Florida Suncoast Chapter
The chapter was established in the Tampa Bay area in 1977 to accommodate "former intelligence officers". Several evolutions have occurred during the past 30 years both here and at AFIO National in Washington, D.C. The term "intelligence officers" has been expanded to include counterintelligence and security professionals. We include many members who are currently active intelligence and security professionals. With that cast of characters, our Florida Suncoast AFIO roster now includes over 90 intelligence and security professionals. Members travel from as far as Punta Gorda to the south, Ocala to the north, and Lakeland to the east. Membership includes all five armed services, FBI, DIA, NSA, US State Department, Florida law enforcement agencies and the CIA.
Florida Suncoast AFIO members occasionally participate with local colleges and universities that offer intelligence and security related courses. We encourage Chapter members to monitor classes or contribute material from their personal experiences. We invite students who are pursuing studies in US intelligence, security, or foreign relations to attend our luncheon meetings so they can benefit from the experiences and knowledge of our speakers and chapter members. The Chapter also has an active program that awards scholarship to local students in cooperation with AFIO National's scholarship programs.
Chapter meetings are enjoyable and informative. A social period with refreshments is typically scheduled before lunch at 11:30 a.m. After a short opening ceremony at high noon, lunch is served. Next a guest speaker with pertinent intelligence or security related topics talks for about twenty to thirty minutes. Questions and answers usually follow the talk. Our speakers enjoy an atmosphere of "non-attribution". We frequently enjoy information and discussions not otherwise available to the public. Our luncheon meetings are well attended by as many as 70 members, spouses and guests. Although increased security measures prevail at MacDill AFB, we are able to arrange for our members and invited guests to gain access to the MacDill military facility on meeting dates.
Because many of our Florida Suncoast AFIO members enjoy their summers in the northern states, our chapter meetings are scheduled for October, December, February and April. We try to schedule our meetings on the second Tuesday of the month and usually at the MacDill AFB Surf's Edge Club. We are always on the alert for "speakers of opportunity" that may be available to lecture at ad hoc events other than our regular meetings.
If you are interested in attending a chapter meeting, please contact the Chapter Secretary or any of the Chapter Officers listed below.