Richard Welling


Life Prior to Joining the USAF

Born in Evanston, Il in 1940 and lived in Chicago and Evanston prior to entry in the U.S. Air Force. Enlisted in 1960 after completion of 5 quarters of engineering at Northwestern University.

Enlisted Experiences

Completed basic training, remained one summer as a basic trainee TI, and began schooling at Keesler AFB as an AN/FST-2 maintenance technician. Selected for entry into Operation Blue Suit (pilot program to determine feasibility of USAF maintenance of large scale computers). Completed IBM Field Engineer course and transferred to Stewart AFB, NY (Boston Air Defense Sector) as a SAGE AN/FSQ-7 maintenance technician. Entered OCS from this assignment.

OCS Experience

This experience provided me the maturation to enable making critical decisions in high-stress environments. Triggered my interest in structuring unstructured problems (as opposed to routine occupations).

Life After OCS


Completed the 3064 Computer Maintenance Officer course at Keesler AFB and was assigned to the Montgomery Air Defense Sector (MOADS), Gunter AFB, AL. as a SAGE maintenance officer. Became the MOADS Direction Center Maintenance Officer (an O5 slot) after one year. Key event during this tour – married Mary Ann Harris (she was an Air Force nurse assigned to Maxwell AFB).

Performed as a computer/radar evaluation team lead in Europe based from Ramstein AFB. Also served as the USAFE representative to the NATO Air Defense Ground Environment (NADGE) acquisition. Left active duty following this assignment (1969) to pursue my undergraduate degree.

Joined the Air National Guard (ANG) while completing undergraduate studies. The first assignment was with the 217th Electronics Installation Squadron with the Illinois ANG at O’Hare Airport. The next assignment was as a communications officer with the New York ANG at Schenectady, NY. Returned for one more tour with the 217th in Illinois before joining the Wyoming ANG Communications Flight at Cheyenne, WY. After serving as the Commander of this unit transitioned to the inactive reserves while pursuing my Master’s degree. Retired in grade of O5 in 2000.


B.S. Industrial Engineering (emphasis in Operations Research / Management Sciences), Northwestern University, 1972.

M.S. Systems Management, University of Southern California, 1982.


As the Chief Engineer, Capitol Cable Systems, designed and installed the cable TV system for Albany, Watervliet, Guilderland and the town and village of Colony New York.

As a Department of the Army civilian, completed the U.S. Army Quality and Reliability Engineering Intern program (6-month program) at Rock Island Arsenal, IL. Worked with the Quality and Reliability Directorate for the Armaments Command at Rock Island Arsenal. Transferred to Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Commerce City, CO. Served as the Senior Industrial Engineer for the demilitarization (destruction) of this industrial facility’s GB nerve agents underground bulk storage, stored ton containers, and M34 bomb inventories. Also supported the Honest John missile demilitarization, destruction of mustard stockpiles, and phosgene transfer/sales. Helped initiate the environmental cleanup program for this 22 square mile facility. Also was the installation’s Management Information Systems Director prior to transitioning to the Department of Energy (DOE).

Helped re-establish DOE’s Western Energy Data Field Office in Lakewood, CO. Collected, analyzed, and reported information on Alternative Energy Systems.

For the last 20 years have been supporting, through contract efforts, Air Force Space Command and U.S. Space Command planning directorates in defining requirements, acquisition, contract oversight, and testing/acceptance for systems and networks supporting NORAD functional requirements. My focus has been mainly centered on communication networks but has encompassed many other areas; e.g., ORDS, SORDS, bid proposals, operational assessments. I also was the proposal manager and program manager for an effort that defined the operational requirements baseline for the Bureau of Land Management used for the major program acquisition for the Automated Land and Minerals Record System (ALMRS). While serving the same customer base, I have been employed by Computer Sciences Corporation, National Systems & Research Inc., System Technologies Associates, and SI-International Inc. as a senior systems engineer.

Retired in 2001.

Present Life

Currently living half-time in Colorado Springs and half-time in Denver (we own a small condo in downtown Denver). Spend considerable time watching after our elderly parents (my mother (94) is in Colorado Springs and her folks (95 and 91) are in Raton, NM). I am currently studying Spanish in my spare time to enhance our travel experiences. We also own five timeshares and use these for travel. We will be spending considerably more time traveling around the world to better understand how other people live. There is a future potential possibility of selling the home in Colorado Springs and obtaining a home in the Guadalajara, MX area; e.g., winter in Mexico and summer in Denver.