MOAA learns about U.S. relations with Turkey

Bill Nagy presenting the certificate to Gino Elsea, our guest speaker.

The Catalina Mountains Satellite Chapter met February 16, 2019 at the MountainView Mesquite Grill in SaddleBrooke. The speaker was Gino Elsea, an Army retired Chief Warrant Officer 2, who is also a Department of Defense GS15, retired. He was given an assignment to do a briefing on Turkey for Great Decisions. Mr. Elsea updated the presentation in light of the changes made by the current administration. He explained to us that of all the NATO allies, Turkey represents the most daunting challenge for the Trump administration as 79% of the Turkish population views the United States unfavorably. Prior to the failed military coup of 2016, Turkey was much more westernized and had better relations within NATO. In 1923 the George Washington of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (father of Turkey) established a Secular Nationalist government. Turkey thrived under Ataturk who is still revered by much of the population. In 1992, Turkey joined NATO and is considered a vital member as a bulwark against Soviet expansion. In 2014 Tayyip Erdogan was elected president of Turkey, after having been prime minister for ten years. After a 2017 referendum, Erdogan gained sweeping powers over the government. Mr. Elsea briefed us on the Turkish Military and weapons systems and their alliances.

Colonel (Retired) Bill Nagy, President of the Catalina Mountains Satellite (Tucson) Chapter of MOAA presented a Certificate of Appreciation to CW2 Gino Elsea for his presentation. Col Nagy additionally presented a Certificate of Appreciation to U.S. Air Force Brigadier General (Retired) David Patton in recognition of his contributions and dedication to the Catalina Mountains Satellite (Tucson) Chapter, 2014-2019. BGen Patton and his wife Jean are moving to Nebraska. Col Bill Nagy also presented a Certificate of Achievement to U.S. Air Force Col (retired) Rett Benedict for his contributions and dedication as President of the Catalina Mountains Satellite (Tucson) Chapter from 2014-2018.

Our next meeting is scheduled Saturday, March 16 at 11:30 a.m., Catalina Room of the Mesquite Grill in the MountainView Country Club Complex. Please contact LTC (Retired) Andrew “Drew” Fairchild, Catalina Mountains Satellite Membership Chairman, andrewfairchild@yahoo.com or Col (Retired) Kurt McMillen, Catalina Mountains Satellite Treasurer, kmmcmillen@gmail.com for reservations and specific information on attendance, location and parking.

Subsequent meetings will be held on the third Saturday of each month at Catalina Room of the Mesquite Grill in the MountainView Country Club complex starting at 1130 with lunch followed by a short business meeting and a speaker. Spouses are welcome and invited.

For additional MOAA information, contact Col Bill Nagy, Catalina Mountain Satellite President, wjnagy@yahoo.com or Col Tom Owens, MOAA Tucson President, owensttt@gmail.com. Check our website www.tucsonmoaa.com for information.

The Catalina Mountains satellite is part of the Tucson Chapter and encompasses North West Tucson to include Catalina, Oracle, parts of Oro Valley and Marana, SaddleBrooke and Sun City.

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is a nonprofit veterans’ service association dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and to preserve the earned entitlements of members of the uniformed services and their families and survivors.