Air Force Association Hosts Thousands of Airmen from Around the Air and Space Forces

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt Michael Caggiano
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

NATIONAL HARBOR, M.D. – 28th Bomb Wing “Raider” Airmen from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., joined over ten-thousand Airmen and Guardians from across the Department of the Air Force for the Air and Space Forces Association Conference in National Harbor, M.D., Sept. 19-21, 2022. The conference served as an opportunity for senior leaders in the DAF to provide key updates and intermingle with personnel from various Air Force Specialty Codes and duty stations around the globe.

Nine Raiders; each with differing positions, backgrounds and ranks, were present during this professional development event. Airman First Class Carolina Fajardo, 28th Comptroller Squadron financial operations technician, spoke on the opportunities of the conference.

“Speaking as the most junior member of the group, I think this was a great way to get a taste of the big leagues and getting to see all the leadership that makes the decisions that impact the Air Force,” said Fajardo.

Fajardo went on to say her favorite part was getting to meet new people from different parts of the Air Force.

“They’ve taught me a lot this week and getting to know them was an honor,” said Fajardo. “At the end of the day, our people are what matter most because the mission couldn’t be complete without them.”

Raiders were also able to hear speeches from key leaders in their own career fields.

“It was amazing to listen to DoD leaders explain the efforts being made across the board in propulsion,” said Master Sgt. Dana Long, 28th Maintenance Squadron propulsion flight chief, after listening to key leaders speak on the future of DAF engines and propulsion. “The advancements and innovations being made will ensure air superiority for us and our allies.”

Col. Joseph Sheffield, 28th Bomb Wing commander, praised the professional development opportunity.

“Being able to give our Raiders the chance to meet their peers and leaders from different locations strengthens our team’s ability to accomplish the mission,” said Sheffield. “Learning from one another in this collaborative environment showcased the Air Force’s collective efforts towards increasing our readiness, not just at the installation level, but worldwide.”

This year's Air and Space Forces Association conference was also a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the United States Air Force coinciding with Ellsworth’s 80th anniversary and the 80th anniversary of the World War II Doolittle Raid.

“To be able to bring our Raiders out to this culminating celebration was a wonderful way to round out our historic year,” said Sheffield.

The attendees from Ellsworth return with new-found lessons and mentors, allowing them to fortify their ability to provide the nation with global strike capabilities anytime – anywhere.