Retired July 4, 1993.
Major General Robert E. Dempsey is chief of staff, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
General Dempsey was born in 1941, in Gallup, N.M. His family moved to Lubbock, Texas, in April 1942, and then to Floydada, Texas, where he graduated from Floydada High School in 1960. He earned a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1964 and a master of science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1971. The general completed Air War College in May 1978, and is a graduate of the Carnegie Mellon Program for Executives and the Harvard Advanced Management Program.
Upon graduation from the academy, he received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Air Force. General Dempsey completed pilot training at Webb Air Force Base, Texas, and in October 1965 was assigned to the 9th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., where he flew the RF-4C. While at Shaw, he also served as wing executive officer for the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. In May 1967 the general transferred to Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, where he upgraded to aircraft commander in the RF-4C en route to Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam. From November 1967 to November 1968 he flew 201 combat missions, 55 over North Vietnam.
General Dempsey then was assigned to the 38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany, where he was the top American pilot in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Royal Flush competition in both 1970 and 1971. After upgrading to instructor and standardization and evaluation flight examiner, he served with the inspector general, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Lindsey Air Station, West Germany, flying all models of F-4s from June 1971 to June 1973. The general then was assigned to the Directorate of Plans, Europe/NATO Plans and Policy, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., until July 1977. While there he specialized in United Kingdom, German and Spanish matters, and European planning matters.
In May 1978, after completing Air War College, he was assigned to the 69th Bombardment Squadron, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, where he flew B-52s. He became commander of the 69th in April 1979. General Dempsey then was assigned to the 2nd Bombardment Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., as assistant deputy commander for operations. He became deputy commander for operations in November 1981.
The general was assigned as vice commander of the 93rd Bombardment Wing, Castle Air Force Base, Calif., from May 1982 to April 1984. He then served as commander of the 93rd until June 1986, when he became commander of the 96th Bombardment Wing, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The wing was the first to receive SAC's newest long-range bomber, the B-1B.
He moved to Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., in July 1987, and served first as deputy director for analysis, concepts and systems, Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff, then as assistant for plans and policy, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, SAC headquarters. In March 1988 he became deputy chief of staff for strategic planning and analysis, SAC headquarters, and deputy director for force employment plans, Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff. General Dempsey then became vice commander of SAC's 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, in August 1989. In June 1991 he became commander of SAC's 3rd Air Division, with headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He assumed his current position in June 1992.
The general is a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours. His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with 12 oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal and Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars.
He was promoted to major general July 1, 1990, with same date of rank.