Phillip Jack Ford, Lt. General USAF (Ret) passed away Friday, May 28, 2021, at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest, at the age of 77. Visitation will be 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in the Chapel of Grace Gardens Funeral Home, 8220 Woodway Dr. The funeral service will be 10:00 A.M. Thursday, June 3, 2021, at Woodway United Methodist Church with Rev. Bryan Patrick officiating. Interment, with military honors, will be at 1:00 P.M. Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery, 2000, Mt. Creek Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75211, under the direction of Grace Gardens Funeral Home.
Born in Fort Worth, TX, General Ford was active in his youth with sports and the church. A 1961 graduate of Birdville High School of Haltom City, TX. He was inducted into The Birdville Alumni Hall of Fame in 1988. He went on to graduate from Arlington State College in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management. He was also named a Little All American in football while attending. He also received a Master of Science Degree in Counseling and Human Development, Troy State University, in 1978. The General completed Squadron Officer School in 1973, Air Command and Staff College in 1978, and the National War College in 1984. In 1993, he attended the National and International Security Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
General Ford enlisted in the Air Force in 1966 and was commissioned through Officer Training School in 1967. Following graduation, he was assigned as a training officer at the Basic Military Training School, Lackland AFB, TX. In June 1969, he departed for Vance AFB, OK as a student pilot. After graduation from undergraduate pilot training and Combat Crew training at Castle AFB, CA, the General was assigned to the 343rd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Offutt AFB, NE, in September 1970.
After graduation from Squadron Officer School in April 1973, General Ford was handpicked as a 15th Air Force spotlight officer, assigned to the Reconnaissance Division, at March AFB, CA, from April 1973 to May 1974. The General volunteered and was selected for transition in to the bomber community. After training as Castle AFB in California, he became a B-52 aircraft commander and instructor at the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot AFB, ND, in September 1974
The General returned to Maxwell AFB to attend Air Command and Staff College in June 1977. After graduation, he was assigned as a staff officer and Executive Officer to the Commander, Headquarters Air Force Military Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, TX, from June 1978 to September 1981. General Ford followed with his first command, the 524th Bomb Squadron at Wurtsmith AFB, MI, from May1981 to June 1983.
After command, General Ford attended the National War College at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C., from May 1983 to June 1984. Following war college, he transitioned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as the Chief of the Strategic Offensive Forces Division, until January 1986. He returned to bombers after his headquarters assignment to serve as the Vice Commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, LA. In June of 1987 he became the commander of the 384th Bomb Wing, McConnell AFB, KA, until January 1989 when he assumed the duties of Inspector General and Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for Headquarters Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, NE until May 1990.
He returned to Maxwell AFB as Commandant of the Air Command and Staff College until June 1991, when he was assigned to Headquarters, United States Strategic Command to assume the responsibilities of Deputy Chief of Staff for Operation. In January 1992 the General transitioned to Headquarters Military Airlift Command, Scott AFB, IL, where he was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Programs. He continued at Scott AFB, serving as the Director Plans and Programs during the airlift community’s transition to Air Mobility Command.
In February 1994, the General returned to U.S. Strategic Command as the Director for Operations and Logistics until March 1996, when he was assigned as the Commander of Eighth Air Force, Barksdale AFB, LA. He assumed his final position as the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt AFB, NE in August of 1998. General Ford retired as a Lt. General in June of 2000.
His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Metal, Defense Superior Service Metal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Aerial Achievement Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster.
General Ford was a command pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours. Aircraft flown: KC-135R, RC-135, B-52G/H, B-1Bomber, T/CT-39, KC-10 and the B-2 Bomber.
Upon retirement from the US Air Force, General Ford assumed the duties of
the General Manager/CEO of the Brazos River Authority from April 2001 to April 2018. As general manager, he was responsible for more than 275 employees in multiple locations throughout the Brazos River Basin, while managing the System's water supply, water treatment projects, and water quality initiatives under the direction of the 21-member Board of Directors. He made a lasting impression on the water industry in Texas serving on numerous boards including Region G State Water Planning Committee and as President of the Texas Water Conservation Association.
General Ford was preceded in death by his father, Jack Ford, and his mother, Johnnie Lucile Ford (White) of Gustine, TX.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Kristen Ford (Ogden) of McGregor, son, Jeffrey P. Ford and wife, Amy of Bulverde, TX and daughter Meredith Williams (Ford) and her husband Eric of Keller, TX. He is also survived by his sister, Diana K. Starnes (Ford), and her husband, Michael of Plano, TX as well as his sister-in-law, Sandra Ogden (Allen) of San Antonio, TX. He leaves behind five beloved grandchildren, William Ford, Mary Catherine Ford, Elizabeth Ford, Phillip Williams and Kortney Williams who all lovingly called him Pawpaw. His extended family includes a nephew and two nieces and their families.
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