January 4, 2016 | Chapter 17 Meeting
There was no business meeting conducted. The purpose of the January Chapter 17 Meeting was to learn about the upcoming Smoky Mountain Air Show, from the MKAA Operations side, and discuss the role of volunteers at the event.
The meeting began at 7:00 PM, with welcome by Bill Marrison, President of Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority.
The first speaker was James Punchard, a US Air Marshall attached to the Department of Homeland Security at TYS. Punchard spoke to the group about suspicious activity reporting, the “See something, say something” mantra of DHS. EAA members do have a unique position regarding airport security, because we are familiar with normal activities, and apt to notice people and or activity that isn’t quite right.
The presentation included contact information for the DHS, phone and internet feeds into state Fusion Centers where intelligence from all inputs is sorted, analyzed and prioritized. Marshal Punshard’s main point is that we, as average citizens, don’t have to be sure that activity is not legitimate or even suspicious. If it isn’t right, let law enforcement professionals know, and they will have the training and legal knowledge to determine is this is indeed suspicious, and requires additional investigation.
The main speaker was Trevis Gardner, Vice President for Operations at McGhee-Tyson airport, and a man who has spent the better part of four years establishing and planning Smoky Mountain Air Show (April 15, 16 & 17, 2016).
The last air show was in 1998, and events including 9/11/2001 and government sequestration have prevented another performance. Finally, in February 2015, it all came together and the show is ON. See Jerry’s story above.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM, and attended by 32 souls, with a tasty box lunch from McAllister’s Deli provided by the MKAA.
Gary Picou, Secretary