It was fabulous watching Chris get the Aviatior of the Year award and I can honestly say that the Army Aviation Association of America (Quad-A or AAAA) put on a nice party. There was a nice reception on Sunday night with all kinds of food, open bar, and door gifts. Even Big-E found the Shrimp party and what good food that was. It was in a reception sponsored by BAE systems. Just about every military aviation contract vendor or wannabe vendor was there and had booths set up in the expo (which I will mention later). On Monday Morning, the conference hall was packed and there was a lot of Stars there. I donâ€™t mean movie stars, I mean military stars. Some of the Generals I saw or met were GEN Brown (CDR of SOC), GEN Griffin (CDR of AMCOM), LTG Shutlz (National Guard Commander), MG Thurman (4th ID CG), BG Pillsbury (CG of Space and Missile Command), BG Sinclair (CG of Ft. Rucker), a MG from III Corps and many others. Vice Chief of Staff GEN Cody also spoke to the conference via VTC. This was the Whos-who of Army Aviation. There is no doubt that this award and the networking done at this conference has greased the skids for Chris and will enable him to do whatever he wants in the military and probably after he retires.
The Expo set up in two big ballrooms had every vendor represented. Like IT conferences there was lots of free stuff and many simulators and things the kids could climb on (there are several pictures of this in the photos section). 160th SOAR had a big area setup and some little birds in there (both AH and MH versions). I think Chris was there for about 90 minutes talking to them, as they (including the CDR of 160th) was trying to recruit him into this elite unit. One of the guys we met was the MH-6 pilot who flew Sadaam from the place where they pulled him from the hole to BIAP. As can be expected, 160th had a very exciting display. Also at the expo were quite a few helicopters (both inside and outside). There was an AH-64 LongBow, AH-64 Model A, Ah-6, MH-6, CH-47, MH-47, and several new proposed helicopters and a lot of UAV models being used or trying to be sold to the military.