|21st United States Secretary of the Air Force|
November 4, 2005 – June 5, 2008
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Pete Geren (acting)|
|Succeeded by||Michael B. Donley|
September 4, 1944 |
|Alma mater||United States Military Academy|
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1966–1973|
Michael Walter Wynne (born September 4, 1944) is an American business executive and was the 21st United States Secretary of the Air Force. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates asked for and received his resignation (and that of Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley) on June 5, 2008, in the wake of the 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident and the mistaken shipment of Minuteman III parts to Taiwan in 2006, followed by an investigation by and a critical report from Admiral Kirkland H. Donald regarding the Minuteman incident.
Early life and family
He is the younger brother of 1st Lt. Patrick Edward Wynne, call sign "Ozark", MIA August 8, 1966, in Vietnam, declared dead in 1974, Socialist Republic of Vietnam returned remains to Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command March 18, 1977.
Military and business career
Wynne graduated with the United States Military Academy class of 1966 and served in the Air Force for seven years, ending his career as a captain and assistant professor of astronautics at the United States Air Force Academy.
In 1999 Wynne had retired as Senior Vice President from General Dynamics, where his role was in International Development and Strategy. He had rejoined the company at the invitation of the Chairman to strengthen international activities. In between working with General Dynamics, he spent three years with Lockheed Martin, having sold the General Dynamics' Space Systems Division to then Martin Marietta. He successfully integrated the division into the Astronautics Company and became the General Manager of the Space Launch Systems segment, combining the Titan with the Atlas Launch vehicles. Wynne spent a total of 23 years with General Dynamics in various senior positions with the Aircraft (F-16s) and Main Battle Tanks (M1A2) Divisions, and served on the corporate staff prior to becoming the President of Space Systems, including Launch Vehicles (Atlas and Centaur), and a Corporate Vice President.
Prior to joining the Bush Administration, Wynne was involved in venture capital. He nurtured small technology companies through their startup phase as a member of the NextGenFund Executive Committee, and served in executive positions of two of those companies.
In July 2001, Wynne was confirmed as Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and in May 2003 he was appointed as acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
In this role, Wynne was the Principal Staff Assistant and adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for all matters relating to the Department of Defense Acquisition System, research and development, advanced technology, developmental test and evaluation, production, logistics, installation management, military construction, procurement, environmental security, and nuclear, chemical and biological matters.
As Secretary of the Air Force he was responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its nearly 370,000 men and women on active duty, 180,000 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve, 160,000 civilians, and their families.
The reliance on imported oil continues to threaten the economic, financial and physical security of the nation while the use of domestic fossil fuels contributes to nationwide pollution problems. The Air Force believes that development of renewable energy sources for facility energy is one important element of our comprehensive strategy.
The USAF is the nation's 16th leading user of electricity from renewables.
Wynne advocated testing nonlethal weapons, such as high-power microwave devices, against American citizens before being used on the battlefield, saying "If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation [because] if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."
Resignation from the Department of the Air Force
On June 5, 2008, Robert Gates announced that he had accepted the resignation of Michael Wynne as Secretary of the Air Force because of "a decline in the Air Force's nuclear mission focus and performance" and "lack of a critical self-assessment culture". Gates specifically cited two incidents in which the Air Force had lost track of nuclear weapons or parts; in one incident, nuclear weapons fuses had been mistakenly sent to Taiwan when helicopter batteries had been ordered, and in the other, the 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident, a B-52 bomber had been flown across the country armed with six nuclear-armed cruise missiles that no one realized were on board.
Wynne responded that the report on the event was colored by the cultural differences of the Navy admiral who prepared it.
Wynne has published numerous professional journal articles relating to engineering, cost estimating and contracting.
- 1966: Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
- 1970: Master of Science degree in electrical engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
- 1975: Master of Business Administration degree, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
- June 1966 – June 1973, Air Force officer
- July 1973 – May 1975, Principal, Research Analysis and Development (RAD), Inc.
- July 1975 – May 1994, Various Executive positions with General Dynamics
- June 1994 – March 1997, Lockheed Martin, Denver
- July 1997 – October 1999, Senior Vice President, General Dynamics, Falls Church, Virginia
- December 2000 – July 2001, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IXATA Group, McLean, Virginia
- July 2001 – October 2005, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Washington, D.C. (May 2003 – April 2005, also served as acting Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics)
- April 2005 – June 2005, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Washington, D.C.
- November 2005 – June 2008, Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- Miles, Donna (June 12, 2008). "Top Air Force leaders resign following nuclear component mishandling". US Air Force. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
- Roeder, Tom (November 4, 2005). "Family ties". The Gazette (Colorado Springs).
- Vietnam POW / MIA Patrick Edward Wynne
- Baldor, Lolita C. (September 13, 2006). "Official: Test nonlethal weapons in U.S.". The Seattle Times.
- Burns, Robert (June 5, 2008). "Gates accepts Air Force resignations in shake up". Associated Press. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
- Holmes, Erik. "Wynne takes aim at Gates over firing, reasons." Airforce Times, July 9, 2008.
- Talbot, George. "A simple solution to the Air Force's tanker quandary." al.com, December 1, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michael Wynne.|
- Official Air Force biography at the Wayback Machine (archived 2005-11-07)
- Secretary Wynne's Resignation Letter at Archive.is (archived 2012-12-12)
- City of Satellite Beach
- Presidential Nomination: Michael Walter Wynne
|United States Secretary of the Air Force
Michael B. Donley