Class of 1979 40th Reunion Project
Cyber Innovation Center and Spirit 03 Memorial
In honor of our 40th reunion, the Class of 1979 will raise funds in support of the construction, maintenance, and programmatic use of the Cyber Innovation Center. We are excited about supporting this Academy priority for our future leaders and our national security. Our Class Gift will also support the Spirit 03 Memorial, dedicated to our classmate, Major Paul J. Weaver, and his AC-130H crew who made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Desert Storm. Our ’79 Class Gift goal is $2.4M.
Our class is supporting the total effort to construct the Cyber Innovation Center to bring unprecedented research and development technology to USAFA and the Air Force at large to maintain Cyber Superiority. Supporting the Academy's growing role in our country's cyber war fighting capabilities is an area that is already redefining the definition of the battlefield. We will support this critical mission element of the Academy by joining the Air Force, private industry, and other USAFA classes in providing a financial gift of $2M to the construction and operation of the new warfighting frontier. Our efforts will assist the missions within the U.S. Air Force Cyber Innovation Center expand capabilities, reach, and ultimately, impacts. Gifts made to support this effort will equip state-of-the-art labs, enhance cyber-related curriculum for cadets and create the infrastructure to foster 21st century education, research and design. Benefits of our efforts will help immerse cadets into partnerships and collaboration with industry, government and academic experts to reimagine how cyber technology can best be employed to facilitate operations in Air, Space and Cyberspace. The Academy cannot do it without us. In acknowledgement of our $2M gift to the Cyber Innovation Center, the Academy will name the two Cyber Training Labs in honor of our Class of 1979.
Our Spirit 03 Memorial will not only honor our classmate and his crew, but also will be a War Fighting Heritage Memorial, commemorating their selfless service and gallantry in battle during Operation Desert Storm. On 31 January 1991, Paul was Aircraft Commander of AC-130H Spectre Gunship "Spirit 03", of the 16th Special Operations Squadron, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, flying in support of U.S. Marine Corps operations in action near the Kuwaiti border. During the mission, an enemy missile hit Spirit 03, resulting in loss of the aircraft and killing all onboard. Paul and the crew of Spirit 03 were posthumously awarded the Silver Star. Paul, a native of Colorado, is buried at the Cadet Cemetery. This is the opportunity to honor Paul’s sacrifice, his crew, and the service of the Special Operations Forces community, to inspire future cadets to similar service. We will honor Paul with an AC-130H bronze aircraft and pedestal conveying the details of his crew's heroism to cadets and the public. This bronze memorial will be placed on the Honor Court. The Spirit 03 Memorial project goal is $400K.
Our Class Gift supporting the Cyber Innovation Center will impact every cadet attending the Academy, preparing them for future challenges. Additionally, the Spirit of ’03 Memorial will be an inspiration to the next generation of Air Force leaders. Your support to one or both will be a lasting legacy of our Class of ’79 and demonstrate our commitment to duty, our alma mater and country. The Spirit ’03 Memorial project goal of $400K has been achieved - THANK YOU! Classmates are now encouraged to contribute to the Cyber Innovation Center project .
“As we strengthen how we build joint leaders and develop exceptional leaders for the future …We must train Airmen to bring air, space and cyber capabilities together with all the other elements of a strategic military campaign…We are transitioning from wars of attrition to wars of cognition…” – General David Goldfein, ’83, CSAF
For additional information, please contact the ’79 Class Gift Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.