Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Keck is Commander, 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, La. The 8th Air Force is one of three active-duty numbered air forces in Air Combat Command. The general also serves as an Air Force component commander for the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., and presents information superiority capability for the Air Force. The 8th Air Force comprises nine wings and two groups, nearly 500 aircraft, more than 53,000 active-duty and civilian personnel, and more than 80 major installations worldwide. The general oversees the warfighting capability of the operational readiness of B-1, B-2, B-52, F-15, F-16, A-10, HH-60 aircraft as well as 8th Air Force-gained Reserve and National Guard units.
A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1969, the general is a command pilot with more than 4,600 flying hours, including 886 combat hours. He has flown operational tours in the A-10, B-1, B-52, RC-135, U-2 and SR-71. He has commanded the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, the 55th Wing and the 4404th Wing (Provisional) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, supporting Operation Southern Watch. His staff tours include plans assignments with Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command, plus duty as Deputy Director of Plans and Programs at Air Combat Command. He served in plans and operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Force; as Executive Assistant to the first Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and as Director of Strategy for Policy and Plans with U.S. Southern Command. The General has also served as Vice Commander of 12th Air Force, and prior to his current assignment, was Vice Commander of Air Combat Command.
1969 Bachelor of science degree, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1975 Master's degree in business management, Central Michigan University
1975 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1980 Master's degree in systems management, University of Southern California
1980 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, by correspondence
1981 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1986 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1996 National and International Security Program, Harvard University
1. July 1969 - August 1970, student, pilot training, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.
2. September 1970 - March 1971, student, combat crew training, Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
3. March 1971 - September 1973, B-52 pilot, aircraft commander, 367th Bombardment Squadron, and Chief, Quality Control Division, 306th Bombardment Wing, McCoy Air Force Base, Fla.
4. October 1973 - August 1975, B-52 aircraft commander, instructor aircraft commander, and standardization and evaluation instructor pilot, 34th Bombardment Squadron, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
5. September 1975 - May 1976, Air Staff training officer, Secretary of the Air Force Office of Information, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
6. May 1976 - July 1980, SR-71 aircraft commander and T-38 instructor pilot, flight examiner and functional check pilot, 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale Air Force Base, Calif.
7. August 1980 - May 1981, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
8. June 1981 - July 1983, Chief, Bomber Branch, later, B-1 Deputy Chief, Air Vehicle Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
9. August 1983 - June 1985, Commander, 60th Bombardment Squadron, later, Deputy Commander, 43rd Combat Support Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam
10. July 1985 - May 1986, student, National War College, Washington, D.C.
11. June 1986 - June 1989, Chief, Strategic Offensive Forces Division, Directorate of Plans, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, later, Executive Assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
12. July 1989 - June 1990, Vice Commander, 384th Bombardment Wing, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan.
13. June 1990 - November 1991, Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, Calif.
14. November 1991 - May 1993, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, later, Deputy Director of Plans and Programs, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
15. May 1993 - May 1995, Commander, 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. (February 1995 - April 1995, Commander, 4404th Wing (Provisional), King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
16. May 1995 - June 1997, Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans, U.S. Southern Command, Quarry Heights, Panama
17. June 1997 - July 1998, Vice Commander, 12th Air Force and U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, and Air Force Vice Commander, Battle Management Component, U.S. Strategic Command, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
18. July 1998 - January 2000, Vice Commander, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
19. January 2000 - present, Commander, 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
Rating: Command pilot, parachutist
Flight hours: More than 4,600, including 886 combat hours
Aircraft flown: A-10, B-1, B-2, B-52, C-21, C-130, E-3, E-4, E-8, EF-111, F-4, F-14, F-15, F-16, GR-1 Tornado,
HH-60, RC-135, KC/EC/OC-135, SR-71, T-38, TU-22M3 and U-2
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Government of Kuwait)
2000 Laureate Award in Avionics, Aviation Week and Space Technology
2001 Gen. Chuck Yeager International Aeronautical Achievement Award, Engineers' Council
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Jun 4, 1969
First Lieutenant Dec 4, 1970
Captain Jun 4, 1972
Major Sep 1, 1978
Lieutenant Colonel Nov 1, 1981
Colonel Nov 1, 1986
Brigadier General May 20, 1993
Major General Apr 1, 1997
Lieutenant General Aug 1, 1998
(Current as of January 2002)