Air Force to honor women's contributions

  • Published
  • Air University Public Affairs
In conjunction with the Air Force's 60th anniversary celebration this year, the country's youngest military service is paying tribute to women's contributions to its rich history and heritage.

"Heritage to Horizons: Earning Our Wings and Reaching the Stars" is the theme of the 2007 Air Force Heritage to Horizons Women's Training Symposium scheduled for Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at the Waterford Receptions center in Springfield, Va.

"We anticipate attendees will gain an understanding of the accomplishments and challenges faced by women in the Air Force, both past and present, and grow an appreciation for the potential women have in our future Air Force," said Col. Kim Bowling, event organizer and commander of the Air Force Institute of Advanced Distributed Learning at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Ala. "The symposium strives to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the Air Force, share information and address issues relevant to women."

Scheduled keynote speakers and panelists include Lt. Gen. Terry Gabreski, vice commander of Air Force Materiel Command and current highest ranking woman in the Air Force; retired Maj. Gen. Jeanne Holm, the first woman to be promoted to brigadier general in the Air Force and the first woman in the armed forces to serve in the grade of major general; and Tech. Sgt. Kathy Shaw, the first female enlisted tactical combat convoy commander.

"What a spectacular opportunity to honor our heritage and experience that heritage through the eyes of actual 'living legends,'" stated Air University Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Lorenz on the symposium Web site. Air University is the organizing institution for the symposium. "We live in exciting and changing times, but it's important to take time to recognize the accomplishments of Air Force women, past and present, reinforce pride in those who serve and generate excitement for our promising future."

The symposium also features "Heritage Panels," where veteran and active duty panelists share their experiences from their respective slices of Air Force history; an exhibit hall, featuring heritage displays and experts on hand to discuss women's issues; and several professional development forums, covering topics such as pregnancy and Air Force careers, women's contributions to medical advances on the battlefield and serving overseas in male-dominated cultures.

The symposium is open to women and men who have served or are serving and for Department of Defense civilians. The first day is for Air Force only, while the second and third days will be open to members of all services.

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Media interested in covering this event: please contact Hyla Pearson, Air University Public Affairs, at (334) 953-4241.