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General Ralph E. "Ed" Eberhart
|Born||December 6, 1946|
|Service/||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1968–2005|
|Commands held||North American Aerospace Defense Command|
United States Northern Command
United States Space Command
Air Combat Command
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
Fifth Air Force
363rd Tactical Fighter Wing
10th Tactical Fighter Squadron
|Awards||Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)|
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (2)
Distinguished Flying Cross
General Ralph Edward "Ed" Eberhart (born December 6, 1946) is a retired United States Air Force general who served as the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. He was in charge of NORAD on 9/11.
Eberhart entered the Air Force in 1968 as a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, having been the cadet wing commander during his senior year. His staff experience includes serving as executive officer to the Air Force Chief of Staff at Headquarters U.S. Air Force; Deputy Chief of Staff for Inspection, Safety and Security, Headquarters Tactical Air Command; Director for Programs and Evaluation, Headquarters U.S. Air Force; Director of Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, the Joint Staff; and Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. The general has also served as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, commander, Air Combat Command, Commander, Air Force Space Command, and as commander-in-chief, U.S. Space Command.
General Eberhart has commanded a flight, squadron, wing, numbered air force and two major commands, as well as one sub-unified command, two unified commands and one bi-national command. While commander of the 363rd Tactical Fighter Wing during Operation Desert Shield, the unit established the theater's initial air-to-ground combat capability from a forward operating location. General Eberhart's international awards include the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, presented while serving as the Commander of U.S. Forces, Japan, by the Emperor of Japan, as well as the French Legion of Honor. A command pilot, General Eberhart has logged more than 5,000 hours, primarily in fighter and trainer aircraft, including 300 combat missions as a forward air controller in Vietnam.
- 1964 McCluer High School, Florissant, Missouri
- 1968 Bachelor of Science degree in political science, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado
- 1973 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, by correspondence
- 1974 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, by correspondence
- 1977 Master's degree in political science, Troy State University
- 1987 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- August 1968 – August 1969, student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, 615th Student Squadron, Air Training Command, Craig AFB, Alabama
- February 1970 – December 1970, forward air controller, 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, Pleiku Air Base, South Vietnam
- December 1970 – June 1974, T-38 instructor pilot, assistant flight commander, flight commander and headquarters squadron commander, 71st Flying Training Wing, Vance AFB, Oklahoma
- June 1974 – June 1975, resource manager, Air Staff Training Program, Special Category Management Section, Rated Career Management Branch, Headquarters Air Force Military Personnel Center, Randolph AFB, Texas
- December 1975 – February 1977, F-4E flight commander and instructor pilot, 525th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Bitburg AB, West Germany
- February 1977 – December 1978, F-4E instructor pilot, standardization and evaluation flight examiner, and assistant Chief, Standardization and Evaluation, 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hahn AB, West Germany
- January 1979 – July 1980, action officer, Readiness Initiative Group, Directorate of Operations, later, Chief, Executive Committee, Air Force Budget Issues Team, Directorate of Plans, Congressional and External Affairs Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- July 1980 – June 1982, aide to the Commander in Chief, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and Commander, Allied Air Forces Central Europe, Ramstein AB, West Germany
- September 1982 – May 1984, Commander, 10th Tactical Fighter Squadron, later, Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations, 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hahn AB, West Germany
- May 1984 – July 1986, executive officer to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- July 1986 – July 1987, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
- July 1987 – October 1990, Vice Commander, later, Commander, 363rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, South Carolina
- October 1990 – February 1991, Deputy Chief of Staff for Inspection, Safety and Security, Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley AFB, Virginia
- February 1991 – February 1994, Director, Directorate of Programs and Evaluation, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- February 1994 – June 1995, Director, Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
- June 1995 – June 1996, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- June 1996 – June 1997, Commander, U.S. Forces, Japan, and Commander, 5th Air Force, Yokota AB, Japan
- July 1997 – June 1999, Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
- June 1999 – February 2000, Commander, Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Virginia
- February 2000 – April 2002, Commander in Chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command; Commander, Air Force Space Command; and Department of Defense Manager for Manned Space Flight Support Operations, Peterson AFB, Colorado
- April 2002 – October 2002, Commander in Chief, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command, and Department of Defense Manager for Manned Space Flight Support Operations, Peterson AFB, Colorado
- October 2002 – January 1, 2005, Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and USNORTHCOM (as U.S. Space Command by then ceased to exist and merged into USSTRATCOM), Peterson AFB, Colorado
- Rating: Command Pilot
- Flight hours: More than 5,000 hours
- Aircraft flown: O-2, T-38, T-39, F-4E, RF-4C, F-16, F-15, C-21 and C-37
Eberhart currently serves on the Segs4Vets Advisory Board.
Awards and decorations
- U.S. Air Force Command Pilot Badge
- Command Space and Missile Operations Badge
- Master Missile Operations Badge
- United States Northern Command Badge
- North American Aerospace Defense Command Badge
- Able Aeronaut Award, Pacific Air Forces
- General Jimmy Doolittle Award, Air Force Association
- Distinguished Achievement Award, AFA Tennessee Ernie Ford Chapter
- Member, Council of Foreign Relations
- Tom Lombardo Leadership Award, National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame
- Thomas D. White Space Award, AFA
- Air Force Order of the Sword, Air Force Space Command
- General Bernard A. Schriever Award, AFA
- General James V. Hartinger Award, National Defense Industrial Association, Rocky Mountain Chapter
Effective dates of promotion
|General||August 1, 1997|
|Lieutenant General||July 1, 1995|
|Major General||July 1, 1993|
|Brigadier General||March 1, 1991|
|Colonel||November 1, 1984|
|Lieutenant Colonel||November 1, 1981|
|Major||September 1, 1979|
|Captain||June 5, 1971|
|First Lieutenant||December 5, 1969|
|Second Lieutenant||June 5, 1968|
- "Defense.gov News Release: GENERAL OFFICER ANNOUNCEMENT". Defense.gov. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- Brig Gen Robin Olds, Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus, "Fighter Pilot, the memoirs of legendary ace Robin Olds" (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2010), p. 364. ISBN 978-0-312-56951-8
- Levins, Harry (April 3, 2001). "Air Force General, a Missourian, may be in line to become next Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee Enterprises. p. A3.
He is Gen. Ralph E. 'Ed' Eberhart, a native of Nevada, Mo., who grew up in Ferguson and graduated from McCluer in 1964.
Thomas S. Moorman, Jr.
| Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
Richard B. Myers
| Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command
Timothy J. Keating
|New command|| Commander of the United States Northern Command|