Dr. John H. Pletcher Jr., a member of the Senior Executive Service, is Associate Director for Weapons, Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. In this capacity, he shares in the management and direction of the directorate and provides administrative and technical guidance to a staff of more than 500 scientists and engineers, developing air-launched conventional munitions technology. The activities of the Munitions Directorate include research on missile seekers, navigation and control, image processing, munition integration, warheads, fuzing, explosives and technology assessment methodology. He is also the weapons chair for the Defense Department's Project Reliance, where he coordinates investment planning in weapons technology for the three services and department agencies.
Dr. Pletcher graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and served 30 years on active duty, retiring in the rank of colonel. Early in his career he flew rescue HC-130 aircraft at several locations, including Vietnam where he participated in the Son Tay Prisoner of War Camp raid. He has also served as an instructor at the Air Force Academy, teaching aeronautics and flight training, and as Chief Engineer in the F-15 System Program Office for the Aeronautical Systems Center, directing engineering teams working the F-15E aircraft and the imaging infrared Maverick missile. While assigned to the Pentagon, Dr. Pletcher served as the Assistant Deputy for Engineering for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, developing systems for ballistic missile defense and evaluating possible enemy countermeasures. In 1990, he was assigned as Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate, where he led 450 scientists and engineers in developing innovative new weapons technology, to include the GBU-28 ?bunker buster? weapon. His commands include the Frank J. Seiler Research Laboratory at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development in London.
Following his active-duty career, Dr. Pletcher held senior technical management positions with two defense companies before entering federal civil service as Director of International Office and Business Development Office at the Air Armament Center, Eglin AFB, Fla., bringing new work to the center and increasing collaboration with allied nations. Prior to his current assignment, he was the Technical Director and acting Deputy Director for the Area Attack Systems Program Office, working to enhance combat capability and readiness through development, acquisition, deployment and sustainment of area attack weapons.
1967 Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1969 Master of Science degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
1979 Doctor of Philosophy in mechanical and aerospace engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
1982 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1988 Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1990 Program Management Course, Defense Systems Management College, Fort Belvoir, Va.
1. March 1970 - June 1975, Air Force operational flying and staff assignments, including HC-130 aircraft commander, 41st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing, Hickam AFB, Hawaii; 76th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Hickam AFB, Hawaii; and 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, South Vietnam
2. June 1975 - August 1978, doctoral student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
3. September 1978 - May 1982, assistant department head and associate professor of aeronautics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
4. May 1982 - April 1985, Maverick missile Chief Engineer, F-15 System Program Office, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
5. May 1985 - June 1987, Commander, Frank J. Seiler Research Laboratory, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
6. July 1987 - September 1990, Assistant Deputy for Engineering, Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
7. November 1990 - August 1994, Director, Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin AFB, Fla.
8. August 1994 - April 1997, Commander, European Office of Aerospace Research and Development, London, England
9. May 1997 - October 2000, Site Leader and Project Manager, MITRE Corporation, Dayton, Ohio
10. October 2000 - August 2001, Senior Technical Adviser, Veridian Engineering, Niceville, Fla.
11. August 2001 - January 2003, Director of International Office and Business Development Office, Plans and Programs, Air Armament Center, Eglin AFB, Fla.
12. January 2003 - December 2004, Technical Director and acting Deputy System Program Manager, Area Attack Weapons Program Office, Eglin AFB, Fla.
13. December 2004 - present, Associate Director for Munitions, Munitions Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin AFB, Fla.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross
Exemplary Civilian Service Award
Chief Engineer of the Year, Aeronautical Systems Division
Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
National Defense University Senior Fellow
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Northwest Florida Chapter Officer, AIAA
Air Force Association
Son Tay Raiders Association
U.S. Air Force Academy Association of Graduates
Professional Engineer, State of Colorado
Program Management, Level III
Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering, Level III