Neil L. Eddins


Preferred Name: Neil

Nickname/Call Sign: Neil

Date Of Birth: 1931

Highest Military Grade Held: Major General

Hometown: Afton, WY

Biography

Major General Neil L. Eddins is chief of the United States Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia.

General Eddins was born in Afton, Wyo., in 1931, where he graduated from Star Valley High School in 1950 and attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie that fall. The general completed Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., in 1969, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., in 1972 and graduated with honors from Shippensburg (Pa.) State College earning a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1973.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in February 1951 and served as an air policeman and attained the rank of sergeant before entering the aviation cadet program in January 1953. He graduated as a distinguished graduate and received his commission as a second lieutenant in March 1954.

His first operational assignment was in June 1954 with the 452nd Fighter-Day Squadron at Foster Air Force Base, Texas. In August 1956 General Eddins served as an instructor pilot with the 45th Fighter-Day Squadron at Sidi Slimane, Morocco.

Upon returning to the United States in August 1957, General Eddins was a flight commander with the 405th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va. In May 1959 he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. While there he was an operational test and evaluation pilot, and instructor pilot. Subsequently he become slot man for the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team (Thunderbirds) at Nellis Air Force Base from April 1959 to April 1961.

Following transition training in F-105s, General Eddins was assigned to the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing, Bitburg Air Base, Germany, and remained there until January 1965. He then returned to Nellis Air Force Base as an F-105 instructor pilot with the 4526th Combat Crew Training Wing.

In July 1966 he moved to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as a flight commander. While there he flew 100 missions over North Vietnam.

He returned to Nellis Air Force Base in November 1966 and in January 1967 became commander and lead pilot for the Thunderbirds.

From February to July 1969, General Eddins attended the Armed Forces Staff College. After graduation, he was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base as chief, Fighter Training Division. In June 1971 he attended the Army War College and after graduation in June 1972, received a Bootstrap assignment to Shippensburg State College. The general then transferred to Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., in June 1973 as deputy commander for operations with the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing.

He became vice commander of the 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in March 1975. In June 1975 he returned to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, and served as commander of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. When the wing moved to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, in December 1975, he was again named its commander.

In May 1977 General Eddins returned to Tactical Air Command headquarters as assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics. He took command of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, also at Langley Air Force Base, in March 1978.

General Eddins was named special assistant to the commander, 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in May 1979 and in September 1979 he took command of the wing. He assumed his present duties in July 1981.

The general is a command pilot with 5,600 flying hours which includes 260 combat hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (Air Force), Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Combat Readiness Medal.

He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1981, with the date of rank April 1, 1978.

Major General Neil L. Eddins is chief of the United States Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia.

General Eddins was born in Afton, Wyo., in 1931, where he graduated from Star Valley High School in 1950 and attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie that fall. The general completed Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., in 1969, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., in 1972 and graduated with honors from Shippensburg (Pa.) State College earning a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1973.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in February 1951 and served as an air policeman and attained the rank of sergeant before entering the aviation cadet program in January 1953. He graduated as a distinguished graduate and received his commission as a second lieutenant in March 1954.

His first operational assignment was in June 1954 with the 452nd Fighter-Day Squadron at Foster Air Force Base, Texas. In August 1956 General Eddins served as an instructor pilot with the 45th Fighter-Day Squadron at Sidi Slimane, Morocco.

Upon returning to the United States in August 1957, General Eddins was a flight commander with the 405th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va. In May 1959 he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. While there he was an operational test and evaluation pilot, and instructor pilot. Subsequently he become slot man for the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team (Thunderbirds) at Nellis Air Force Base from April 1959 to April 1961.

Following transition training in F-105s, General Eddins was assigned to the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing, Bitburg Air Base, Germany, and remained there until January 1965. He then returned to Nellis Air Force Base as an F-105 instructor pilot with the 4526th Combat Crew Training Wing.

