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AF leaders convene at USAFA for CORONA


Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson (right) and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein address an audience of cadets from the staff tower in Mitchell Hall at the Air Force Academy during a visit in late October.Top Air Force officials got a chance to talk policy outside the Pentagon Oct. 30-Nov. 3 at the Academy during the annual Corona visit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott Ash)


Top Air Force officials got a chance to talk policy outside the Pentagon Oct. 30-Nov. 3 at the Air Force Academy.

The annual CORONA meeting gives service leaders, including the secretary, chief of staff and chief master sergeant of the Air Force, the chance to plot the future of the Air Force.

The hot topics included the future of aviation, space operations and cyber security.

"It's an honor our senior leaders hold this event here each year," said Col. David Harris, the Academy’s vice superintendent. "The strategic conversations that take place at the Academy concerning the future of our Air Force are critically important and we are proud to facilitate that dialog. Many of our senior leaders are Academy grads, so it's nice to give them a chance to return to their alma mater."

Harris said Corona is an "all hands on deck" operation.

"From the 10th Security Forces Squadron providing s a safe environment for this event to happen, to the 10th Logistics Readiness Squadron handling who handles transportation, along with all our volunteers and other organizations, it's a total force effort," he said.

Harris said his favorite aspect of Corona is giving senior Air Force leaders a chance to meet cadets.

“They see our future is in very good hands. That’s the best part," he said. "They chat with cadets and their professors and instructors, and that's really special."

Cadet 1st Class Braden Smith, a Falcon scholar, attended the Falcon Foundation Banquet Nov. 3, which coincides with other Corona events and celebrates the Air Force’s history, evolution and accomplishments of Falcon scholars and cadets.

“It’s one of my favorite nights of the year,” he said. “What other event can you sit in a room with countless current and former leaders of the Air Force?”

Smith also attended popular thought-leader Simon Sinek’s presentation to the Corona guests, cadets and Academy staff in Arnold Hall. Sinek talked about building a cultural path to stronger leadership.

Smith said Corona gives him a long-term view of his career and the Air Force as a whole.

“Corona puts in perspective what this place means to all of the graduates who come back as well as what I am about to do after I graduate,” he said.

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