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MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — A group of Misawa residents is trying to revive a local branch of the Air Force Association in northern Japan.

The former chapter went dormant in 2004, said Jill Petty, an Air Force reservist with prior active-duty experience — “This is a rejuvenation effort,” she said.

The Miss Veedol Chapter of AFA officially opened last month, becoming the fourth active chapter in the Pacific region, according to the AFA Web site.

Now all the chapter needs is for people to sign up.

Membership is open to civilians, military members, reservists, retirees, spouses and high school and college students in JROTC, ROTC or Civil Air Patrol. Both enlisted members and officers from any service can join.

AFA describes itself as an independent, nonprofit, civilian education organization that promotes public understanding of aerospace power and its importance in national security.

It’s also a forum through which base members can network and sponsor projects that benefit the community, said Petty and Maj. Chris Penningroth, who both are AFA members.

AFA membership costs $36 annually and includes a monthly subscription to Air Force magazine. Enlisted members E-1 to E-4 pay $18 a year.

“All of us admitted to just getting the magazine for a number of years and not joining a local group,” Petty said. “This is a chance to get involved and put a face to the organization.”

The Miss Veedol Chapter currently has about 20 members — about eight of whom routinely come to meetings.

Air Force spouse Jessica Doherty applied for membership Wednesday, she said, after a friend recruited her.

“This gives me something to do if my husband gets deployed,” she said. “It keeps me involved in the community.”

The group would like to meet once a month on the first Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the collocated club.

In the future, the chapter hopes to hold awards banquets and golf tournaments, sponsor scholarships and get more involved in local community relations with the Japanese in Misawa.

“Right now, we have more ideas than people,” Penningroth said.

For more information about AFA or the Miss Veedol Chapter, visit the AFA Web site at www.afa.org, or contact Penningroth at chris.penningroth@misawa.af.mil or DSN 226-9134.

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