Lt. Gen. Robert D. "Rod" Bishop Jr. is Commander, 3rd Air Force, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. As the U.S. Air Forces in Europe component numbered air force for U.S. European Command, 3rd Air Force supports the USAFE and EUCOM commanders both at the operational and tactical level directing all USAFE forces engaged in contingency and wartime operations in the EUCOM area of responsibility. Third Air Force includes the headquarters Air Force forces staff, a multidisciplinary, professional cadre responsible for planning, deploying, employing, sustaining and redeploying Air Force forces as the supported and supporting air component of USAFE to EUCOM. Other 3rd Air Force units include the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center, nine USAFE wings and three stand-alone groups.
General Bishop earned a Bachelor of Science degree in management engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master's degree in systems management from the University of Southern California. He has an extensive mobility background with tours at four strategic airlift bases. The general's staff experience includes a variety of assignments at Headquarters Military Airlift Command, U.S. Transportation Command and Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He has commanded an operations support squadron, a C-141 Starlifter flying squadron, and a C-141 and C-17 Globemaster operations group and airlift wing. In addition, he was Deputy Commander, Headquarters U.S. Southern Command, and the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Force. Prior to his current assignment, he served as Vice Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
General Bishop has extensive wartime and contingency experience. As a director of operations and, later, commander of a strategic airlift squadron, he led his crews through numerous deployments during operations Desert Storm, Provide Comfort and Restore Hope, the Mount Pinatubo relief efforts, and numerous humanitarian operations. As a C-17 operations group commander he led his group in support of more than seven named contingencies, most notably a nearly two month deployment of the nation's entire fleet of C-17 aircraft for Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia. As a C-17 and C-141 wing commander, he again led his Airmen in direct response to multiple operations. He deployed five times to the European area of operations as Director of Mobility Forces for operations Desert Fox, Allied Force and Shining Hope. Finally, as Director of Plans and Deputy Commander, USSOUTHCOM, General Bishop played an instrumental role expanding U.S. support to Colombia as well as organizing our nation's response to the 2004 Haitian unrest.
1974 Bachelor of Science degree in management engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1978 Distinguished graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1984 Master of Science degree in systems management, University of Southern California
1987 Distinguished graduate, Master of Arts degree in national security policy, Naval Command and Staff College, Newport, R.I.
1994 Master of Arts degree in national security policy, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2001 Seminar XXI - Foreign Politics, International Relations and the National Interest, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
1. August 1974 - August 1975, student, undergraduate pilot training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
2. September 1975 - December 1975, C-141 training, Altus AFB, Okla.
3. January 1976 - January 1981, C-141 standardization and evaluation pilot; Prime Nuclear Airlift Force examiner; flight engineer simulator instructor; and current operator, 14th Military Airlift Squadron, Norton AFB, Calif.
4. January 1981 - January 1985, Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruiting, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
5. January 1985 - June 1986, C-141 flight examiner and chief executive officer, 18th Military Airlift Squadron, McGuire AFB, N.J.
6. August 1986 - August 1987, graduate student, Naval Command and Staff College, Newport, R.I.
7. August 1987 - December 1990, policy and doctrine staff officer; Chief, Planning, Programming and Budgeting Systems Branch; and Chief, Operational Programming Division, Directorate of Planning and Programming, Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
8. January 1991 - October 1991, operations officer, 86th Military Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
9. November 1991 - June 1993, Commander, 60th Operations Support Squadron, later, Commander, 7th Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
10. June 1993 - June 1994, graduate student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
11. July 1994 - June 1996, Deputy Commander, later, Commander, 437th Operations Group, Charleston AFB, S.C.
12. July 1996 - June 1998, Deputy Director for Operations, U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
13. June 1998 - March 2000, Commander, 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, S.C.
14. March 2000 - July 2001, Deputy Director of Operations and Training, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
15. July 2001 - September 2002, Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans, Headquarters U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla.
16. September 2002 - July 2004, Deputy Commander, Headquarters U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla.
17. July 2004 - June 2005, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
18. July 2005 - December 2006, Vice Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
19. December 2006 - present, Commander, 3rd Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 5,400
Aircraft flown: C-141, T-41, C-17 and C-21
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze star
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait)
2000 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 5, 1974
First Lieutenant June 5, 1976
Captain June 5, 1978
Major Oct. 1, 1985
Lieutenant Colonel April 1, 1990
Colonel Jan. 1, 1995
Brigadier General Oct. 1, 1999
Major General May 1, 2003
Lieutenant General July 6, 2005
(Current as of January 2008)