The Boeing B-17F "Flying Fortress" AFA-317th Chapter Aircraft

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"It has served, unlike any other bomber, through all of the Second World War. It had become a legend in its time. A tribute to the men who had conceived, designed, and built it-and a monument to the remarkable young men, most of them boys who flew it. These men, and this plane, accomplished one of the most frightening missions ever demanded of men and aircraft. Together they helped end history's last "Glorious War".

MIAMI-HOMESTEAD AIRFORCE ASSOCIATION CHAPTER 317th

AFA-317 Blogspot created and maintained by Benny F. Benitez, FAA (A&P Lic.) Former Chapter President (2009-2010)
As assisted by Cadet Master Sergeant, Andres Cruz (NESA), Civil Air Patrol, Tamiami Composite Squadron CAP-355

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Air Force Association Miami Chapter, The 317th Brings Holiday Cheers and Expand Their Foot Print Within The Miami Aviation Community

Mr. James Celluar, DHL Cargo Power Plant Manger and former USAF F-4D Phantom jet mechanic wins an AFA Holiday gift bag and looks forward to becoming an AFA-317th supporter The second winner of an AFA gift bag was Mr. Derry Huff, Sr. Vice President of Operation for AmeriJet Airline a Boeing 727 cargo carrier
The final winner was Mr. J.C. Mondesur who represented Florida West Air Cargo a Boeing 767-200 cargo operator and part of the Chilean Airline "Lan Chile"

Miami Springs, Florida 10th December 2009: The Miami Air Force Association 317th Chapter made a Holiday presentation at the annual Miami Maintenance Management Council Christmas Party thus providing Holiday AFA gifts bags as party door prize. The gift bags included a copy of the AFA December Magazine, dinner gift certificates to local restaurants and a complementary one year individual AFA membership. The winners shown above represent three major cargo airlines based in Miami and future supports of the AFA-317.
From top to bottom are cargo airline representative from DHL Cargo, AmeriJet and Florida West. Among the winner was Mr. James Celluar, PowerPlant Manager for DHL Cargo and a USAF Veteran who served as an F-4D Phantom engine jet mechanic and looks forward to becoming a supporting member of the 317th. The leadership at the 317th looks forward to hopefully securing DHL as one of their major corporate aviation sponsor. In attendance both enjoying the festivity and proudly representing the AFA 317th Chapter was President, Benny Benitez, Chapter Secretary, Catherine Smallwood, Chapter members Stan Bodner and Konrad Walter, President of Complete Turbine Support.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Air Force Association Miami Chapter, The 317th President to Establish Ties With The Israeli Air Force Center

Shown from left to right is former Israeli Air Force A-4N Skyhawk Pilot and combat mission veteran "U" with AFA-317th Chapter President Benny F. Benitez. The AFA-317th may very well be the first ever AFA Chapter to have a world wide presence and members around the globe The McDonnell Douglas A-4N Skyhawk as shown at the Israeli Air Force Museum. The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was the first ever modern Military Jet aircraft exported to Israeli from the United States, which open the doors to other aircraft such as the F-4 Phantom, F-15 Eagle and the F-16 Falcon
Another aircraft which few knew about being "leased" to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) by the United States was the Grumman OV-1 Mohawk, which was utilized for battlefield assessment. "U" who is shown above also flew one of the only two such aircraft leased and operated by the IAF during combat missions. According to "U" one OV-1 Mohawk was struck lighting while sitting at an IAF Base and destroyed, the second aircraft resides at the Israeli Air Force Museum


North Miami Beach 1st December 2009: Utilizing the international exposure and connections in which the 94th AeroClaims-Aviation Consultant Group maintains under the leadership and guidance of its Founder and CEO, Benny F. Benitez with Individuals, Companies and allied Governments world wide, these attributes shall be brought to bare for the benefit of the Miami Chapter of the Air Force Association. The 317th shall expand on an aggressive program in 2010 to locate and secure supporters and contributors outside the Continental Unites Stated (C.O.N.U.S) who are avid supports and beneficiary of U.S. Air Power.
One such contact and establishment shall be with the Israeli Air Force Center in Israel.
In his first month in office, the AFA-317th President, Benny F. Benitez has already called on and liaised with Israeli Air Force contacts both within the United States and aboard.
With the establishment of what being coined by the 317th as "Geographical Chapter Supporters" (GCS.s) for Companies and Governments and "Geographical Chapter Members" (GCM's) for individuals, the AFA-317th looks forward to an expanded global role unseen with the AFA community as whole in generating support. The mission for this global outreach effort is focused on the issue of raising and establishing a reserve of working fund for an aggressive educational support program for local South Florida area High Schools Jr. AFROTC programs and for the support of the University of Miami AFROTC program Detachment "Det 155".

