Retired Aug. 1, 1993.
Major General Richard D. Smith is the director of logistics, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He develops and directs policy and procedures for conducting maintenance, supply, transportation and munitions operations in support of the command's air logistics centers and product centers, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and worldwide customers.
General Smith was born in 1938, in Lawton, Okla., and graduated from high school in Walters, Okla., in 1956. He earned a bachelor's degree in military science from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1961, a master's degree in industrial engineering from Texas Tech University in 1966 and a doctorate in business administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1972. He completed the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 1976.
Upon graduation from the academy, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and assigned as a procurement officer with Air Force Systems Command's Ballistics Systems Division, first at Los Angeles Air Force Station, Calif., and later at Norton Air Force Base, Calif. After completing his master's degree, he served in a number of positions with the Defense Contracting Administration Services District, Pasadena, Calif., from February 1966 to June 1969.
General Smith received his doctorate in January 1972 and was assigned to the Directorate of Procurement Policy, Air Force headquarters. He subsequently served as executive officer for the assistant deputy chief of staff for systems and logistics from September 1974 to August 1975.
After graduating from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in July 1976, he became commander of Detachment 19, Air Force Contract Maintenance Center, Getafe, Spain. There he managed contract depot maintenance for the Air Force's European fleet of F-4 fighters. He was assigned to Kim Hae, South Korea, from March 1979 to July 1980 as commander of Detachment 28, Air Force Contract Maintenance Center. In this position General Smith was responsible for closing the F-4 contract depot in Taiwan and moving ft to Kim Hae. The move involved facility construction, movement of support equipment and material, and training Korean nationals to perform depot maintenance.
General Smith then was transferred to the San Antonio Air Logistics Center, Air Force Logistics Command, Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, as chief of the Resources Management Division, Directorate of Maintenance. He later became chief of the Propulsion Management Division, Directorate of Materiel Management, and in December 1982 was named director of materiel management. In September 1983 the general was assigned to Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, as deputy chief of staff for contracting and manufacturing, and in April 1987 he became deputy chief of staff for materiel management. The general returned to the San Antonio Air Logistics Center as commander In June 1989, where he was responsible for more than 17,000 people supporting 33 types of aircraft, aircraft engines and 100 other property classes. He assumed his current position in July 1992.
The general holds the aeronautical rating of navigator. His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.
He was promoted to major general Oct. 1, 1987, with same date of rank.