Retired March 1, 1994.
Major General Ralph R. "Bob" Rohatsch Jr. is commander of 16th Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, with headquarters at Aviano Air Base, Italy. He is responsible for U.S. Air Forces in Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey.
General Rohatsch was born in 1940, in San Antonio and graduated from San Angelo (Texas) High School in June 1958. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1963 and a master of business administration degree from Auburn University in 1976. He completed Squadron Officer School in 1968, Air Command and Staff College In 1976, and Air War College in 1980, all as a distinguished graduate.
After graduating from the academy, General Rohatsch attended undergraduate pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas, and received his wings in August 1964. He remained at Webb Air Force Base with the 3561st Pilot Training Squadron as a T-38 instructor pilot and later served as a T-38 flight examiner. In November 1968 he was assigned to the 3250th Pilot Instructor Training Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., as a T-38 flight examiner.
In June 1972 the general was assigned to the Military Assistance Advisory Group as an adviser with the South Vietnamese air force, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam. Returning from Southeast Asia in April 1973, he served at Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, as a T-38 flight examiner with the ATC Standardization and Evaluation Board. From November 1974 to August 1975 he was executive officer to the ATC deputy chief of staff for operations.
After completing Air Command and Staff College in June 1976, General Rohatsch was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D. C., where he worked in the Congressional Inquiries Division of the Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Liaison Office. In August 1977 he became deputy chief of the Senate Liaison Office, Washington, D.C.
After graduating from Air War College in June 1980, he commanded the 25th Flying Training Squadron at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., until July 1981. He then served as deputy commandant for operations with the commandant of cadets at the Air Force Academy. In March 1984 he became commander of the 64th Air Base Group, Reese Air Force Base, Texas. General Rohatsch was named commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing, Randolph Air Force Base in February 1985. He became director of requirements, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Plans and Requirements, ATC headquarters, In March 1987. In September 1987 he became commandant of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and was selected to command the Air Force District of Washington, D.C., in November 1988. In May 1990 he became commander of the United States Logistics Group, Ankara Air Station, Turkey, commanding USAFE units in Turkey during Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Operation Provide Comfort. During this tour the general was selected as deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ellipse Bravo. He completed his tour in Turkey as chief of Joint United States Military Mission for Aid to Turkey. He assumed his current position in October 1992.
The general is a command pilot with more than 3,200 flying hours. His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with star, Southwest Asia Service Medal with two stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He was promoted to major general Feb. 1. 1991, with same date of rank.