AWC hosts 61st SecAF National Security Forum

special from
NSF team

5/2/2014 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.  -- Air War College hosts the 61st Secretary of the Air Force National Security Forum here May 6-8, drawing some 150 distinguished civilian visitors from across the nation.

The three-day forum is designed to expose influential citizens to senior U.S. and international officers and civilian equivalents in order to better share each other's ideas and perspectives on Air Force, national and international security issues.

This year's theme is "The End of a Decade of War? Evolving Strategy, Budgetary Uncertainty, and American Power."

To kick off the event, the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James will provide the keynote address. Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III will conclude the event with the capstone address. AWC Commandant Maj. Gen. Brian Bishop, and AWC Dean Dr. Mark Conversino will provide strategic perspective.

"The National Security Forum is a fantastic opportunity for U.S. and international senior military and civilian leaders to share with one another their experiences and insights in national and international security," said Bishop.

NSF began in 1954 as an expansion of the Civilian Outreach Seminars held 1947-1949. Since its inception, the forum has provided distinguished, hand-selected civilians with a unique opportunity to engage in open and candid discussions with senior military and civilian leaders on national and international security topics. Joining these civilians will be 245 Air War College students who represent military and civilian leaders serving in and with America's armed forces, as well as a diverse group of select military officers from 42 other countries.

At the same time, NSF guests get an education on the mission and capabilities of the U.S. military. The exchange is two-way, with both guests and students broadening each other's strategic thinking and perspective on what the nation needs in today's volatile world.

The NSF provides an opportunity for an open and candid exchange of ideas among these senior military and civilian leaders. Throughout the week, participants will explore the nation's evolving and dynamic security issues, as well as gain a sense of how the Air Force conducts its mission. NSF guests leave with a better understanding of security issues and serve as ambassadors in their circles of influence.

Topics of discussion will include evolving American Grand Strategy; The Syrian Civil War; History of U.S. Airpower; Japan's decision for war in World War II; Military Ethics; U.S.-China Relations; Air-Sea Battle; Intelligence; Remotely-Piloted Aircraft; and the US Nuclear Enterprise.

Hands-on activities will include a focus on Air Force operations with a C-130 tour, deployment processing line demonstration and base orientation. In the end, NSF participants will better understand what is meant by national security and national strategy and how certain factors impact those topics. In turn, NSF participants will provide AWC students with a better understanding of how military operations affect the home front. The experience of NSF is expected to directly benefit AWC students in their follow-on assignments by helping them anticipate how their decisions may be viewed by the civilian population.

An all-important aspect of the forum is the opportunity to network with the AWC students and other NSF guests in less formal settings. The AWC commandant will host a reception at the Maxwell Club and guests will take in a baseball game at the Montgomery Biscuits' Riverwalk Stadium.

For more information, visit the NSF webpage at