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Air Force Association Miami Chapter The 317th Senior Member Stan Bodner and His U.S.A.F Service in The A-26

The venerable A-26 twin engine light bomber / attack aircraft
Shown next to his aircraft is Stan Bodner

Shown from left to right
Miami, Florida 30th November 2009:



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Air Force Association Miami Chapter The 317th To Establish Homestead A.F.B "Crew Chief of The Quarter Chapter Award"

The "Mako" shown above is undergoing an engine replacement and as soon as the replacement engine is installed, quality checks executed and test and run up are accomplished ship "405" will return to the active flight line and be a contributing factor toward sortie completion. All a testament to the men, women and leadership at Homestead Air Reserve Base
The high level of proficiency and attention to details allow the 482nd Fighter Wing and the 93rd Fighter Squadron and under the overall leadership of Col Mike Reid, Maintenance Group Commander to produce "Up Planes" and added toward training and real sortie mission

A Mako of the 93rd Fighter Squadron undergoes scheduled maintenance
Miami, Florida 24th November 2009: Recognizing and realizing that the mission of the Air Force Association and the Miami AFA-317th Chapter is to promote, foster and encourage the public awareness and understanding of United States Air Power and to assist the men and women who make all happen 365 days a year. The Miami AFA-317th Chapter shall be instituting a new connection with the Homestead Air Reserve Base 482nd Fighter Wing / 93rd Fighter Squadron "The Makos" F-16 Maintainers.
As a former Grumman F-14 Tomcat and Lockheed P-3 Orion maintainer, both at sea and ashore, former aircrewman on board the P-C Orion and a 20 plus year FAA A&P licensed maintenance management veteran of the commercial airline maintenance industry and world renowned aviation consultant, the AFA-317th newly installed President Benny F. Benitez, wishes to establish an award of excellent and reorganization toward the "Crew Chiefs" of the 93rd Fighter Squadron in as each yearly quarter, the AFA-317th Miami Chapter working closely with Col. Mike Reid Maintenance Group Commander will recognized and pay tribute to an outstanding "Crew Chief" based on his or her merits concerning military bearing, job / skill proficiency, morale and community service.
This shall be a first for the AFA-317th and with the assistance of their outstanding "Community Corporate Sponsor" this will be a worth wild effort and a tremendous message to the troops, that the AFA-317th Miami Chapter and the Community at large both care and appreciate their efforts to excel and master their skills that contribute to the success of the United States Air Force. (Click-on any pictures within this article to enlarge)

Air Force Association Miami Chapter The 317th Leadership Maintains Their Flying Proficiency

Miami Chapter 317th Vice President Rodrigo "Rod" Huete checks his surrounding at a flight level of about 2,500 feet over the general area in and around Homestead General Airport known as field identifier X-51, as his backseater Miami Chapter 317th Secretary Catherine "Cat" Smallwood captures the moment and hands off the control to the Vice President
The glider in which the Miami Air Force Association AFA-317 Leadership utilized for their proficiency checks which was owned and operated by Miami Gliders located at Homestead General Airport (X-51)
Accompanying the Miami AFA-317th Chapter Vice President Rodrigo "Rod" Huete is University of Miami AFROTC Det 155 Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Theo Theodore who got in a few landings and stick time

The Miami Air Force Association Chapter 317th leadership are strapped in and secure to be towed aloft

Homestead, Florida General Airport 21st November 2009: As soon as the new leadership at the Miami Air Force Association 317th Chapter was installed, the Chapter Vice President Rodrigo "Rod" Huete and Chapter Secretary, Catherine Smallwood accompany by University of Miami AFROTC Det. 155 Commander, Lt. Col. Theo Theodore, Jr. headed to Homestead General Airport, field identifier, X-51 to go aloft on the silent wings of a schwizer glider.
Chapter Vice President, Rodrigo an accomplished former USAF Lt. Colonel (Ret.) F-16 & F-15 Fighter / Test Pilot and FAA Designated Engineering Representative had to accomplished his glider proficiency check out and had very little trouble in inviting Chapter Secretary Catherine Smallwood who is an FAA Goldseal Flight Instructor and an airline ERJ-170 Regional Jet pilot to come along for some back seat stick time. Also invited was Col. Theo Theodore the University of Miami AFROTC Det. 155 Commander who also got to the ride the back seat, as "Rod" swapped out his backseaters to accommodate everyone.
The AFA-317th look forward to establishing a relationship for Corporate Sponsorship with Miami Gliders for the benefit of introduction flights for the Cadets at U of M AFROTC Det. 155. (Click on any picture within this article to enlarge)

