Checkpoints Winter 2012
Unfortunately I need to start this installment off with the notification of Greg Lane passing back in August for those who hadn’t heard yet. Dan Philips sent me a message in August (after the summer article had already gone out) notifying us of Greg’s passing. Dan had forwarded an informative message from Barry Miller that had some great history of Greg. Turns out that Barry and Greg went through BCT together and then spent Doolie year together in CS-22. Barry went on to say that they also flew KC-135s together at K.I. Sawyer where Greg and Terry Barrett bought a house on a local lake. Apparently several folks in the squadron spent an above average amount of time there. Greg never married and was interned in a family plot in North Carolina. The AOG web site asked for any contributions to be sent to the Peninsula S. P. C. A., Attn: Vicki Rowland; 523 J. Clyde Morris Blvd; Newport News, VA 23601. I’m sure they would still appreciate something in Greg’s name even at this late date.
I have to play catch-up with several entries that weren’t included last quarter due to space limitations. Leading off was Ken Charpie who is still living in Dayton and works out at the base doing B-2 activities for a contractor. Several classmates and a couple of their brides had lunch on May 31st to commemorate our 34th graduation anniversary. Pictured below from left are Mary Beth and Tom Owen (then commander of ASC, retired in September), Ken Charpie, Dave Eidsuane, Mike Ausserer, Phil Popovich, Ken Hendrick, Sandy Popovich, Jess Sponable, Tony Zompetti and Dave London. Ken assured us that a severe good time was indeed had by all!
Rick Devereaux sent a great shot of himself and several classmates (with a great representation from CS-32 Roadrunners) who attended his retirement last Spring at the Pentagon which was presided over by the USAFA Supt, Lt Gen Mike Gould (’76). Rick’s last job was the Director of Ops Planning, Policy and Strategy working for Hawk Carlisle (before he took over PACAF and moved to Hawaii) when he was the A3/5 on the Air Staff. From left are Tony Gazo, Chuck Valle, Dave Estep, Kyle Bartels, Rick, Wayne Ford, Vince Wisniewski, Dave Jones, RD Johnson and Chuck Greenwood. The “78 is Great” banner sure added a nice touch! Well Done Rick…thanks for all your years of service!
Speaking of Hawk, the same space limitations prevented me from posting this great shot of Gen Schwartz, the then USAF Chief of Staff handing him the PACAF guide on after Hawk had pinned on his fourth star. Not a bad class record to have two classmates commanding Major Commands!
Well, actually that’s three Major Commands when you count JJ Jackson taking over AFRC last summer. Below is a great family shot of Barb, Ty and Kelly who have “…really been my ‘rock’ during this life changing year and the next four will be a wild ride!” I’m sure it will JJ, a hearty congrats and all the best in the next few years.
Speaking of Dan Philips, I owe him a severe apology for totally and completely buffooning his name in the summer article. I called him “Phil Horace” and for that I truly apologize (if anyone has ever seen the Tom Hanks film “That Thing You Do” that might help explain part of it). I know there were a lot of us in the class but I remember Dan from the Zoo and should not have messed it up that badly. Sorry Dano…I will provide the appropriate libations if you’re ever in L.A!
Had a nice chat with Barry Miller this evening getting permission to use parts of the e-mail he sent to Dan (do my best to minimize my senile errors) and we ended up talking for quite a bit. Barry retired from the AF back in 2000 and has landed a great job as an Aerospace Engineer and Technical pilot in the FAA Avionics Standards Branch in D.C. He also gets to fly once in a while on airplanes that do some exciting avionics research and certification work. Turns out that he interfaces with fellow Bull Dawger Rick Dunham (has a high profile job as the TERPS organization manager in OKC) on a fairly regular basis. Barry and Joann are living outside of Annapolis and very much enjoying their surroundings.
Heard from Mark Zamzow via LinkedIn who hung it up this past summer where he was the Vice of 3rd AF and the commander of U.S. Air Forces for Africa Command. He shuttled between Ramstein and Mildenhall to do both jobs. He and Fran have settled in San Antonio and is starting to work on the next phase.
In the “Small World Department” my wife and I were visiting some friends of ours who live in a very cool high rise by the water in Long Beach (you can see th Queen Mary from their living room balcony) a few weeks ago. When we went to our car in the parking garage there was a note from a classmate who was parked next to us and saw my 78 sticker in the window. Apparently he and his wife had recently moved into the same complex and had met our friends in the very nice cookout area a few days before. Turns out it was none other than Brett and Sherri Vance who moved from Palmdale (where Brett had worked as a civilian instructor pilot at the Test Pilot School for six years) to Long Beach when he accepted a test pilot position in the FAA’s L.A. Aircraft Certification office (another 78 er working for Big FAA…is there a pattern here?). Brett mentioned that companies of all sizes will approach the office with new aircraft designs seeking certification on an existing design or an amendment to an existing certification. Depending on the issue and complexity of the project, the pilots in Brett’s office will perform the certification flight tests. They are involved in several new technologies to include synthetic vision and other certified “cool stuff.” The office also has a “rental program” when they aren’t doing flight test projects where they get checked out in twins, singles, gliders (and even helos for some guys) so the office can stay proficient. He says this gives them about two flights per week when not in a test program. Another perk is the 5.5 mile commute which is truly coveted (and rare) in this part of the country. Wow…sounds like an incredible job Brett…great move in more ways than one.
Finally, a quick reunion update (that’s right gents…35th is next year), Bees Kellenbence has agreed to get the ball rolling as boots on the ground in the Springs and will be looking for some help (e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org). The AOG now assigns reunion dates by a lottery after the football schedule is released (early 2013) so it will be awhile until we have a firm date. Will put the info on the class site as soon as it’s available.
´78 is Great!
Class of 1978 - United States Air Force Academy
as of 27 Feb 2016