Retired July 1, 1980.
Brigadier General William L. Strand is the director of the Electronic Warfare During Close Air Support Joint Test Force, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. The test force is a joint-service program to evaluate the effects of hostile and friendly electronic warfare elements on close air support operations in a high threat environment.
General Strand was born in Sacramento, Calif., in 1932. He graduated from Churchill County High School, Fallon, Nev., in 1950 and then attended the Modesto Junior College in Modesto, Calif., where he earned an associate of arts degree in 1952. He received a bachelor of science degree as an honor graduate in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1959 and a master's degree in administration from The George Washington University in 1971. General Strand is also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
He entered the Air Force as an aviation cadet in 1952 and was awarded his pilot wings and commission as a second lieutenant at Greenville Air Force Base, Miss., in November 1953. General Strand attended the basic instructor school at Craig Air Force Base, Ala., and was assigned as a basic instructor and subsequently flight commander in the 3545th Pilot Training Group, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, from 1954 until 1957.
In February 1957 General Strand entered the University of Texas under the Air Force Institute of Technology program. After graduation he worked as a nuclear weapons engineer on strategic missile systems at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. He also served as a weapons development and flight test engineer for the F-100 and F-105 aircraft and missile systems.
From 1963 until 1967, General Strand was a project engineer on various space systems for the Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md. He attended the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Va., in 1967 and subsequently F-4 transition training at George Air Force Base, Calif.
General Strand was transferred to Southeast Asia in April 1968 as operations officer of the 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. He spent May 1968 as an exchange officer with the Navy, flying seven combat missions over North Vietnam from Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin. General Strand flew 145 combat missions in Southeast Asia, 75 of them over North Vietnam.
Upon his return to the United States in June 1969, General Strand was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as a research and development director working on various space programs.
He attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., from October 1970 to August 1971. He was then assigned to the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., and served successively as assistant director of operations, deputy commander for operations, deputy commander for logistics and vice commander.
In July 1974 he was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., as the assistant deputy chief of staff for requirements. General Strand next was assigned to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and become commander of the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing on March 3, 1975. The 57th Fighter Weapons Wing exercised host wing responsibilities for Nellis Air Force Base and encompassed 10 flying units including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, fighter weapons schools in the F-4, F-15, F-111 and A-10 weapon systems, the F-5E aggressor squadron which provides a combat readiness training for aircrews in a realistic tactical threat environment, and a test and evaluation squadron. The wing was redesignated the 57th Tactical Training Wing on April 1, 1977.
General Strand became commander of Tactical Training Holloman, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., on Aug. 8, 1977, with command jurisdiction of the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing and the 479th Tactical Training Wing. During his command the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing transitioned to a combat ready F-15 unit and the 479th Tactical Training Wing expanded from a squadron sized unit to full wing strength conducting fighter lead-in training in the T-38B.
He is a command pilot with 4,700 flying hours. His military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general on Feb. 2, 1978, with date of rank Jan. 16, 1978.