Air Force Association Miami Chapter The 317th Supports The University of Miami AFROTC Detachment 155

Shown from left to right is: Lt. G. Gonzales, USAF, Det 155, Benny F. Benitez AFA-317th Chapter President, Lt. F. Simon, USAF Asst. Regional Director of Admission "USAF Gold Bar Program" and Lt. Col Theo Theodore, Jr., AFROTC University of Miami Det 155 Commander


Miami, Florida "University of Miami" 12th November 2009: The AFA-317th under the leadership of its new President and Executive Staff, Mr. Benny F. Benitez has met with the University of Miami AFROTC Det. 155 leadership to emphasize the 317th Chapter commitment toward helping the Cadets and strengthening the connection between the 317th Chapter and campus AFROTC leadership.

Harnessing the resources of the local Miami aviation community to include the multiple FAA repair facilities, flight training centers and airlines of whom many are either professional industry friends / colleagues and / or clients of the 94th AeroClaims-Aviation Consultant Group which is head up by the Chapter President, will work to harness the contribution power of local industry for the benefit of the Cadet Corp. at the University of Miami through the Miami Chapter of the Air Force Association.

Furthermore, with the level of Chapter experience concerning flight training through the Chapter Secretary, Catherine Small who is a qualified and active FAA Gold seal Flight Instructor, the Chapter looks forward to assist the Cadets with their first exposure to the experience of flight. (Click on picture within this article to enlarge)

Air Force Association Miami Chapter 317th Supports The "Wings Over Homestead 2009 Airshow"

Enjoying a warm meal and drinks are a few of Homestead USAF members who were very pleased and warmly expressed their appreciation for the support in which both the Miami and Homestead Air Force Association Chapters gave to the men and women in uniform on both days of the Air Show
The Air Force Association Miami Chapter, 317th had both the pleasure and honor to host Brigadier General William Binger and his family who graced the tent with their presence. Shown talking to Brigadier General Binger is long time Chapter member and past President Stan Bodner, as Catherine Smallwood the Chapter Secretary listens to the General comments of thanks and "outstanding" efforts toward the 317th support toward the 2009 Air Show
Even the few, the proud, the Marines! were welcomed guess of the Air Force Association, Miami 317th Chapter, as their "Dress Blues" filled the tent with a sense of pride toward all of our brave men and women in our Armed Forces
Also taking advantage of the Air Force Association AFA -317 hospitality with the AFA V.I.P tent was the Munoz family who are AFA-317th supporters. Shown left to right are Maite, Blanca and Jesus Munoz. Maite Munoz is presently preparing to take the Military ASVAB Test so as to enter the Air Force Reserve
Overseeing the operation the AFA-317th V.I.P Tent and welcoming each and every uniformed service member with a firm handshake and warm smile is Air Force Association Miami Chapter 317th President Benny F. Benitez who is shown here with a very appreciative and well fed C-130H Warner Robin Air Force Base Reserve Flight Crew who were just one of many Flight Crews who visited the tent
In a joint operational mind set members of both the Homestead and Miami AFA Chapters combined forces to man and operate the Air Force Association V.I.P tent at the 2009 "Wings Over Homestead Air Show". Shown above is Homestead AFA Chapter 385th member "Sara" feeding a hungry C-130H Crew Chief from Warner Robins Air Force Base who took full advantage of the Air Force Association warm South Florida hospitality, food and drinks renderd to all in uniformShown with the "Barksdale B-52 Crew" is Air Force Association, Miami Chapter, 317th Corporate Sponsor Roger Jarman of Atlantic Models who are the primer scale display model maker for the United States Air Force. The "BD" crew holds two Atlantic Model creation a resin solid body B-52 model and forward, desk top display nose section
Homestead Air Reserve Base 7th & 8th November 2009: After an almost 16 year hiatus, the sound U.S. Military Jets roaring overhead and the presence of a large public crowd walking a flight line in awe of U.S. Air Power once again occurred in South Florida. Wings Over Homestead occurred at Homestead Air Reserve Base on November 7th and 8th and was a complete success, as the South Florida public enjoying two action packed days.
The public was treated to a brilliant line up of classic, vintage and modern day aircraft's in both aerial and static display. The world famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds 2009 team capped off both days with an awesome display of airmanship second to none.
From an rare Grumman OV-1 "Mohawk" to the newest Boeing C-17A, the vast array of aircraft thrilled the audience. One surprise occurred during the second day of the airshow concerning the fly by of a B-2 Stealth Bomber. Another notable and amazing display was the "Fighter to Freighter" aerial display of the Boeing C-17A, Globmaster III, the world most nimble and agile cargo aircraft. The Air Force Association Miami Chapter, the 317th was proud to have been a contributing factor to the success of the show, as many of its Chapter members along with members from the Homestead 385th Chapter braved the high winds to man the tent and spread the word of the Air Force Association to the public. (Click-on any picture within this article to enlarge)

