The former Air Force Association rebranded Thursday as the Air & Space Forces Association to reflect the fact that its mission includes advocating for Space Force Guardians as well as Air Force airmen. The group will keep its AFA acronym.
The Space Force was created on Dec. 19, 2019, when President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act. Both the air and space branches of the armed services are under the Pentagon’s Department of the Air Force.
“AFA was formed in 1946—even before the Air Force became an independent military service,” board Chair Gerald Murray, a former Air Force chief master sergeant, said in an April 7 statement announcing the new name. “But times change, and just as the Air Force was an offshoot of the Army, our Space Force was born two years ago from the roots of our Air Force. … This change makes clear to everyone that Space is integral to our mission.”
The group’s new logo combines elements of the Air Force and Space Force logos.
“The star is derived from the original “Hap Arnold” Army Air Corps Star, elements that defined AFA’s identity since its founding,” the statement said. “The new logo combines a stylized reimagining of the Hap Arnold star with the Space Force’s distinctive Delta and Polaris.”
Five-star Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold was appointed the first general of the Air Force by Congress in 1949. He had been a U.S. Army general. Polaris is a term for the North Star, which “represents the Space Force’s unique role as a guiding light and enabler for the whole of the joint force,” the association said.
“Even now, as the Space Force grows, expands, and builds its own, unique warfighting culture, air and space remain inextricably linked,” said AFA’s chief executive, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. President Bruce Wright. “The Airmen and Guardians who are the masters of those domains nevertheless remain tightly integrated and mutually dependent within a single Department of the Air Force. So it is with our Association.”
AFA said its mission is to “educate the public about air and space power, to advocate for the world’s most capable, most lethal, and most effective Air and Space Forces, and to support Airmen, Guardians, and their families.”