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60Th SOA Symposium (SHAPE) 8-10 October 2020

With the uncertainty brought on by the COVID 19 virus that has caused governments worldwide placing restrictions on travel (national and international), professional and social activities and competitions, the SHAPE Officers Association Annual Symposium scheduled for October 8,9,10 ,2020 has been cancelled.  The SOA Executive Committee regrets having to cancel this event but the safety our members is too important.

We encourage all members to follow the recommended precautions (social distancing etc) to avoid the COVID 19 virus.

We hope you are well in these trying times where we regretfully had to cancel our annual Assembly. Our apologies for this short notice letter, but our friends in the U.S. Chapter of the SOA have come up with a rather marvelous idea for the SOA to still be able to have meetings and presentations, albeit virtually.

The exact details of the contents of the meetings are further below, but the general idea is that you will be able to attend a presentation of choice online from the convenience of your home. All you will need in principle is an Internet connection, a PC/Mac/tablet or smartphone WITH speakers. The meeting itself will be streamed over the Internet to your device using the Zoom application, similar to Skype/Facetime/WhatsApp video with the main difference being that you will be part of a larger virtual crowd, sitting in the comfort of your own home.

For those that are interested : there are still roughly sixty Zoom slots available (first come first serve) for  the first meeting/presentation on July 16th The exact time will be notified in due course.

If you would like to participate then please do a ‘Reply All’  to this mail not later then 9 July, putting Jim Stiles (IT lead)

in the CC line of your mail.

Best regards and stay safe,



Shapians and NDC Anciens, 

As was mentioned in the May 2020 SOA U.S. Chapter Newsletter we are planning to host several virtual events in the coming months. Subjects and dates are listed below. The plan is to use the Zoom app to hold the virtual events. This is our first attempt at hosting a virtual meeting/call. Therefore, we will all need to have patience and understanding as we get familiar with using the Zoom app. Further, due to the limitations on the Zoom software license available to us we can only host 100 participants for each event. To help us effectively manage the virtual events we ask that you indicate your interest in participating in the events noted here by replying to this email. The first 100 members to respond will receive an email from Jim Stiles, Chapter Vice Chair and IT Lead, with confirmation and instructions on how to register and upload and log on to Zoom.

Upcoming Virtual Events: 

16 July - American Air Museum in Britain (AAM): The AAM is a distinctive building, designed by Lord Foster and opened in 1997 at the Imperial War Museum’s Duxford airfield site in Cambridgeshire, where, the US 78th Fighter Group was based from 1942 to 1945. Duxford houses the finest collection of military, especially American, planes outside the USA, as well as a Concorde and other civil aviation planes. The AAM was built to house an extensive collection of planes used by US forces, ranging from a WW I Spad to a Predator ‘drone’, but also includes the huge B52 bomber and the fastest aircraft ever flown, the SR71 ‘Blackbird’. Phil Reed OBE, Executive Vice President of the AAM, will provide an overview of the museum, its aircraft collection, and some tidbits on the museum of interest to those of us who have served at NATO and SHAPE.

13 August - Churchill War Rooms and Museum (CWR):  The Cabinet War Rooms opened in a Whitehall basement in London in the last week of August 1939, just a week before war was declared. The War Cabinet only began to meet there when the bombing raids of the Blitz began in September 1940, by which time Winston Churchill was Prime Minister. He met there several hundred times with his War Cabinet and with his Defense Committee. Today visitors can see the Cabinet Room, Churchill's Room and his Map Room, left just as they were at the end of the war, plus the Churchill Museum that was opened there in 2005. Join in as Phil Reed. Director of the CWR from 1993 to 2016, walks us through the Rooms and the Museum, providing insights into Churchill's personality and leadership on the way!  

17 September - George Marshall and the Chiefs of Staff: With an illustrated Zoom presentation, Tom Bowers, docent director at George Marshall's Dodona Manor in Leesburg, Va., will examine Gen. Marshall's role in World War II by focusing on his working and personal relationships with top military leaders from the United States and Great Britain, including Gen. Henry Arnold (U.S. Army Air Forces), Gens. Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton (U.S. Army), Adm. Ernest King (U.S. Chief of Naval Operations), Adm. William Leahy (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) and Field Marshall John Dill (British Army).

I look forward to joining you at these upcoming events and I hope many of you can participate.

Chairman, SOA
US Chapter
NATO Defence College Ancien

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