CONCORD — Commander Bruce Avery, U.S. Navy (ret.), president of the New Hampshire chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and the board of directors hosted Vice Adm. Norbert R. Ryan, MOA's president and CEO, at its annual conference Nov. 9 at the Manchester Country Club in Bedford.
Ryan is a 1967 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and George Washington University with a master of science degree in personnel administration, as well as the Senior Officials in National Security Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Ryan has commanded aviation units at the squadron, wing, and fleet levels and has directed the Navy's Office of Legislative Affairs. He served as the 52nd Chief of Naval Personnel before retiring and assuming his current position in 2002.
Ryan addressed the 200 members, spouses and guests with a simple message: Sequestration with 50 percent of those mandatory cuts coming from the Department o Defense budget is having detrimental effect on the nations readiness.
He also said MOAA and its 380,000 members nationwide will continue to fight for the rights of the nation's veterans and their families as the largest military lobbying organization.
He went on to describe a bright star on the horizon, an entirely new group of young men and women in the Armed Forces today that represent the next "greatest generation."
Ryan highlighted the fact that more than 40,000 service men and women have returned from combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan after a decade or more of fighting and who have sustained visible wounds and the hundreds of thousands who have returned with unseen wounds such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
He vowed that MOAA will continue its efforts working with President Obama's Administration and both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to fight for improved medical coverage, VA compensation, and transition programs aimed the new combat veterans, saying "we can and must do better."
Additionally, Ryan took part in a presentation to Maj. Gen. William N. Reddell, New Hampshire's adjutant general, and Col. Lori Farris, project officer and director of operations for the NHANG Joint Staff for their dedicated efforts promoting the 157th Air Refuel Wing, New Hampshire Air National Guard's national bid to be selected for the U.S. Air Force KC-46 fielding at Pease Air National Guard Base.
The Boeing KC-46 is a military aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. In February, 2011, the tanker was selected by the USAF as the winner in the KC-X tanker competition to replace older KC-135 Stratotankers.
In May 2013, the U.S. Air Force announced the 157th Air Refuel Wing and the New Hampshire Air National Guard as the primary and first selection to receive the new tanker.
MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan affiliation with more than 380,000 members from every branch of service including active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, former officers, and their families.
More information can be found at www.moaa-nh.org or www.moaa.org/main.