In July 1966 he moved to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as a flight commander. While there he flew 100 missions over North Vietnam.

He returned to Nellis Air Force Base in November 1966 and in January 1967 became commander and lead pilot for the Thunderbirds.

neil-eddins-2From February to July 1969, General Eddins attended the Armed Forces Staff College. After graduation he was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base as chief, Fighter Training Division. In June 1971 he attended the Army War College and after graduation in June 1972, received a Bootstrap assignment to Shippensburg State College. Upon graduation the general transferred to Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., in June 1973 as deputy commander for operations with the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing.

He became vice commander of the 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in March 1975. In June 1975 he returned to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, and served as commander of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. When the wing moved to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, in December 1975, he was again named its commander.

In May 1977 General Eddins returned to Tactical Air Command headquarters as assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics. He took command of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, also at Langley Air Force Base, in March 1978.

General Eddins was named special assistant to the commander, 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in May 1979 and in September 1979 he took command of the wing. He assumed his present duties in July 1981.

The general is a command pilot with 5,600 flying hours which includes 260 combat hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (Air Force), Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Combat Readiness Medal.

He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1981, with date of rank April 1, 1978.

Neil Eddins- Caterpillar Story

I had to eject twice from the F-100C. The first time was at Foster AFB, Texas in 1955. I was flying a functional test hop on a hangar queen. During a max takeoff, a pig tail on the afterburner had broken and fuel was collecting in the aft section under the AB and as it heated up an explosion severed both hydraulic leads to the primary and secondary flight control actuators. With no pitch control I peaked out at about 1500 feet and started down.

I got out about 800 feet AGL and was fortunate to have a modified chute with the 0 lanyard hooked up. I landed about three miles off the end of the runway and was picked up by a chopper.

My second bail out was at Nellis over Thunderbird Lake in the range complex in 1959. I was flying slot and we were doing trail to diamond loop. We started the pull in trail and I immediately called for power (Give me one, Give me two). I found myself falling back and when I could check my gages I discovered I had flamed out. Several air starts were unsuccessful. Thunderbird One said “put it on the dry lake” so I set up a forced landing pattern, put the gear down and remembered the PIF warned us not to use the lakes yet because they were still wet and soft. Thunderbird Three said “get out of that thing Neil” so I stepped over the side at about 800 ft. AGL.

With the 0 lanyard hooked up and slow airspeed my chute got tangled with risers because I did not get safe separation. The first thing I noticed after pulling the handles and squeezing the triggers and regaining my senses was the stirrups of the ejection seat right in front of my eyes. I did not have time to get it untangled so I had to straight arm it out the way to keep it from landing on top of me when I hit the ground. Because I landed with all my weight on one leg, I broke an ankle and was out of the cockpit for a little over six weeks.

The main fuel manifold had severed and it was impossible to get fuel to the engine.

Neil Eddins

Units Assigned

6/1954 – 452nd Fighter-Day Squadron at Foster Air Force Base, TX
8/1956 – Instructor pilot with the 45th Fighter-Day Squadron at Sidi Slimane, Morocco
8/1957 – Flight Commander with the 405th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Langley Air Force Base, VA
5/1959 – U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, NV
4/1959-4/1961 – U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team (Thunderbirds), Nellis Air Force Base, NV
4/1961 – 36th Tactical Fighter Wing, Bitburg Air Base, Germany
1/1965 – 4526th Combat Crew Training Wing
7/1966 – 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand
1/1967 – Commander/lead pilot for the Thunderbirds
1967-1968 – Commander, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, UT
7/1969 – Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Chief, Fighter Training Division, Langley AFB, VA
6/1973 – 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Deputy Commander for operations
3/1975 – 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Vice Commander, Udorn Royal Thai AB, Thailand
6/1975 – 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Commander, Korat Royal Thai AB, Thailand
12/1975 – Tactical Air Command headquarters, assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics
3/1978 – 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Commander, Langley Air Force Base, VA
5/1979 – Commander, 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, OK

