Edwards Air Force Base Moves To HPCON C

AFMC Command News

Chance leads to acquisition career, program impacts

  • Published
  • By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – After 10 years as a B-52 Electronic Warfare Officer, John Carr took an opportunity to help develop the new B-1B Lancer and never looked back. 
 
Carr retired in a ceremony on Oct. 29 after more than 40 years of service to the Air Force starting as a young Air Force Academy graduate in 1973.  After 10 years in the operational world, the Air Force decided to send him to Long Island, New York. 
 
“They were putting crew members at each of the new production facilities and since I was an electronic warfare officer, I was going to the production facility for electronic warfare on the B-1,” Carr said.
 
It was just the break he was looking for.
 
“I had wanted to go into acquisition and this was one of those things that kind of fell into my lap because I didn’t know what the route was to get there,” he said.  “It was a very, very pleasant surprise.”
 
The assignment gave Carr the opportunity to offer his expertise with electronic warfare, but also to watch over a major acquisition program during the stops and starts of early production and into actually delivering capability to the warfighter. 
 
He recalled when President Reagan resurrected the B-1B program in 1981, he had challenged the Air Force to put aircraft on runways by 1985 and to complete production by the end of the decade.
 
Carr said meeting those objectives was the highlight of his career. 
 
“During the 80s, President Reagan certainly was emphasizing that we are building the arsenal of peace and democracy.  You know that what we're doing is to win the Cold War, so I can say, there were a lot of long hours, but people were dedicated to the President’s mission,” he said.
 
Most recently, he has used his experiences to help build a simulators capability with horizontal integration across the enterprise. 
 
Looking at simulators built back in the 80s and 90s, and even into the early 2000s, Carr said leadership realized they needed a full recapitalization leading to a substantially different simulator.
 
“The simulator leadership looked at that and said, we know we need to look at our organization so it's not just the simulator, hardware and software needs to be changed, but we as a as an acquiring organization have to change,” Carr said. 
 
Rather than existing in a stovepipe like buying a simulator for B-52 or buying simulators for ACC and AMC, the team needed to acquire for the entire enterprise. 
 
“We were recognizing the need to drastically change to this common environment more like the gaming industry has.” 
To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at https://youtu.be/fBKYpxPInHA.  You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.