Retired July 1, 1995.
Brigadier General Rudolf Peksens is the director of strategy, policy and plans for Headquarters U.S. Southern Command, Quarry Heights, Panama. He is responsible for developing the long range strategy and contingency plans for achieving U.S. military objectives in Latin America.
The general entered the Air Force in 1966 as a graduate of the Tufts University Reserve Officer Training Corps program. An experienced commander and combat aviator, he is the only Air Force officer to have flown fighter, bomber and reconnaissance aircraft in combat. He is a command pilot with nearly 3,900 flying hours, including more than 600 combat hours in operations over Vietnam and Iraq. General Peksens served as a B-52 co-pilot on the first 410th Bombardment Wing aircrew selected to conduct Arc Light bombing missions over Southeast Asia in 1968. He also flew combat missions in 1970 over Southeast Asia in the RF-4C Phantom. During Operations Desert Storm and Provide Comfort, he served as vice commander and then commander of the 7440th Combat Wing and flew combat missions over Iraq in the F-4G Phantom II Advanced Wild Weasel.
He has a long record of command. He first served as commander of the joint U.S. Air Forces in Europe/U.S. Army in Europe Warrior Preparation Center, the largest computer war-gaming facility in the world. From July 1988 to July 1989 he commanded the 26th Reconnaissance Wing, Zweibrucken Air Base, during which time the wing won the annual worldwide reconnaissance competition. From July 1989 to July 1991 he commanded the 52nd Fighter Wing "Wild Weasels" at Spangdahlem Air Base. During that period, the 52nd Fighter Wing deployed early and contributed significantly and measurably to successful combat operations in the Gulf War. From September 1992 to July 1994 he commanded the 410th Bomb Wing at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich., during which time the wing won U.S. Strategic Command's first "Omaha Trophy" as the best flying unit in that joint command.
1966 Bachelor of arts degree in political science, Tufts University, Mass.
1980 Naval College of Command and Staff, Newport, R.I.
1986 National War College, Washington, D.C.
1. June 1966 - June 1967, student, pilot training, Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
2. June 1967 - November 1967, student, B-52 combat crew training, Castle Air Force Base, Calif.
3. November 1967 - June 1969, B-52 pilot, 410th Bombardment Wing, K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich.
4. June 1969 - December 1969, student, RF-4C combat crew training, Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas
5. January 1970 - November 1970, RF-4C pilot, 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Tan Son Nhut Airfield, Republic of Vietnam
6. December 1970 - January 1973, instructor pilot, 17th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Zweibrucken, Air Base, West Germany
7. January 1973 - June 1976, operations evaluator, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe inspector general team, Sembach Air Base, West Germany
8. July 1976 - January 1978, fighter staff officer, Project Checkmate, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
9. January 1978 - July 1979, executive assistant to the Air Force vice chief of staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
10. July 1979 - August 1980, student, Naval College of Command and Staff, Newport, R.I.
11. September 1980 - January 1982, chief, wing advanced systems and special tactics, 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Zweibrucken Air Base, West Germany
12. January 1982 - June 1983, deputy political adviser to the commander in chief, USAFE, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany
13. June 1983 - July 1985, special assistant to the inspector general of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
14. August 1985 - June 1986, student, National War College, Washington, D.C.
15. June 1986 - June 1988, commander, joint USAFE/USAREUR Warrior Preparation Center, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany
16. July 1988-July 1989, commander, 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Zweibrucken Air Base, West Germany
17. June 1989 - July 1991, commander, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, West Germany
18. July 1991 - August 1992, assistant deputy commander for operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany
19. September 1992 - July 1994, commander, 410th Bomb Wing, K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Mich.
20. August 1994 - present, director of strategy, policy and plans, Headquarters U.S. Southern Command, Quarry Heights, Panama
Rating: Command pilot
Flight Hours: Nearly 3,900, including more than 600 combat hours in B-52, RF-4 and F4-G aircraft
Aircraft Flown: F-4C/D/E, F4-G, RF-4C/E, F-16 and B-52C/D/E/F/H
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Jun 3, 1966
First Lieutenant Dec 13, 1967
Captain Jun 13, 1969
Major Jan 1, 1978
Lieutenant Colonel Oct 1, 1980
Colonel Oct 1, 1985
Brigadier General May 1, 1992