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Longtime local educator to attend Air War College National Security Forum
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (May 11, 2010) — A longtime educator in the Fort Leonard Wood area will spend next week in Alabama attending the 57th Annual National Security Forum at the Air War College located at Maxwell Air Force Base.

Congressman Ike Skelton nominated Clara Ichord, a retired Waynesville High School teacher who now serves as an instructor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla and at the Waynesville campus of Ozarks Technical Community College. She’s also the chairwoman of the Pulaski County Democratic Central Committee and a former Democratic candidate for the Missouri legislature.

“Skelton usually nominates four to five people each year to attend, but about half usually attend,” said Phil Berube, chief of public affairs at Air University. “This year, he also nominated Bud Jones, news editor for The Odessan, Ken Brown, mayor of Warsaw, and Kyle Wilkens, district liaison for Skelton.”

Brown and Wilkens were unable to attend; Jones will be attending the National Security Forum along with Ichord, who is the only participant from the Fort Leonard Wood area from about 120 attending.

Berube said that since 2000, one person each from the Missouri cities of California, Sedalia and Jefferson City has attended prior National Security Forums.

According to an Air University press release, the purpose of the annual National Security Forum is to “expose 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.” Drawn from business, education and government, those selected “meet with senior military leaders to explore current and future national security issues” facing the United States.

As one of eight colleges in Air University, a part of the Air Force’s equivalent to Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) in the Army, the Air War College is the senior professional development school in the Air Force’s officer training system.

Berube said Skelton’s role in nominating candidates for the National Security Forum stems from his association and involvement with professional military education for officers and he’s been providing nominees for several years. Other nominations come from Air Force headquarters, Air Force bases and units, Air University, Air War College faculty and students, and prior National Security Forum attendees. All nominees have to be approved by the Secretary of the Air Force and typically about 40 to 45 percent of those nominated actually attend, Berube said.

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