Retired Sep. 1, 1992.
Brigadier General Ralph T. "Tom" Browning is commander, 58th Fighter Wing, Tactical Air Command, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
General Browning was born in Holyoke, Mass., in 1941, and graduated from Edgewater High School, Orlando, Fla., in 1960. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1964 and a master of science degree in public administration from Shippensburg State College in 1982. The general completed Armed Forces Staff College in 1977, Air War College in 1980 and Army War College in 1982.
Upon graduation from the academy, General Browning was assigned to the 3575th Pilot Training Wing, Vance Air Force Base, Okla., and received wings in September 1965. He completed F-105 training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and was assigned as an F-105 pilot with the 333rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Takhll Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in May 1966.
From July 1966 to February 1973 he was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. Following his release as a POW, and after three months of recurrency training with the 560th Flying Training Squadron at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, he returned to Nellis Air Force Base in December 1973 to serve as pilot, instructor pilot, flight commander and assistant operations officer with the 64th and 65th Fighter Weapons squadrons, the "Aggressors."
The general transferred to Luke Air Force Base in July 1977 and served as F-15 academics chief, 58th Tactical Training Squadron, until October 1978. He then was assigned as operations officer, 555th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, and in April 1979 assumed command of the squadron.
After graduating from Army War College in June 1982, he was assigned as chief of the Operations Division, Directorate of Electronic Combat, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He returned to Luke Air Force Base as vice commander of the 58th Tactical Training Wing in July 1984, and assumed command in September 1985. In July 1987 he was assigned as deputy chief of staff for operations, 12th Air Force, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. He later served as vice commander, 12th Air Force, and vice commander, U.S. Southern Air Forces. From August 1988 to August 1990 he was commander of the 313th Air Division, Pacific Air Forces, Kadena Air Base, Japan. General Browning returned to Luke Air Force Base as commander of the 832nd Air Division in September 1990. He assumed his present command in October 1991 after an Air Force-initiated reorganization inactivated the air division and one of its tactical training wings, returning Luke to a one-wing base.
The general is a command pilot with more than 2,500 flying hours in the F-105, T-38, F-5, F-15 and F-16. His military awards and decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and two oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and five oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with eight service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general Oct. 1, 1988, with same date of rank.