Retired Sep. 1, 1992.
Major General Kenneth E. Staten is commander of the Air Force Development Test Center, Air Force Systems Command, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The center plans, conducts and reports on testing of U.S. and allied non-nuclear munitions, electronic combat and supporting systems; operates the largest air base in the Free World, providing host support to 50 tenant units; and supports the largest single base mobility commitment in the Air Force.
General Staten was born in 1939, in Manhattan, Kan., and graduated from Mulvane (Kan.) High School in 1957. He received a bachelor of science degree in military science from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1961 and a master of science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1974. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1965, Armed Forces Staff College in 1974 and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1982.
After graduating from the academy, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. The general entered pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas, and received his pilot wings in August 1962. After completing combat crew training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., in May 1963, he was assigned to the 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, England, as an F-100 pilot. In May 1966 he transferred to Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, and flew 265 combat missions as an F-100 pilot with the 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing.
In June 1967 General Staten returned to the United States as an F-100 combat crew training instructor with the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. In February 1969 he completed the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School (now the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School) at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and remained there as an instructor.
General Staten became aide to the commander, Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in January 1971. After graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., in January 1974, he entered F-4 upgrade training with the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing at George Air Force Base, Calif.
In May 1974 he was assigned to the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as assistant operations officer. From June 1975 to July 1981 he served, first, as fighter requirements officer and, later, as special assistant to the deputy chief of staff for research and development at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. During these assignments General Staten was part of the cadre that initiated the low observables "stealth" program.
After completing the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in July 1982, the general was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School as commandant. In August 1983 he became commander of the 6510th Test Wing, Edwards Air Force Base. In February 1986 he was assigned as the first program manager of the National Aerospace Plane Joint Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, which managed the technology and design programs for a hypersonic research vehicle (X-30).
In November 1987 the general was assigned to Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., as deputy commander for tactical systems, Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, and Airborne Warning and Control Systems, Electronic Systems Division. He was responsible for developing and procuring command, control and communications systems for U.S. and allied armed forces. He assumed command of the Armament Division, later renamed the Munitions Systems Division, Eglin Air Force Base, in August 1988. He was responsible for planning, research, development and acquisition of non-nuclear air armament and munition systems; the test and evaluation of armament and electronic combat systems; and operation of the Air Force's largest base. As a consequence of the Defense Management Report initiatives, that organization was disestablished and restructured into the Air Force Development Test Center in July 1990.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours in more than 40 different types of aircraft. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
He was promoted to major general Sept. 1, 1989, with same date of rank.