Retired April 1, 1987.
Major General Richard W. Phillips Jr. is commander of Sheppard Technical Training Center, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.
General Phillips was born in 1929, in Harrisburg, Pa. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in 1953 with a bachelor of science degree in engineering and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He received a master of science degree in public administration from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1967. The general graduated from Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College, both at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1967 and 1972, respectively.
After graduation from West Point, General Phillips attended pilot training and received his wings in August 1954. His first operational assignment was with the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing at Naha Air Base, Okinawa, where he flew F-86D's. In August 1957 he moved to Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, to serve as a basic pilot training instructor.
General Phillips attended the U.S. Air Force Experimental Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., from January to August 1960. He then was assigned to the Air Proving Grounds Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., as an experimental test pilot, testing F-100s, F-101s, F-105s and associated weapons.
In August 1964 General Phillips was assigned as an Air Force exchange officer to the U.S. Navy's Air Development Squadron FOUR, Point Mugu Naval Air Station, Calif., flying F-4s and F-8s. He was aircraft carrier qualified in this assignment. In August 1966 he entered the Air Command and Staff College and, upon graduation, was assigned to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as an F-4 pilot and as chief of the wing tactics division.
The general returned to the United States in August 1968 for an assignment as chief of the Fighter Test Branch for the 4950th Test Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. From August 1971 to July 1972, he attended the Air War College. After graduation he was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Director for Operational Test and Evaluation, Directorate of Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., where he served as chief of the Operational Test and Evaluation Division.
In July 1975 General Phillips was named vice commander of the 51st Composite Wing (Tactical), Osan Air Base, South Korea. In July 1976 he returned to Air Force headquarters as assistant for international programs, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development. He served as chief of the Aeronautical Systems Division, Directorate of Development and Acquisition, from January 1977 until August 1978. General Phillips then served as deputy for general purpose forces, Directorate of Operational Requirements, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Acquisition.
The general was assigned as director of the Electronic Warfare During Close Air Support, Joint Test Force, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., in July 1980. In May 1982 he became commander of the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. He assumed his present command in September 1985.
General Phillips is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours, including 211 combat missions in F-4s while in Southeast Asia. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal with 16 oak leaf clusters.
He was promoted to major general March 1, 1983, with date of rank July 1, 1979.