O’Fallon City Administrator Walter Denton recently attended the 64th Annual National Security Forum at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. Each year, the Air War College (AWC) hosts the National Security Forum (NSF) with the purpose of exposing influential citizens to senior U.S. and international officers and civilian equivalents in order to engage each other’s ideas and perspectives on Air Force, national, and international security issues.
“It is a really special honor that O’Fallon’s city administrator was able to attend the National Security Forum, both for Walter and for the city,” said Mayor Herb Roach. “Walter was one of the 150 key civic leaders across the country asked to share their perspectives with senior military officers and highly-experienced government civilians.”
At the National Security Forum, lectures and seminar discussions included a wide range of viewpoints on leadership, current national security strategy, and national military strategy topics to include the role of air power.
“Attending the National Security Forum gave me a better appreciation for the military’s challenges and will help me support the critical missions at Scott Air Force Base,” Denton said. “While the U.S. military is significantly larger than the O’Fallon city government, I was able to see some parallels. The Air Force chief of staff and the Air Force legislative liaison to Congress both spoke to us and emphasized how the military are non-political professionals that provide objective analysis and recommendations to the president and Congress, who then makes the policies for the military to implement. The number of zeros in the budget and the scale are drastically different, but the city of O’Fallon operates under the same principles as the U.S. military — the staff provides professional advice and the City Council decides policy.”
Each attendee of the National Security Forum is assigned to a seminar with an Air War College student serving as the guest’s escort. Throughout the week, guests participated in activities with their assigned seminars to include briefings, panels, seminar discussions and social events. Denton’s escort was an Air Force lieutenant colonel who will be assigned to Scott Air Force Base after graduating from the Air War College.
Personnel from Air Force Headquarters/Wings and Air University, as well as the Air War College faculty/students, prior National Security Forum attendees and senior government officials may nominate individuals to attend the upcoming National Security Forum. Nominations are forwarded to the secretary of the Air Force for her review.