Brigadier General James M. Richards is director of long range power projection, special operations forces, airlift and training programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C. As mission area director, he is responsible to the Air Force acquisition executive for strategy, plans and programming options that ensure the Air Force acquires new weapon systems and system upgrades that satisfy Air Force global reach, global power requirements.
The general entered the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in June 1969 and received his wings after graduating from pilot training at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., a year later. He served combat tours in Southeast Asia, both as a forward air controller flying the OV-10, and as a B-52 pilot supporting Strategic Air Command's Arc Light operations. In December 1972, he participated in the Linebacker II bombing raids against strategic targets in the Hanoi and Haiphong areas of North Vietnam. He has commanded a B-52 squadron and two separate bomber wings. A command pilot, he has flown more than 3,600 hours, of which 1,200 were combat hours.
1969 Bachelor of science degree in industrial technology, Texas A&M University
1975 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1978 Master's degree in systems management, University of Southern California
1981 Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
1981 Master's degree in military art and science, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
1985 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1. June 1969 - June 1970, student, undergraduate pilot training, Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
2. July 1970 - September 1970, student, Forward Air Controller and Air Liaison Officer Training Course, (AT-33), Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.
3. October 1970 - December 1970, student, OV-10 training, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
4. January 1971 - December 1971, OV-10 forward air controller, 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, Quang Tri Combat Base, and 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron, Pleiku Air Base, Republic of Vietnam
5. January 1972 - May 1972, student, B-52 Combat Crew Training, Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
6. June 1972 - April 1977, B-52 pilot, 441st Bomb Squadron; chief, bomber scheduling and wing executive officer, 320th Bombardment Wing, Mather Air Force Base, Calif.
7. April 1977 - June 1980, action officer and executive officer, deputy directorate for plans and policy, directorate of plans, deputy chief of staff, plans and operations, Headquarters U.S Air Force, Washington, D.C.
8. July 1980 - June 1981, student, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
9. July 1981 - June 1983, B-52 instructor pilot, flight commander, squadron operations officer, 668th Bomb Squadron, 416th Bombardment Wing, Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y.
10. July 1983 - July 1984, commander, 524th Bomb Squadron, 379th Bombardment Wing, Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Mich.
11. August 1984 - June 1985, student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. June 1985 - February 1987, chief, strategic aircraft division, directorate of operational requirements, deputy chief of staff, research, development and acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
13. February 1987 - August 1988, vice commander, 416th Bombardment Wing, Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y.
14. August 1988 - September 1990, commander, 416th Bombardment Wing, Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y.
15. September 1990 - August 1991, assistant deputy chief of staff, requirements and test, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
16. August 1991 - June 1992, assistant deputy chief of staff, plans and resources, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
17. August 1992 - August 1993, commander, 92nd Bomb Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.
18. September 1993 - present, director of long range power projection, special operations forces, airlift and training programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,600
Aircraft flown: OV-10, B-52, KC-135, EC-135
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Combat Readiness Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 23, 1969
First Lieutenant Dec 2, 1970
Captain Jun 2, 1972
Major Sep 1, 1979
Lieutenant Colonel Nov 1, 1981
Colonel Dec 1, 1985
Brigadier General Jun 1, 1992
(Current as of November 1993)