Maj. Gen. Kenneth W. Hess is the Air Force Chief of Safety, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Safety Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The AFSC develops, executes and evaluates Air Force aviation, ground, weapons, space and system mishap prevention, and nuclear surety programs to preserve combat readiness. It conducts research to promote safety awareness and mishap prevention; oversees mishap investigations; evaluates corrective actions; and ensures implementation. The center also develops and directs safety and operational risk management education courses.
General Hess entered the Air Force in 1969 through Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and has extensive staff experience at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Joint Staff and U.S. Pacific Command. He has commanded three Air Force wings: 47th Flying Training Wing, 374th Airlift Wing and 319th Air Refueling Wing. Prior to assuming his current position, General Hess was Commander of 3rd Air Force, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England. He is a command pilot with more than 4,200 hours in various aircraft.
1969 Bachelor of business administration degree, Texas A&M University, College Station
1975 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1976 Master's degree in human relations and management, Webster College, St. Louis, Mo.
1980 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1989 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1998 Senior Information Warfare Applications Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1999 National Security Decision-Making Seminar, Syracuse University and Johns Hopkins University
1. January 1969 - December 1970, student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laredo AFB, Texas
2. December 1970 - April 1971, student, C-7A Caribou Training, Dyess AFB, Texas
3. April 1971 - January 1972, C-7A pilot, 535th Tactical Airlift Squadron, Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, South Vietnam
4. February 1972 - June 1972, B-52 combat crew training, Castle AFB, Calif.
5. July 1972 - October 1974, B-52H pilot and aircraft commander, 644th Bomber Squadron, K.I. Sawyer AFB, Mich.
6. October 1974 - January 1975, T-38 pilot instructor training, Randolph AFB, Texas
7. January 1975 - July 1979, T-38 instructor pilot, flight commander and chief, T-38 Standardization and Evaluation Branch, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas
8. August 1979 - June 1980, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. July 1980 - January 1981, F-15 Replacement Training Unit, Luke AFB, Ariz.
10. February 1981 - February 1983, F-15 pilot and assistant operations officer, 67th Fighter Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan
11. March 1983 - February 1986, air operations staff officer, Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
12. February 1986 - August 1986, Assistant Deputy Director of Regional Plans and Policy for Joint and National Security Council Matters, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
13. August 1986 - August 1988, Assistant Deputy Commander, later, Deputy Commander for Operations, 64th Flying Training Wing, Reese AFB, Texas
14. August 1988 - June 1989, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
15. July 1989 - July 1991, Chief, Western Hemisphere Branch, later, Chief, European and Central Command Branch, Joint Operations Division, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
16. July 1991 - July 1992, Commander, 64th Support Group, Reese AFB, Texas
17. August 1992 - August 1994, Commander, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas
18. August 1994 - November 1995, Commander, 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan
19. November 1995 - July 1997, Commander, 319th Air Refueling Wing, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
20. July 1997 - December 1998, Deputy Director of Strategic Plans and Policy, Headquarters U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii
21. January 1999 - May 2000, Director of Command and Control, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
22. June 2000 - June 2002, Commander, 3rd Air Force, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England
23. June 2002 - present, Air Force Chief of Safety, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Safety Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,200
Aircraft flown: F-15, B-52, C-130, KC-135R, T-38, T-37, T-1 and C-7A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars
Humanitarian Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Dec. 8, 1969
First Lieutenant June 8, 1971
Captain Dec. 8, 1972
Major Sept. 1, 1979
Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 1, 1982
Colonel April 1, 1988
Brigadier General July 15, 1994
Major General March 20, 1998
(Current as of May 2004)