Air Force Association Miami Chapter 317th Renders Honors to the Leadership at Homestead Air Reserve Base and the USAF Thunderbirds 2009 Team

Having created only two of these one of a kind never before seen digitally created prints, AFA-317th Secretary Catherine Smallwood and President Benny F. Benitez, present on behave of the Air Force Association Miami Chapter, the 317th the Digital Aircraft Factory creation titled "Homestead Heroes, USAF Southern Most F-4 Phantoms" to Brigadier General William Binger USAF
In support of the 2009 United States Air Force Thunderbird Team, the Air Force Association, 317th presents Thunderbird No.1, Lt. Col. Gregory D. Thomas with a digital rendering creation titled "USAF Southern Most F-4 Phantoms" done by the Digital Aircraft Factory, a subsidiary of the 94th AeroClaims-Aviation Consultant Group under the creative and technical leadership of Catherine Smallwood

Shown with the Air Force Association Miami Chapter, 317th President Benny F. Benitez at the "Thunderbird Welcome" pre-airshow gathering at the Falcon Nest All Ranks Club, is Mrs. Josephine "Josie" Aviles, Protocol Specialist and aid to Brigadier General William Binger, USAF. Mrs. Aviles was instrumental in assisting the Chapter arrange a meet and greet with both Brigadier General Binger and Thunderbird 2009 Team Leader and Commander, Lt. Col. Gregory D. Thomas

Homestead Air Reserve Base 6th November 2009: Harnessing their industry presence and power for the benefit of the 317th Chapter and as a special gift to both Brigadier General Binger and Lt. Col. Thomas, the Digital Aircraft Factory, a subsidiary of the Miami based 94th AeroClaims-Aviation Consultant Group under the technical and artistic leadership of it Director, Ms Catherine D. Smallwood created a one of a kind never before seen rendering of South Florida only two public, static displayed F-4D's Phantoms flying in formation over South Beach. The two subject aircraft's are tail code "OY" which graces the entrance at Homestead A.R.B as a proud gate guard and the second aircraft "FM" sits proudly on U.S. 1 in downtown Homestead. Both Brigadier General Binger and Lt. Col. Thomas were highly pleased and both were in awe over the scope of the detail and work that went into creating the life like image.

In 2010, the 317th Chapter under the creative leadership of Catherine Smallwood who is the newly elected and installed Chapter Secretary, shall create a few special rendering to commemorate Miami / South Florida contribution to the long and rich history of the United Stated Air Force for the benefit of raising funds for the Chapter concerning their sales and for special V.I.P gifts. (Click-on any picture within this article to enlarge)

Air Force Association Miami Chapter 317th Leadership The Community Force Behind The Force

Shown above are members of the Air Force Association Miami Chapter, 317th. Shown left to right are Ted Miller, Chapter member, Catherine Smallwood, Chapter new elected Secretary, Michael Clark, TSgt / A.R.T USAFR the Chapter previous President for the past three years and new Chapter President Benny F. Benitez who has properly installed and has relieve Michael Clark

Homestead Air Reserve Base 6th November 2009: In a joint effort elements of the Air Force Association, Miami, 317th Chapter linked up with members from the Homestead Chapter, the 385th in support of the "Wings Over Homestead Airshow 2009". Battling high winds and strong gust the members from both Chapters braved the elements to assist in the setting up of their AFA V.I.P tent. Special thanks and appreciation are rendered onto Mr. Mario Galiego of Miami based Flight Power Management a strong and established AFA-317th supporter who graciously donated the 20 x 30 foot tent and settings, consisting of tables and chairs. Flight Power Management are a stellar example of strong, positive and contributing AFA Community Partners.
Already, the AFA-317th is looking forward to the 2010 airshow and promise to provide yet a larger support for our Troops at next year show. (Click-On any picture within this article to enlarge)