Checkpoints, Class of 1978, September 2016
We have some truly special news and events this quarter. My heartfelt thanks in advance to those who sent info/pix in to share with you.
You all have had to endure my shameless cheerleading for our class these many years as your humble scribe and with good reason. Nearly 40 years (ugh…that hits home) after graduating, we continue to make our mark in the AF as very few classes have or do. Yeah, that’s a bodacious claim but there it is and we prove it.
First case in point is JJ Jackson’s change of command on 15 July (last week as of this writing) after 4 years as commander of the Air Force Reserve Command and Chief of Air Force Reserve (he was the twelfth commander in AF Reserve history). The brand new CSAF, Dave “Fingers” Goldfein did the honors. Below is a great shot of (L t R) Gen Goldfein, daughter Kelly (16 and going to James Madison HS), JJ, wife Barb and son Ty (20 currently attending the Univ of Alabama…roll Tide!). JJ officially retires next week on the 22nd and our own Hawk Carlisle will do the honors. JJ believes that after his retirement, Hawk will be the last ‘78er in uniform on active duty. If there is someone else out there still on the clock, please let me know. Anyway, we are only one of three classes who have two classmates as MAJCOM commanders (the others being ’79 and ’83) which is an amazing accomplishment. I pointed out in years past that we had the most classmates on the AF Senior Leader page and even now, we still make quite a mark.
Anyway, JJ is going back to Southwest Airlines for a couple of more years as they stay in the Beltway. Barb is teaching in the Farifax VA school system and they plan on staying in the Beltway area. One or two pix of his retirement with the ’78 contingent will be in next quarter’s article.
Speaking of the CSAF, his brother Goldy Goldfein (what a family!) sent this very cool shot of Goldy and his son Alex who is in his second season as Right WIng with the Thunderbirds. Back in May, Goldy was able to see Alex perform at the McGuire airshow while also visiting with B/G (retired) Jon Reynolds who lives in Delaware and is to Alex’s right in the shot. Gen Reynolds was a history instructor at USAFA during the entire time we were there. Most of us probably either had him for a mil history class or heard him speak. He flew F-100s and F-105s being in the latter when he was shot down spending over 5 years as a POW with two broken arms. Goldy has stayed in touch with the general since we were cadets and was able to arrange the VIP treatment at the show to see Alex perform. Quite the thrill for all concerned! Goldy continues to stay very busy as the Northrop Grumman Business Development VP for the Mission Systems sector in Baltimore.
George Ka’illiwai still suffers mightily as the USPACOM J8 (Director, Resources and Assessment) at Camp Smith HI where he’s been hanging out the past 10 years (“time flies in paradise” as George attests). Before that, he was the Commandant of the USAF Test Pilot School as well as the Edwards AFB Tech Director here in the lovely Antelope Valley…big difference from here to Hawaii! Dave “Limo” Scott was in town and they flashed a picture of a Checkpoints issue while modeling the latest in aloha shirts. Limo is VP of Advanced Technology & Programs in Raytheon’s Advanced Missile Systems division in The Springs. He shared with George that he spends 1/3 of his time with bride Lisa at home, 1/3 of his time in Tucson and 1/3 of his time on the road. Sounds like a truly busy life for both.
Last August, Neal Barlow “quietly” retired as the Aero Department Permanent Professor at USAFA while pinning on BG. He had an exceptional career flying and commanding at the squadron level but truly leaving his mark as an Aero professor. He was first designated as the Aero PP in 2000 after being the 34th Ops Group deputy. In the next 15 years, he was also the Vice Dean and chaired the Engineering Division for the Dean. He had a stint as the acting US Space Comm Chief Scientist for a couple of years before going back to USAFA and finishing up as the PP for ten total years in that positon. His entire family was able to join him for retirement with he and Diana raising three exceptional kids. From L to R, daughter Kaitlin is a 2007 grad and dentist, daughter Caralyn is a financial analyst at Lockheed Martin, Diana and Ben who is a White House physician…wow! Kaitin’s husband and classmate Shaun sent in the picture and info on the ceremony that was attended by literally hundreds of friends, family and colleagues. Well done Neal and congratulations!
Yep, pretty exceptional class we have gents…it is an honor to be associated with you all as we continue to make our mark on the AF and our still great nation. My thanks for everyone who sent in this great info…please keep up the great work. Hope everyone has a blessed Fall.
‘78 is Great!
Class of 1978 - United States Air Force Academy
as of 29 July 2016