WASHINGTON — Based on pre-show buzz, this week's Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium should feature few major announcements from industry.

Instead, there is a sense industry will focus on having high-level meetings with the large cadre of Air Force officials expected to attend the show, held annually in Orlando, Fla.

Major companies such as Boeing, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman are skipping the traditional press release deluge of defense shows and, in some cases, are not holding any formal briefings sessions for reporters.

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In some cases, those companies have already made their early year news, such as Northrop's decision to go with a clean-sheet design for the T-X trainer program. In others, there simply isn't much news to celebrate.

While industry may be relatively quiet, the Air Force is making a push to open up its top generals. There are sSignificantly more media briefings with three and four star officers are planned than in previous years, and the majority of the major command chiefs MAJCOM commanders will be in attendance. at the show.

One major change for this year's show is the budget situation. With the on-time delivery of the president's budget request, service officials will be free to discuss program details with attendees in a way they have not been able to during the last two iterations of the annual conference, where questions regarding funding levels were often met with promises to talk after the budget was released.

Expect significant focus on the ongoing operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, as well as the volatile situation in Europe.

With pressure mounting on President Barack Obama to begin lethal weapons sales to Ukraine and a beefed up Air Force presence in the region, Europe is very much on the minds of industry and service leaders, a stark contrast to last year when Gen. Frank Gorenc, the commander of US Air Forces in Europe and Africa, was forced to defend the need for of his organization's continued strength.

Twitter: @AaronMehta

Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.

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