Maj. Gen. Robert P. Steel, USAF, Ret., is a multi-faceted executive with decades of experience leading worldwide military operations, including aviation, joint and training environments. During 33 years of service, General Steel served at many command levels and with multiple major command organizations.
As Commandant, National War College, he directed a faculty comprised of 64 PhDs in educating 221 students annually. He prepared future generations of America’s senior military and civilian leaders in all elements of government by expanding their knowledge of national security issues while enhancing their ability to analyze the current global landscape and develop and execute long-term strategic plans. As leader of agency’s executive team, he implemented the President’s Management Agenda within area of responsibility. General Steel developed and maintained positive and productive relationships with a diverse array of government, military and foreign officials. He testified before the House Armed Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Staff on Capitol Hill to address their concerns about professional military education.
As Commander of 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, England, he was responsible for 15,359 personnel and directed complex aviation operations totaling 13,000 sorties annually and overseeing operations for 55 F-15E aircraft, 24 F-15C aircraft and five HH-60 helicopters. He executed the U.S. Air Forces Europe’s largest flying hour program, including major technology upgrades and integrations of human capital management for a workforce of over 7,500. He demonstrated strong proactive teambuilding and leadership during the shut down of Air Force operations in Keflavik, Iceland while relocating and integrating the 56th Rescue Squadron into England within nine months.
As Director, Air Component Coordinating Element, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, he advised senior officials and ensured synchronization of all air component assets into major combat operations. He served as the Combined Forces Air Component Commander’s primary adviser and personal representative to the Multi-National Forces-Iraq Commander. He created an Air Component Coordinating Element from scratch as part of the new Multi-National Force-Iraq Headquarters.
As Commander, USAFE, Theater Air and Space Operations Center, he provided situational awareness of all air and space operations for three continents and 51 independent states. As the Commander of this newly formed USAFE Theater Air and Space Operation Center, he oversaw strategic and long-range planning that integrated and realigned financial, human capital and administrative management activities to transition headquarters from staff headquarters to the Air Force’s first-ever war-fighting headquarters.
As Director of Staff and Senior U.S. Representative to NATO’s senior air headquarters, he was accountable for maintaining and representing U.S. interests in a NATO Headquarters with 27 member nations while supervising 279 personnel at eight locations. He advised the Commander of Headquarters AIRNORTH on all northern region NATO operations pertaining to intelligence, planning, personnel, administrative, communications and logistics functions.
General Steel entered the Air Force in 1978 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering. He earned a Master of Science in Public Administration from Golden Gate University in 1987. Additionally, he completed the Center for Creative Leadership in 2003 and the National Defense University Capstone General and Flag Officer course in 2006.
General Steel served as the Vice President, Strategic Business Development, Government, Defense and Special Missions for Tenax Aerospace in 2012.
Retired from the Air Force in 2011, Major General Robert P. Steel’s active duty biography
is available on the Air Force website.