I was born in Tampa, Florida, and am a life-long resident of Tampa Bay. I attended Brandon High School for a year prior to transferring to Admiral Farragut Academy in the 1970-71 school year where I graduated in 1972. I attended my freshman year of college at the University of South Florida before enlisting in the USAF in 1973. I served in the Air Force for six years as an enlisted Airman prior to gong to Officer Training School and receiving a commission as a second lieutenant. My enlisted service included intelligence positions overseas as a Morse Code Intercept Operator with the US Air Force Security Services in Taiwan, ROC during the Vietnam era, which was critical to my development as a leader. I also served at duty locations in San Antonio, Texas and Belleville, Illinois as a Chinese linguist and Air Freight Specialist.
In 1980, I was selected to attend Officer Training School in San Antonio and follow-on Undergraduate Navigator Training for a year in Sacramento and Merced, California. Upon graduation, I was assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron flying on the KC-135 Stratotanker. I was soon selected for Instructor Navigator Training and in 1982 I returned to Merced, California for training and upgrade. In 1983, I was selected for reassignment to the 376 Strategic Wing Standards and Evaluations Office as a "Check" Navigator giving flight evaluations for members of the Wing.
Unexpectedly, my father, George Franklin Turner, was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer at this time and I requested a humanitarian reassignment to MacDill AFB in Tampa to be with my father during the last six months of his life. The USAF was kind to me and approved my move home where I took a position as an intelligence officer at U.S. Central Command. Following a much appreciated 3 years at USCENTCOM, where I was with my dad every day until his passing and with my mother, Norma Jean Franklin Turner, afterwards I returned to a flying squadron. This time it was to Omaha, Nebraska and the RC-135. The RC is a strategic reconnaissance platform whose objective is the collection of signals intelligence and is one of the most expensive aircraft the U.S. inventory. While I spent 4 years in the 38th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron in Omaha I was deployed to Okinawa, Japan, Athens, Greece, Fairbanks, Alaska and East Anglia, England over 280 days a year.
As a Chinese speaker, I often served as an interpreter for delegations from China and Taiwan. I had the good fortune to translate for the President of China, the Minister of Defense from Taiwan, and for our very own General Curtis Lemay during his interaction with President Yang Shang Kun. My ability to speak Chinese was my career "tie breaker" when competing for promotions and assignments. In 1990 I was selected to be the Air Attaché at the American Consulate General in Hong Kong. I attended a year of training prior to arriving on station in June 1991. While at the American Consulate General, I was the highest performing contributor of intelligence information and won the CIA's Outstanding Intelligence Collector of the Year Award. Two years into this assignment I was selected to attend Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, Alabama. Upon graduation from this year-long post graduate course I was selected as a Distinguished Graduate.
My follow-on assignment was back to Tampa and US Central Command as the Deputy Political Advisor. Once again, two years into this assignment I was asked to return to Hong Kong to report on the territory's reversion to Chinese sovereignty in 1999. I am only one of three Attachés to have served multiple tours in Hong Kong. This assignment turned out to be my last after 26 years of service. I was offered a job as the CEO of three aviation companies and decided to retire from the Air Force.
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On 21 Aug 2017 at 15:27 GMT Shirley (Strutton) Dalton wrote:
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On 15 Aug 2017 at 17:12 GMT David Selman wrote:
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On 14 Aug 2017 at 16:26 GMT Shirley (Strutton) Dalton wrote:
Congrats on being confirmed as a Family Member!
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On 21 Jun 2017 at 19:26 GMT Kairen (Little) Brooke-Anderson wrote:
Welcome to WikiTree! The email we just sent has helpful links to get you started on your Wikitree genealogical journey.
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We're really excited you are here!