Retired Jan. 1, 1992.
Brigadier General Harold B. Adams is director, North American Aerospace Defense Command Planning Staff, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
General Adams was born in Albuquerque, N.M., in 1943. He graduated from Bridgeport (Wash.) High School in 1961 and earned a fine arts degree from Washington State University in 1966. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1973, Air Command and Staff College as a distinguished graduate in 1975, National Defense University in 1979 and National War College in 1982.
In January 1966 the general was commissioned as a distinguished graduate through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at Washington State. He was assigned as a pilot trainee with the 3526th Student Squadron, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz., in July 1966. His next assignment was as a B-52 co-pilot with the 28th Bombardment Squadron, Homestead Air Force Base, Fla., in December 1967.
The general transferred to the 34th Bombardment Squadron, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, in July 1968 and served as a co-pilot in the Standardization-Evaluation Division until September 1970, when he became an aircraft commander. While at Wright-Patterson he completed several B-52 Arc Light tours in support of the Vietnam conflict. In July 1971 he was assigned to Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He was involved in the original B-1A project as a major air command air operations officer in the first SAC Spotlight special duty assignment program to provide junior officers with major command experience.
In July 1972 he was assigned to the 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as an SR-71 aircraft commander. In September 1974 he set a world speed record in the SR-71 of 3 hours and 47 minutes between London and Los Angeles. The general completed Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in June 1975. He then served as an air operations staff officer, Air Forces plans and operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. In January 1980 he was assigned to the 93rd Bombardment Wing, Castle Air Force Base, Calif., where he requalified in B-52s.
In April 1980 General Adams assumed command of the 51st Bombardment Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. After completing National War College in 1982, he returned to Air Force headquarters as chief of the Bomber Division, Air Force Studies and Analyses Directorate. He assumed the position of deputy commander for B-1B matters, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, in July 1984, and in February 1985 became vice commander of the 96th Bombardment Wing at Dyess. He was assigned as commander of the 28th Bombardment Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., in March 1986. In May 1988 he became deputy director for force structure and resource, J-8, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C. He served as vice director, North American Aerospace Defense Command combat operations, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, Colo., from November 1990 until September 1991. He assumed his present position in October 1991.
The general is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours, including 127 combat missions. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Presidential Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 1, 1988, with same date of rank.