Died April 14,2009
Major General Leon W. Babcock Jr. is director of plans, programs and policy, J-5, and inspector general, U.S. Readiness Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
General Babcock was born in Highland, Ill., in 1932. He graduated from high school in Franklin, Ind., in 1949 and from Franklin College in 1954 with a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics. The general received a master of business administration degree in industrial management from Florida State University, Tallahassee, in 1965. In 1977 he completed the Air Force Senior Management course at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
He entered the Air Force in July 1954 as an aviation cadet and was commissioned a second lieutenant and received his pilot wings at Bryan Air Force Base, Texas, in 1955. General Babcock served from 1956 to 1964 as an instructor pilot in F-86D's, F-89D's, F-86L's and T-38s; and as operations officer with the Air Training Command at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., James Connally and Webb Air Force Bases, Texas.
From 1964 to 1965, he attended Florida State University and completed his master's degree. He subsequently served in the Alaskan Air Command at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, first as a squadron pilot in F-102s and then as chief of the Weapons Branch and fighter officer. After F-4E qualification training at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., in late 1969, he was assigned to the 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. During that assignment he flew 500 combat hours in F-4s as a flight commander and as officer in charge of forward air controllers.
Upon returning to the United States in 1971, General Babcock became chief of the 20th Air Division Weapons Branch at Fort Lee Air Force Station, Va. He was assigned to Washington, D.C., in 1972 and served in the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-5, as chief of the North American Branch, Western Hemisphere Division. Two years later he was selected as the Air Force representative to the State Department's 10-month senior seminar in foreign policy. From 1975 to 1977, he served as vice commander, 25th Air Division, McChord Air Force Base, Wash. While assigned to McChord, General Babcock attended the Air Force Senior Management course at Carnegie-Mellon University.
The general took command of Air Forces Iceland at Keflavik Naval Air Station, Iceland, in June 1977. He became executive to the chief of staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in July 1978 and in April 1979 was assigned as commander of the 601st Tactical Control Wing, Sembach Air Base, Germany. General Babcock became assistant chief of staff, Operations Division, Headquarters Allied Forces Central Europe, Brunssum, Netherlands, in June 1981. In October 1982 he was named deputy commander of the 6th Allied Tactical Air Force, with headquarters at Izmir, Turkey. He assumed his present duties in April 1985.
A command pilot, General Babcock has flown AT-6s, T-33s, F-86s, F-89s, T-38s, F-102s, OV-10s and various models of F-4s. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1982, with date of rank May 1, 1979.
(Current as of August 1985)