experience with military education, said Bado.

"It's a great public speaking opportunity to go out as a senior leader, in uniform, representing your service and your institution, and have a dialogue with folks who, particularly in the case of Washington State University, are out on the west coast and don't have a large interaction with the military to begin with," he said. "It's great to be able to tell the military story, start building a relationship with these folks and hopefully have them realize the military is not a nameless, faceless bureaucracy but a collection of people, and in some cases some pretty smart individuals, that can discuss these topics with an academic rigor."