Air Force takes over downtown hotel

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Capt. Shane Ross is in charge of an army of 300 volunteers. Their job? Make sure things go well at the annual Air Force Information Technology conference at the Renaissance Hotel and Spa.

This is by far the most challenging duty Ross has had in his 11-year career with the military.

"It's a lot of fun. All parts are moving but it's not me. It's the team," said Ross, a native of Colorado.

What a conference it is.  200 vendors, a fierce competition to land a deal with the American military.

The Air Force conference centers around computer technology. One vendor, for example, believes it has the software to prevent computer hackers, one way to help the military with the intellectual side of fighting a war.

"We're all fighting for a piece of that $38 Billion a year contract," said Tom Conway, the Federal Business Director for McAfee.

This gathering is so large it's taken up every available space at the hotel, 30 rooms in all. That includes ballrooms, meeting rooms, even hotel suites, a packed house for sure and one a shot deal for vendors to put their best foot forward for the Department of Defense.

"This showcases the latest and greatest," Ross said.

Some 6,000 people registered and we're told virtually every hotel room in the city is filled up.

This is a three-day conference and Capt. Ross does not know what his next assignment might be.

For now there's only one goal; accomplishing a mission and so far he gives it a thumbs up.