Military Bios

Major General Jerry D. Holmes:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Sep. 1, 1989.  
Major General Jerry D. Holmes is commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Airborne Early Warning Force, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium.
General Holmes was born in 1935, in Jenks, Okla., and graduated from Wewoka (Okla.) High School in 1953. He earned a bachelor of science degree in geological engineering in 1958 and a master of science degree in aerospace engineering in 1964, both from the University of Oklahoma. The general completed Squadron Officer School in 1965, National War College in 1976 and the Harvard University program for senior executives in national and international security in 1985.
He was commissioned in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1958. He completed pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., in October 1959. The general remained in Air Training Command until May 1962, when he entered the Air Force Institute of Technology program at the University of Oklahoma. He completed his graduate studies in June 1964, and was assigned to the Space and Missile Systems Organization, Los Angeles, Calif., as a project officer on the Titan III space launch vehicle and the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program in July 1964.
General Holmes transferred to Royal Air Force Station Upper Heyford, England, in September 1966. He served as an RF-101 pilot with the 18th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and later became a standardization and evaluation flight examiner with the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing.
From October 1969 to October 1970 General Holmes flew 130 combat missions in RF-101s and RF-4s from Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Republic of Vietnam. Upon his return to the United States, he was assigned to the Air Staff as a planning and programming officer within the Fighter Branch, Tactical Division, Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., until July 1975. After graduating from National War College in June 1976, the general transferred to the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., where he served as deputy commander for operations until June 1979. He then became vice commander of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and assumed command of the wing in August 1980.
General Holmes was assigned as commander of the 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in July 1981. While there he carried out high-visibility deployments of the airborne warning and control system to show the American flag around the world. He also briefed high-level government officials and news media during the debate over the sale of airborne warning and control system aircraft to Saudi Arabia. In September 1982 he was assigned as Tactical Air Command's assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics, Langley Air Force Base, Va., and in May 1983 became deputy chief of staff for logistics. In September 1986 he was assigned as chief of staff, 4th Allied Tactical Air Force, Heidelberg, West Germany. He assumed his present command in September 1987.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,600 flying hours in 11 types of aircraft, including F-15s, F-16s, F-111s, RF-4s and RF-101s. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters, and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
He was promoted to major general Nov. 1, 1984, with date of rank March 1, 1981.


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