Lt Gen William T. Lord
Lt Gen William T. Lord is a 1977 graduate of the US Air Force Academy and spent his entire Air Force career in the communications career field. The general held various duties with tours in Europe, Central Command, the White House, commanding at the detachment, squadron, group, wing, MAJCOM, and Joint Levels. Of particular significance was his leadership as Commander of 38th Training Wing at Keesler AFB when Hurricane Katrina devastated the base. He and Mrs. Lord’s leadership were at the core of Keesler’s recovery from the effects of this disaster. General Lord culminated his career as Chief Warfighting Integration and CIO, Office of Secretary of the Air Force. General Lord retired in August 2012.
Mr. Robert A. Frye (SES)
Mr. Robert A. Frye is one of the true Air Force visionary leaders in Data Automation and IT Acquisition. Entering the AF in 1969 and eventually joining the federal service at Hanscom AFB, he was chosen by the Electronic Systems Center as the first civilian SC director and eventually as a member of the Senior Executive Service and Director of the Standard Systems Group where he directed the SSG’s 2,500 personnel and $450 million dollar annual budget. He led the SSG to CMMI Level III certification which was held by less than 15% worldwide organizations; established SSG as the national leader in Y2K preparation which resulted in no Y2K incidents in the Air Force. Also of note was Mr. Frye’s initiatives for purchasing commercial IT products which saved over $1B in validated savings. His awards are far too numerous to list but include the Edwin Rawlings award for top IT manager in AFSC, Meritorious SES Service Award, and AF Legion of Merit.
Col Vincent C. Valdespino
Colonel Vincent C. Valdespino led a distinguished career serving in the C4I and cyberspace disciplines for over 37 years. His leadership as both an enlisted and commissioned officer was instrumental in the development and mentorship of younger service members. He commanded four communications units and held key staff positions including JTF Operation Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. He led a multi-disciplinary team to address close air support problems with US Army forces. Since his retirement Colonel Valdespino has led teams of cyber operators and technologists tackling the most difficult offensive and defensive cyberspace issues.
Lt Col Roland J. Gannon
Lt Col Roland “Rocky” J. Gannon served in the USAF for 37 years, beginning at age 17 as an Aviation Cadet, earning his wings as a B-17 pilot. After WWII as a result of the pilot drawdown, Colonel Gannon became an Air Traffic Controller where he evolved as a recognized expert in ATC procedures and policy and as Air Space Management expert. Over his career, he commanded 9 Squadrons and Detachments, held numerous staff positions, ATC liaison positions within Europe and NATO, Forward Air Controller, flight check pilot, and Air Traffic Accident investigator. In 1975, Colonel Gannon was the first to earn the Air Force Master Air Traffic Controller Badge presented by the AFCC/CC. He retired from active duty in 1980 but continued with an active career in civilian airspace management roles and was induced into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame.
CMSgt George W. Hoyt
CMSgt George W. Hoyt had a pre-eminent role ensuring critical support to combat operations and mission success from his early days in the AF as a “2-striper” in Korea until his final tour as “The” Chief at HQ SAC. Chief Hoyt was consistently cited for superior performance as the NCOIC in multiple roles and serving as retention NCO at the 17th Bomb Wing where he led them from last to first in “first term” airman retentions. Chief Hoyt was the NCOIC of the 24 X 7 System Operation Center responsible for management of the SAC Airborne Command and Control System (SACCS). Following his AF career he oversaw the introduction of new technologies into essential C2 systems overseeing the installation of equipment on the SAC Airborne Command Post and the National Emergency Airborne Command Post. His 62 years of outstanding service to our country epitomizes all that is special about Airmen.