Elder named speaker

February 21, 2008

by Media Relations

Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder, commander of the Air Force service component headquarters for cyberspace, global strike and network operations, is scheduled as Louisiana Tech’s winter commencement speaker.

Winter commencement exercises will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 1, in the Thomas Assembly Center.

Elder is commander of the 8th Air Force, located at Barksdale Air Force Base. He is joint functional component commander for global strike and integration of the U.S. Strategic Command of Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Elder also commands the Strategic Command’s bomber and reconnaissance Task Force 204.

Les Guice, vice president for research and development, has worked with Elder during the past year in relation to the Cyber Command Center, which is currently located at Barksdale.

“I have a tremendous amount of admiration for the vision he has for the Cyber Command,” Guice said. “He has been masterful at putting the pieces together for establishing a command like this. We’re really grateful for the relationship Louisiana Tech and the Air Force have been able to establish over the past few months.”

The “Mighty Eighth” that Elder commands provides long-range global strike, cyber warfare, information operations, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, as well as battle management and expeditionary construction capabilities to theater combatant commanders.

The Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike and Integration is responsible for integrated operational planning and execution for USSTRATCOM global missions.

Task Force 204 is responsible for monitoring all nuclear bomber, reconnaissance and cruise missile generation operations.

Elder’s staff experience includes senior leadership positions with the Joint Staff, Air Staff, Air Combat Command and NATO. He has commanded an operational wing, group and squadron; commanded unit deployments to Southwest Asia, Europe and the Pacific; and held senior command positions in operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Elder received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, master’s degree in engineering and doctorate of engineering from the University of Detroit in Michigan.

He is listed as a distinguished graduate from the Air Force and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

With more than 4,000 flight hours, Elder has received the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit with an oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with an oak leaf cluster and the Air Force Achievement Me_dal.

Commencement officially ends winter quarter activities at the university. Spring general registration and fee payment is set for March 4; spring classes begin March 5.