On Jan. 30 the General Staff and the Headquarters Staff met in New Orleans to hold a regularly scheduled General Staff Meeting.
The location of the General Staff meeting was chosen with the specific objective to have the board walk through and visit with the staff of the National World War II Museum. This museum opened in New Orleans on June 6, 2000, as The National D-Day Museum. It was founded by historian and author, Stephen Ambrose, and museum President/CEO Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller Ph.D., the museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world — why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today — so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. In 2003, Congress officially designated it, as America’s National WWII Museum.
With the new CAF National Airbase in a development phase, the visit to the museum proved to be a great source of ideas and inspiration. Adam Smith, CAF EVP of Development said “Over the past 15 years the National World War II Museum in New Orleans has grown from an idea to become one of the world’s leading museums. It’s a great case study for CAF as we embark upon our journey to create a world class museum attraction in Dallas. The National WWII Museum leadership shared their experiences with our board and staff this past weekend. It was hugely valuable to learn about the key steps on their journey. Some of our big takeaways included details of how to raise funds for a major development, and the importance of having strong educational programs. We also took a detailed behind the scenes look at “Beyond All Boundaries”, a 4-D movie experience narrated by Tom Hanks. Officials described this as the “game-changer” in terms of raising the profile and visitation of their museum.”
After the tour and Q&A with the National WWII Museum staff, the CAF General Staff met. The first item of business was to elect a new Chief of Staff, as the previous Chief of Staff, Neils Agather, had run through his term limits. The CAF’s new Chief of Staff is CAF Col Randy Wilson of Midland, Texas. Wilson joined the CAF in 1984, he was an Army Infantry officer for three years. He has flown the North American SNJ Texan, Pitts S-2A and replica Fokker Dr.I Triplane. He has been the headquarters IT administrator as a volunteer for over 20 years. He has served on various boards and committees throughout the years, and has held unit staff positions including Unit Leader for the CAF High Sky Wing.