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|Thomas G. McInerney|
Thomas G McInerney as a Major General (1983, aged 46)
March 15, 1937 |
Havre de Grace, Maryland, U.S.
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army
United States Air Force
|Years of service||1959–1994|
Thomas G. McInerney (born March 15, 1937) is a retired, highly decorated United States Air Force Lieutenant General, who served in top military positions and reported directly to the Secretary of Defense and to the Vice President of the United States.
General McInerney is a command pilot with more than 4,100 flying hours, including 407 combat missions (243 in O-1s as a forward air controller and 164 in F-4Cs, Ds and Es) during the Vietnam War. In addition to his Vietnam Service, McInerney served overseas in NATO; Pacific Air Forces and as commander of 11th Air Force in Alaska. Currently, he is a Fox News contributor, and is a member of the Iran Policy Committee. Tom McInerney, is noted for insisting on Fox News that terrorists had flown the disappeared Malaysia Airlines 370 to Pakistan.
McInerney was born March 15, 1937, in Havre de Grace, Maryland, and graduated from Garden City (N.Y.) High School in 1955. He earned a bachelor of science degree from the United States Military Academy in 1959 and a master's degree in international relations from George Washington University in 1972. McInerney graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College in 1970 and from the National War College in 1973.
After graduating from the academy in June 1959, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. He then joined the Air Force, and completed initial pilot training at Bartow Air Base, Florida, and Laredo Air Force Base, Texas, in November 1960. McInerney was assigned to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, and later to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, for advanced gunnery training. His first operational assignment was in October 1961 with the 476th Tactical Fighter Squadron, flying F-104s at George Air Force Base, California. There he took part in the Berlin and Cuban crises in 1962, flying escort missions in the West Berlin Air Corridor and escort reconnaissance missions over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In April 1963 he was one of the first forward air controllers assigned to South Vietnam with a Vietnamese army division.
Upon his return to the United States in April 1964 he was assigned to the Tactical Air Warfare Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, as an F-4C aircraft commander. In February 1966 he attended the F-4 Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, where he remained as an instructor with various F-4 assignments in the Weapons School and the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, Test and Evaluation Division. Also, he participated in two Southeast Asia deployments as introduction team chief, bringing the F-4D and F-4E into combat.
McInerney volunteered for a fourth tour in Southeast Asia and served with the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, from February until August 1969. After completing the Armed Forces Staff College in February 1970, he was transferred to the Directorate of Operational Requirements, Air Force headquarters. During this assignment he participated in many high-level study groups on the Middle East, air-to-air missile requirements and the F-15 advanced air superiority fighter.
Upon graduation from National War College in July 1973, McInerney was assigned to the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing, Luke Air Force Base, as F-104 and F-5 director of operations. He was primarily responsible for German F-104 training and the F-5E Military Assistance Program. In August 1974 he became the air attache to the U.S. Embassy in London. There he worked for three different ambassadors, assisting them in changing U.S. policy toward the multi-role combat aircraft, and increased standardization with European aerospace and North Atlantic Treaty Organization air forces.
From November 1976 until October 1977 he was vice commander of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Station Upper Heyford, England. McInerney then became military assistant to Ambassador Robert W. Komer, the adviser to the secretary of defense on North Atlantic Treaty Organization affairs. In this capacity, he assisted in developing the organization's long-term defense program, which was announced at the 1978 Washington Summit. In March 1979, McInerney became commander of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Clark Air Base, Philippines, and was deeply involved in implementing the base agreement that placed Clark Air Base under Philippine sovereignty.
In February 1981 he was assigned as commander of the 313th Air Division, Kadena Air Base, Japan. McInerney then served as deputy chief of staff for operations and intelligence, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, from June 1983 to July 1985, when he became commander of 3rd Air Force, Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, England. In October 1986, McInerney was assigned as vice commander in chief, Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany.
He became commander of Alaskan Air Command, Alaskan NORAD Region, and Joint Task Force Alaska in May 1988. McInerney assumed command of Alaskan Command upon its activation in July 1989, and became commander of 11th Air Force when Alaskan Air Command was redesignated 11th Air Force in August 1990.
McInerney's last active duty assignment was as Assistant vice chief of staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for the organization and administration of the Air Staff. Additionally, he served as deputy chairman of the Air Force Council and is the Air Force accreditation official for the Air Attache Corps. He retired from the Air Force on 1 July 1994.
Military awards and decorations
His major military awards and decorations include:
- Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
- Defense Superior Service Medal
- Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
- Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster
- Bronze Star Medal with "V" device and oak leaf cluster
- Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
- Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters
- Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
- Vietnam Service Medal with six service stars
McInerney has also been awarded the Third Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government for outstanding service in enhancing relations between the US government and Japan.
McInerney was inducted into the USAF Order of the Sword in July 1980. This award recognizes both military and civilian individuals for conspicuous and significant contributions to the welfare and prestige of the noncommissioned officer corps and the military establishment. He was the sixth Pacific Air Forces officer and the 63rd officer overall inducted into the order since the Air Force became a separate branch of the armed services in 1947.
Post military career
From March 1996 to December 1999, McInerney was Chief Executive Officer and President of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), an association through which senior business executives can help enhance the nation's security. As the CEO of BENS, McInerney assisted in passage of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) which prohibits the development, production, and stockpiling of chemical weapons.
From 1994, McInerney was Director of the Defense Performance Review (DPR), reporting to the Secretary of Defense and Vice President Al Gore who conceived this initiative for the Federal Government. In that capacity, McInerney led the Pentagon's "reinventing government" effort, focused on making government more efficient by using the latest and best business practices.
- U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- Thomas McInerney and Paul E. Vallely, Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror, Regnery Publishing, February 1, 2004 ISBN 0-89526-066-2
- Official United States Air Force biography
- Thomas McInerney biographical note, NetStar Systems, accessed February 2005.
- Interview with Thomas McInerney and Lt. General Gard from 1999