Retired Sep. 1, 1992.
Brigadier General William E. Collins is a command director for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, Colo.
General Collins was born in 1943 in Worcester, Mass. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1965 and a master's degree in business administration from Auburn University in 1975. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1968, Air Command and Staff College in 1975, and Air War College in 1983.
The general received his commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program in June 1965 and entered active duty in September 1965. After completing aircraft maintenance officer training at Chanute Air Force Base, Ill., in May 1966, he served as a field training detachment commander, first at Craig Air Force Base, Ala., then from June 1967 to March 1969 at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. The general then transferred to the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing, Phu Cat Air Base, South Vietnam, as an F-1OOD and F-4D maintenance officer.
He returned to the United States and completed undergraduate navigator training as a distinguished graduate in December 1970, and navigator bombardier training in September 1971, both at Mather Air Force Base, Calif. Upon completion of F-111 qualification training, he was assigned to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and served successively as an F-111F weapons system officer, weapons system officer instructor and wing executive officer. In June 1977 General Collins transferred to Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, England, when the F-111s from Mountain Home replaced the F-4s at Lakenheath. While there he became the first navigator with U.S. Air Forces in Europe to command a tactical fighter squadron.
In July 1981 the general was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., as chief of operations support, Joint Studies Group. He transferred to McClellan Air Force Base, Calif., in June 1983 as chief of maintenance quality assurance. In May 1984 he became the F/FB/EF-111 weapon systems program manager. He returned to Mather Air Force Base in May 1985 as commander of the 323rd Flying Training Wing. General Collins became commander of the Goodfellow Technical Training Center, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, in June 1987. In January 1989 he became special assistant for reliability and maintainability to the assistant secretary of the Air Force, acquisition, and the deputy chief of staff, logistics and engineering, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. From June 1990 until July 1991 he was the assistant for reliability, maintainability, manufacturing and quality to the deputy assistant secretary, management policy and program integration, assistant secretary of the Air Force, acquisition, Washington, D.C. He assumed his present position in August 1991.
The general is a master navigator with more than 1,500 flying hours. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and four oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was promoted to brigadier general Feb. 1, 1989, with same date of rank.
Current as of November 1991)