Retired Sep. 1, 1985.
Lieutenant General Bruce K. Brown is commander, Alaskan Air Command, with additional duty as commander, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. He also commands the Joint Task Force, Alaska, when activated. The mission of the Alaskan Air Command is to provide top cover for America and air support in the defense of Alaska.
General Brown's hometown is Lubbock, Texas, and he graduated from high school there in 1948. Later that year he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., and graduated in 1952 with a bachelor of science degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. The general earned a master's degree in international relations from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1969. He graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., in 1965 and the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., in 1969.
He earned his pilot wings in August 1953, after completing pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., and Webb Air Force Base, Texas. He next attended interceptor school and subsequently joined the 5th (later the 539th) Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., where he served until December 1958 as a pilot and flight commander.
General Brown transferred to Hahn Air Base, Germany, where he served with the 496th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron as a pilot and flight commander, executive officer and finally as chief of maintenance, from January 1959 to January 1963. He then returned to the United States and joined Air Defense Command headquarters at Ent Air Force Base, Colo., as a personnel officer in the Rated Assignments Branch and later as aide to the commander of Air Defense Command. He entered the Armed Forces Staff College in February 1965.
Following graduation in July 1965, General Brown joined the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., as a plans and operations officer. In May 1967 he moved to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), where he served as executive assistant. From August 1968 to October 1969, he attended the National War College.
The general went to Phan Rang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, and became assistant deputy commander and then deputy commander for operations of the 14th Special Operations Wing. Upon his return to the United States in November 1970, General Brown was assigned as vice commander of the 97th Bombardment Wing at Blytheville Air Force Base, Ark., and took command of the wing in July 1971.
In June 1972 General Brown assumed command of the 416th Bombardment Wing at Griffiss Air Force Base, N.Y. He returned to Air Force heaquarters in April 1973 as deputy assistant chief of staff for studies and analyses. In 1974 he was assigned as deputy director for operations (strategic and general operations), Joint Staff, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Washington, D.C.
General Brown took command of the 14th Aerospace Force at Ent Air Force Base, in August 1975. In June 1976 he became the assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, North American Air Defense Command, and deputy chief of staff for operations, Aerospace Defense Command. He moved with the headquarters when Ent Air Force Base closed and operations were transferred to Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., in late 1976. From, May 1978 to October 1981, the general served as deputy chief of staff, operations, North American Air Defense Command, Aerospace Defense Command and Air Defense Center. He then become vice commander in chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command and Aerospace Defense Command, and vice Commander of the Aerospace Defense Center, and in September 1982 was named the first Space Command assistant vice commander. He assumed his present command in August 1983.
The general is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours and wears the Master Space Badge. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to lieutenant general Sept. 1, 1983, with same date of rank.