Retired July 1, 1980.
Brigadier General Robert W. Kennedy is the director of electromagnetic combat in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Plans and Readiness, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
General Kennedy was born in 1929, in St. Louis. He entered the U.S. Navy V-5 program in September 1947. Prior to his assignment at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla., he attended James Millikin University, Decatur, Ill., and Washington University, St. Louis. He later earned a bachelor of science degree from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater; a master of science degree in electrical engineering, guidance and control from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; and a master of business administration degree from Auburn (Ala.) University. General Kennedy is a graduate of the Squadron Officer School and the Air War College, both located at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
He was discharged from the Navy in July 1950 and entered the Air Force aviation cadet program in January 1952, earning his wings and commission at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, in February 1953. Following combat crew training at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., General Kennedy was assigned to the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, Suwon Air Base, South Korea, as an F-86 pilot from July 1953 to June 1954. Upon returning to the United States, he served with the Air Proving Ground Command, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., as a line pilot, T-33 instructor and assistant operations officer.
From January 1959 to July 1962, he was a communications-electronics staff officer, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, at Ramstein and Wiesbaden air bases, Germany.
He received a regular commission in August 1962 while a resident student at the Air Force Institute of Technology. From May 1964 until December 1966, he was assigned to the Air Force Avionics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as satellite interceptor project manager. In January 1967 he received F-105 training at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., and was subsequently assigned to the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. He flew 100 combat missions over North Vietnam from July 1967 to March 1968.
General Kennedy then returned to the Avionics Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where he managed a program that developed and demonstrated night sensors, look-down radars and new fire control techniques. Later he was designated chief of the Application Branch and assumed additional responsibilities for the development and test of missile and bomb guidance modules, and a family of standardized inertial navigation systems.
He attended the Air War College from August 1970 to July 1971 and concurrently earned a master of business administration degree from Auburn University. For the next three years General Kennedy was assigned in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, at Air Force headquarters. He served in the Aeronautical Systems Division as chief of the Aircraft Subsystems Branch and later as deputy division chief. His last year on the Air Staff was spent as a member of the Air Force chief of staff's Six-Man Group at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
General Kennedy returned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to serve as Air Force Logistics Command's assistant deputy chief of staff for acquisition logistics from April 1975 until July 1976, when he became the deputy for acquisition programs, Air Force Acquisition Logistics Division. From March 1978 to May 1979, he was the assistant for logistics management systems, Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command. He assumed his present position in May 1979.
General Kennedy is a command pilot. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general Aug. 1, 1977, with date of rank July 16, 1977.