Current NRO Director to Address Symposium
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Director Gen. Bruce A. Carlson, USAF (Retired) is a featured speaker at the 26th National Space Symposium, scheduled for April 12-15 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Carlson, who heads the Department of Defense (DoD) agency that develops and operates overhead reconnaissance systems and conducts intelligence-related activities, will discuss his organization's perspectives on space as a vital component of national security.
Carlson was appointed the 17th director of the NRO in June 2009. Prior to his appointment, he served on the Board of Directors of EADS North America. Previously, he served as commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; and commander, 8th Air Force, Barksdale AFB, La., and Joint Functional Component commander for Space and Global Strike, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
Carlson is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours in ten different aircraft, and saw combat as a forward air controller in the OV-10 Bronco. His flying assignments included commanding the 49th Fighter Wing, the Air Force's first stealth fighter wing, at Holloman AFB, N.M. His staff assignments included positions at Tactical Air Command, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, and the offices of the Secretary of the Air Force and Secretary of Defense. He also served as the director of force structure, resources and assessment on the Joint Staff; commander, 8th Air Force, Barksdale AFB, La; and Joint Functional Component commander for Space and Global Strike, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
Carlson was promoted to general in September 2005 and he retired from the Air Force in January 2009.
Among General Carlson's many awards and decorations are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, and the Order of the Sword, Air Force Materiel Command.
Carlson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and a Master of Arts degree from Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. He also is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev., and a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
Carlson also spoke at last November's Strategic Space Symposium, co-sponsored by the Space Foundation and the U.S. Strategic Command (see related article in the December issue of Space Watch).
In addition to featuring the current director of the NRO, the 26th National Space Symposium agenda also includes a panel representing three decades of NRO leadership (see related article in the December issue of Space Watch).