Update

Keith O. Tucker has seen the World

Former Ep resident has had quite the career

Keith O. Tucker
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God Bless the USA

Tucker plays a part in changing the world for the better

Keith Tucker graduated High School from East Prairie in 1978. Rarely has he had the time to go back as his career path has led to all points on planet Earth. Here, to the degree that he can, Tucker relates some of the places and events he has been fortunate enough to be associated with.  Perhaps, when he fully retires, there can be a time for a more detailed look at his fantastic career.

#7Q’s on #TheKron

#1 – With the recent anniversary of 911, how much of your experience with us can you share and how has it shaped your career? I had a friend who was at the Pentagon the day of the attack.

I was scheduled to be at the Pentagon on 9/11.  Spent a lot of time working on Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) strategy with senior military members.  We were working on how to handle a war in the Middle East and working to keep the Korean Peninsula stable.  I was requested by my employer to stay in Fort Worth that week…  So not the most interesting story.  Obviously, that immediately drove what we needed our military to do.  Afghanistan became front and center on the to do list.  I am a strong believer in airpower.  In Afghanistan, we took an army (the Northern Alliance) that was outnumbered ten to one by the Taliban and made them win easily.  Not because we had a few Special Ops guys on the ground but because the special ops guys could call in the wrath of God anytime and anywhere they wanted it.  The war was won quickly and effectively.  Stability Operations afterward is another matter and I am not going to get into that here.  I also have some strong thoughts on the war in Iraq that will have to wait for another time.

#2 – How did a small town Ep lad emerge on the front of defeating communism; Traveling the world and can you share some of the assignments?unnamed

I have been blessed to get to see and do a number of things.

Will have to save the details of some of these stories for another time.  But a few of the more interesting assignments.

  • Was on watch when the Soviets went into Afghanistan in 1979.  Reported directly to DC the info we had.
  • As an Air Force Buck Sergeant I was attached the Rapid Deployment Force / Joint Task Force (RDF / JTF).  Our job was to join up with the Army 82nd Airborne and block the Soviets from moving into Iran and the oil fields.  We were going to be just a speed bump to slow the Soviets down until the big army with all the tanks could arrive to push them back.  Luckily we never had to execute that strategy. Got to camp out in some of the best deserts in the world.  Really enjoyed my time in the service.
  • I attended college wherever I was stationed.  So I can claim many schools.  San Angelo State, University of Maryland (actually in Japan), St. Phillips, University of Texas at Austin (2 years), University of Texas at Arlington (18 months).  Received a BS in Industrial Engineering. I am still a Longhorn fan but they have disappointed a bit lately.  But as far as sports go will always be a Cardinal baseball fan.unnamed (1)
  • My last assignment in the active Military was an operation on the West Germany / Czech / East German border where the three countries all came together. I spent about 4 months working that assignment.
  • I joined the defense industry and it didn’t take long for the Berlin Wall to come down.  Challenging times for the defense industry as many people believed the threat had disappeared. Then, not long after, that I got an assignment to conduct Defense Planning Seminars in the former Warsaw Pact countries of Poland, Czech Republic & Hungary
  • In 1997, I was asked to conduct the analysis of our capability to fight and win 2 near simultaneous Major Regional Conflicts (MRCs) as part of the Department of Defense Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)
  • I had the privilege of spending some time on the US Navy aircraft carrier Nimitz in the Pacific
  • Have a great team with a mix of ex military, engineers, and analysts.
  • At our annual Reno Nevada meeting of the “Usual Suspects Club” I go to meet Dick Cole the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders. He is now 101 years old.  After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor the U.S. wanted to send a message to Japan that we would not sit back and take it.  So a daring raid over Japan was planned.  Many thought it would be a suicide mission….  Look it up on Wikipedia.

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    Keith O. Tucker, at left, and Dick Cole

  • One recent assignments was to participate in a strategy session to determine what to do with the Middle East after we defeat ISIS on the ground. Henry Kissinger was to be another part of our group but he became ill during that time period.  He is over 90 years old but still active in foreign policy circles.
  • I have traveled to over 40 countries in my career.

#3 – What are your service records – that you can share – and how long have you been in the Defense industry?

  • I was in the Air Force from 1978- 1987 (9 years).   (5 years active duty and another 4 in the USAF reserves)
  • Spent 18 months in Misawa Japan, was stationed in San Antonio and had extended Temporary Duty (TDY) in Germany.
  • Have been in the defense industry since 1987.

#4 We all read your father’s musings on Facebook, how wonderful does it make you feel that he is still sharing his thoughts on social media; and reacquainting with former students?

Facebook has been a Godsend for him.  He enjoys hearing from his former students and keeping in touch with old friends.

#5 See a lot of dead animals on your ranch? What have they done to offend?unnamed (4)

We bought the ranch about 4 years ago.  I enjoy hunting and fishing.  The wild hogs are taking over Texas.  They are not native to Texas as they were brought here by the Spanish and they have no natural predators.  They quickly grow much larger than the coyotes or bobcats, they destroy the habitat for the deer, quail, rabbits, turkeys and anything we try and plant.  The state wants them eradicated.  I made the mistake of posting pictures of many of the hog hunts that offended some people.  So I created a limited distribution album for those that don’t mind seeing hunting pictures.  A deer will have 1 fawn a year and sometimes have twins.  A sow will have 3 litters a year with 6 or 8 per litter.  It doesn’t take long to be overrun.  When I got the ranch hog population under control an abundance of turkeys and deer returned.  Not to mentioned I have no shortage of pork in the freezer and have donated a lot to the food bank as well.

#6 If possible, could you share the family makeup with us?

Married – Sandra Moodie Tucker recently retired from aircraft flight simulation.

We enjoy Scuba Diving & snow Skiing

Our daughter Christine graduated from OSU and works in Washington DC.

Our son Matt is a freshman at OSU

I have another daughter from a previous marriage – April and her husband Joe plus a 16 year old grandson, Nathan.

 

#7 What is the next potential hotspots in the world outside of the obvious N. Korea and IS struggles?

South China Sea is a big issue we are dealing with right now.  China is taking territory as we speak and conflict is coming.  Russia is still causing trouble in Eastern Europe.  Africa is boiling over as well.  We are in a long struggle in the Middle East with no end in sight.  In the next 20 years a robotic revolution is coming.  In manufacturing, transportation and the military there will be enormous changes, benefits and challenges coming.  Europe has tremendous demographic problems that will cause problems too numerous to get into here.

Final follow up ~ is there really a way to eradicate radical Islam?

Yes.  Unfortunately, it will take about a generation to do it and a change in our strategy.  We defeated Germany in WW I and came back home.  Had to go back again 25 years later and do it again.  The second time we left troops and paid attention to the structure of every aspect of their government including education.  We did the same in Japan and South Korea keeping troops still to this day.  Right now the education systems in many countries do not teach tolerance.  That will have to be fixed.  It can be done but having the political will is another matter.

 

ALLRIGHTSRESERVED:KpKronicleLLC ~ Kevin Pritchett

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