The 26th Dixie Crow Symposium.
This year's symposium was chaired by Dawn Flowers and cosponsored by the WRALC command section and the EW Directorate, Col Wes Heidenreich, Director. (By the way, by the time you read this article, Col H will have retired, and I assume industry will want to talk to him about his plans.) The Dixie Crow Chapter always schedules their symposium to begin on a week when it is not going to rain. Again, they had great golf weather. Dawn knew I would arrive too late to play golf but lust in time to attend the golf banquet. What a crowd -- 200 plus! John Wayne Carter and Terry Benoit directed the golf event. Chapter president Julie Vick opened the classified symposium by bringing to the mike AOC president Stephanie McCleman. The security committee (Sandra Drew and Virginia Dyer) deserves a salute. The tech exhibits committee (Rick Drury and Al Harbuck) were smiling, thanks to the neat exhibits and lots of traffic. The crowds at the exhibits came in early and stayed late. The banquet was held on the last night of the symposium, and it was carefully planned, as usual. A very large turnout saw four new board members sworn in: Roger DeBona, Dawn Flowers, Bill Taylor, and Rob Caudill. The Kittyhawk Chapter sent down Wright Field's number-one speaker, Paul Westcott, to say a few words and move some wine. Westcott auctioned off four bottles of wine at high prices as a fundraiser to support the Dixie Crow Scholarship fund. Several students and professors were in the audience. Just as the crowd started to take their seats, I asked Rick Drury (Dixie Crow treasurer), "Where is our speaker for tonight?" At that moment, a handsome stranger, an AF major, sat down across the table. The major had a large nameplate on that, in very large letters, said "Starbaby." Maj Mike "Starbaby" Pietrucha was our after-dinner speaker. The audience loved him. He has 1,700 fighter hours under his belt as an EWO and instructor EWO in both the F-4G and F-15E, including 156 combat missions over Iraq, Bosnia, and Yugoslavia. The final event in the symposiu m was presented the next morning by the Peachtree Roost (Atlanta, GA). It was a series of short courses on countermeasures testing, flare-decoy testing, and digital receivers in EW. In the beginning of this Dixie report, I told you they scheduled the event guaranteeing no rain. Ten minutes after the symposium closed down, the rain started and lasted for eight hours And I don't mean a light rain. I doubt Noah ever saw this much water. ADC