Teachers, doctors, and community leaders participate in national defense discussions at Maxwell Air Force Base

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A remarkable sight.  B-52s, F-16s, and F-22s soar through the air at Maxwell Air Force Base.

It's not something you see every day unless you're in the United States Air Force.

The show in the sky is all part of the 56th National Security Forum hosted by Air University and the Secretary of the Air Force.

The event brings community leaders like teachers, doctors, lawyers, and city officials together from across the country.  It gives them a glimpse inside the United States Air Force.

"The interaction amongst all of us, both civilians and military, has been very helpful. The quality of the lectures has been outstanding," says Norm Blake, a former CEO from Carmel, Indiana.

140 participants take part in the week long forum.  They experience everything Air Force, from touring planes to roundtable discussions. But the goal?  Informing participants of current things the Air Force is doing so they can inform their communities.

"I think that they would really appreciate the open discussion that we've had in terms of really hearing the opinions of people who are living some of this on a day to day life," says Ebers.

Tiffany Mulvihill, a former teacher from Minnesota says she plans to "[make] sure that citizens are aware of services the federal government offers."

Air Force leaders say the program updates the nation on current national defense issues through the participants.

"We work for the public on a day to day basis so they have a right to know what is going on," says Lt. Col. Steve Spurlin with Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base.

It's a week long opportunity for everyday civilians to experience everyday life in the United States Air Force.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.