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April 2020

April, 2020 Meeting: Marine Corps Aviation Ordnance and Operations

April 30 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Lt. Col. David “Aflak” Adamiec, USMC (Ret.)

Marine Corps Aviation Ordnance and Operations

Retired Lt. Col. David “Aflak” Adamiec (right side in photo) will describe his experiences flying F/A-18 fighters and weaponry on F-35s and drones.

David retired from the Marine Corp in 2017 after 20 years of flying fighters. He’s currently a Wargame Facilitator supporting the F/A-18 training at Pt. Loma in San Diego.

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March 2020

March, 2020 Meeting: Palm Springs Airport Operations Update

March 26 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Thomas Nolan, A.A.E.

Palm Springs Airport Operations Update: Spring, 2020

Thomas Nolan will present the latest plans and activities about our local airport. His presentations are always interesting with a few fun, surprising facts about maintaining security and keeping those passengers moving.

Thomas Nolan, A.A.E. has served as the Executive Director of the Palm Springs International Airport since 2007. He began his airport management career in 1985 at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport and has continued his career with work at several different airports over the last 33 years. He earned his accreditation from the American Association of Airport Executives, is a licensed private pilot, and possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Marquette University. Tom is married to his high school sweetheart and they have five grown children.

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February 2020

February, 2020 Meeting: Vietnam Missions early in the Conflict

February 27 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Lt. Col. Gary Craig, USAF (Ret.)

Vietnam Missions early in the Conflict

Lt. Col. Craig will share some surprising details about the development of tactics at the “official” start of the Vietnam war.

Gary flew into Vietnam the first day of the official start of the Vietnam War in 1964. A few months later he bailed out of a burning KB-50J Tanker supporting the air strikes in the Pain of Jars in Laos.
He was on loan to the CIA (Air America) supporting the secret SOG (Special Operations Group) in Cambodia.

Returning home to Seattle in 1967, he joined the AF Reserves and flew C-141’s into Vietnam until the end of the War.

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January 2020

January, 2020 Meeting: Stories of TopGun from its First CO

January 30 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Roger E. Box, Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)

Stories of TopGun from its First Commanding Officer

Rear Admiral Box was privileged to hold command at every level of Naval Aviation combat operations: fighter squadron, Carrier Air Wing, aircraft carrier, and finally a battle group. Before all that he was the first commanding officer of TopGun. As the CO, he took a fledgling training unit from the status of a “little red schoolhouse” manned by the best of the best and transitioned it to a full blown unit that set the standard for warfare training in the Navy.

Retiring after over thirty years of active duty, Adm. Box had an illustrious career including over 4,700 flight hours and more than 800 carrier landings. You won’t want to miss this one!

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December 2019

December, 2019 Meeting: Around and Out of This World

December 19, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Dick Rutan headshotLT Col Dick Rutan, USAF (Ret.)
Test Pilot, Decorated Vietnam Fighter Pilot

Around and Out of This World

Dick Rutan made history in December, 1986 after completing a nine-day, three minute and forty-four second non-stop and non-refueled flight around the world, setting records that remain unchallenged today. He received the Presidential Citizen’s Medal of Honor by President Ronald Reagan four days after the epic landing.

A member of the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio, Dick received his solo pilot’s license and driver’s license on his 16th birthday. He flew 325 missions in Vietnam, 105 of them as a member of the Super Sabre Forward Air Control, a high-risk operation commonly known as the “MISTY’s.” He was hit by enemy ground fire on his last mission and was forced to eject from his burning F-100, to be rescued later. Before retiring from the Air Force in 1978, Lt. Col. Rutan was awarded the Silver Star, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Air Medals and a Purple Heart.

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November 2019

November, 2019 Meeting: Images from the Hubble Space Telescope

November 21, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Dr. Chris Blades

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope

Essential to our growing understanding of the observable Universe, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was placed in orbit by Space Shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. Since then, Hubble has made over 168,000 trips around our planet, and taken close to 2 million observations of more than 45,0000 celestial objects.

Dr Blades was a senior scientific manager and tenured astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore where he worked for many years. Previously, he was scientist on an ultraviolet precursor telescope to HST in Europe as well as the Anglo-Australian 150-inch optical telescope. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and numerous review articles.

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October 2019

October, 2019 Meeting: Specialized Air Combat in Vietnam

October 31, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Dr. Dean Hunter

Specialized Air Combat in Vietnam

One of the highest decorated USAF officers, Dr. Hunter will cover his AT-28D pilot stories from his 166 missions in Vietnam.

Having entered service in 1950, he flew in the Korean war and during the Cold War. His decorations include the Silver Star, DFC with Valor, Bronze Star with Valor and 9 Air Medals. He currently being considered for the Medal of Honor.

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September 2019

September, 2019 Meeting: Tribute to a Legend, Remembering Bob Gilliland

September 26, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Rob Gilliland

Tribute to a Legend: Remembering Bob Gilliland

This year on Independence Day, we lost one of the legends of the aviation world, test pilot Bob Gilliland.

We are deeply honored to be joined this month by Bob’s son Rob Gilliland who will lead us in a tribute to this great friend and compatriot. Please bring your stories to share!

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April 2019

April, 2019 Meeting: USS Midway: Surprises, Milestones & Disasters

April 25, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Captain Douglas J. Bradt, U.S. Navy (Retired)

USS Midway: Surprises, Milestones & Disasters

The USS Midway, America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, had its share of hair-raising missions, pranks, heartbreaking disasters, and remarkable accomplishments. Shared by about 150,000 sailors whose average age was only 19, “Midway Magic” became famous throughout the Navy.

Captain Bradt’s USN (ret.) illustrious career spanned over three decades and included Staff Tours at the Naval Academy and Naval Staff College, serving aboard the USS Independence, and four combat Command Tours.

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March 2019

March, 2019 Meeting: The Marines’ Lost Squadron: The Odyssey of VMF-422

March 28, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Mark Carlson

The Marines’ Lost Squadron: The Odyssey of VMF-422

The last great secret of World War II–for more than seventy years, the true account of the worst non-combat loss of a Marine fighter squadron has been suppressed and ignored. Now, the story can be told.

After four years of research, interviews with veterans, and study of previously classified, official documents, aviation historian Mark Carlson has uncovered what happened to VMF-422 on a seemingly calm day over the south Pacific on a routine ferry flight from Tarawa to Funafuti. They were intended to join the huge campaign to invade the Marshall Islands, but instead were thrust into the core of a tragedy that has entered history as the Flintlock Disaster.

Mark Carlson, author of three books and over two hundred articles, presents the gripping saga of how twenty-three young Marine pilots were faced with bad leadership, the fury of nature, and the heavy hand of fate in a desperate fight for survival in the Pacific War. With rare wartime photos and a gripping narrative, Carlson will tell you what really happened.

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February 2019

February, 2019 Meeting: CHP Air Operations at TRM

February 28, 2019 @ 7:00 am - 9:00 am
Indian Wells Golf Resort,
44-500 Indian Wells Ln
Indian Wells, CA 92210 United States
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Sgt Mark Cannon, CHP

CHP Air Operations at TRM

The History of the California Highway Patrol Air Operations located at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, California and what the unit has evolved into today.

Sergeant Mark Cannon has many stories to tell about his experiences in law enforcement and in air operations serving our state. He is a 34-year veteran of the CHP, a fixed-wing pilot, Aerial Supervisor, and founding member at the CHP Thermal Air Operations unit.

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