Lt Gen Robert J. Elder, Jr., USAF (Ret)
Lt Gen Robert Elder, Jr., USAF (Ret) served as the first commander of Air Force Network Operations and led the development of the cyberspace mission for the Air Force. His staff experience includes senior leadership positions with the Joint Staff, Air Staff, Air Combat Command and NATO. He has commanded at all levels, led unit deployments to Southwest Asia, Europe and the Pacific, and held senior command positions in operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He has also served as Program Manager for the F-15 Avionics Integration Support Facility. He also was the Commandant of the Air War College and Vice Commander of Air University.
In addition, General Elder was the Commander, 8th Air Force, Air Combat Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and Joint Functional Component Commander for Space and Global Strike, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb. General Elder also commanded Task Force 204 which was activated to oversee Air Force nuclear bomber, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities in support of USSTRATCOM. "The Mighty Eighth" serves as the air component headquarters to USSTRATCOM for strategic deterrence and global strike, and operates USSTRATCOM's Joint Air Operations Center. The Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike plans and executes strategic deterrence and global strike operations for USSTRATCOM. General Elder commanded nine wings and one direct reporting unit with 270 aircraft and 41,000 active duty, Air National Guard and Reserve professionals providing long-range global strike, battle management, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic combat and expeditionary heavy construction capabilities to theater combatant commanders worldwide.
General Elder is a command pilot with more than 4,300 flying hours, including 83 combat hours. He holds a doctorate in engineering from the University of Detroit.