Awards & Decorations

 AF Distinguished Service Medal (2)
 Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
 Silver Star
 Legion of Merit (with 2 oak leaf clusters)
 Distinguished Flying Cross (with 4 oak leaf clusters)
 Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster)
 Air Medal (with 14 oak leaf clusters)
 Air Force Commendation Medal
 Combat Readiness Medal

Flight Info

F-100

Command Pilot
6,070 flying hours
260 combat hours

Military Education

1969 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA
1972 Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Civilian Education

1950 Star Valley High School, WY
University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY
1973 BA/Political Science, Shippensburg State College, PA (Honors graduate)

Biography

Biography

Major General Neil L. Eddins is chief of the United States Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia.

General Eddins was born in Afton, Wyo., in 1931, where he graduated from Star Valley High School in 1950 and attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie that fall. The general completed Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., in 1969, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., in 1972 and graduated with honors from Shippensburg (Pa.) State College earning a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1973.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in February 1951 and served as an air policeman and attained the rank of sergeant before entering the aviation cadet program in January 1953. He graduated as a distinguished graduate and received his commission as a second lieutenant in March 1954.

His first operational assignment was in June 1954 with the 452nd Fighter-Day Squadron at Foster Air Force Base, Texas. In August 1956 General Eddins served as an instructor pilot with the 45th Fighter-Day Squadron at Sidi Slimane, Morocco.

Upon returning to the United States in August 1957, General Eddins was a flight commander with the 405th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va. In May 1959 he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. While there he was an operational test and evaluation pilot, and instructor pilot. Subsequently he become slot man for the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team (Thunderbirds) at Nellis Air Force Base from April 1959 to April 1961.

Following transition training in F-105s, General Eddins was assigned to the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing, Bitburg Air Base, Germany, and remained there until January 1965. He then returned to Nellis Air Force Base as an F-105 instructor pilot with the 4526th Combat Crew Training Wing.

In July 1966 he moved to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as a flight commander. While there he flew 100 missions over North Vietnam.

He returned to Nellis Air Force Base in November 1966 and in January 1967 became commander and lead pilot for the Thunderbirds.

From February to July 1969, General Eddins attended the Armed Forces Staff College. After graduation, he was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base as chief, Fighter Training Division. In June 1971 he attended the Army War College and after graduation in June 1972, received a Bootstrap assignment to Shippensburg State College. The general then transferred to Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., in June 1973 as deputy commander for operations with the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing.

He became vice commander of the 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in March 1975. In June 1975 he returned to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, and served as commander of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. When the wing moved to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, in December 1975, he was again named its commander.

In May 1977 General Eddins returned to Tactical Air Command headquarters as assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics. He took command of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, also at Langley Air Force Base, in March 1978.

General Eddins was named special assistant to the commander, 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in May 1979 and in September 1979 he took command of the wing. He assumed his present duties in July 1981.

The general is a command pilot with 5,600 flying hours which includes 260 combat hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (Air Force), Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Combat Readiness Medal.

He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1981, with the date of rank April 1, 1978.

Major General Neil L. Eddins is chief of the United States Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia.

General Eddins was born in Afton, Wyo., in 1931, where he graduated from Star Valley High School in 1950 and attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie that fall. The general completed Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., in 1969, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., in 1972 and graduated with honors from Shippensburg (Pa.) State College earning a bachelor of arts degree in political science in 1973.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in February 1951 and served as an air policeman and attained the rank of sergeant before entering the aviation cadet program in January 1953. He graduated as a distinguished graduate and received his commission as a second lieutenant in March 1954.

His first operational assignment was in June 1954 with the 452nd Fighter-Day Squadron at Foster Air Force Base, Texas. In August 1956 General Eddins served as an instructor pilot with the 45th Fighter-Day Squadron at Sidi Slimane, Morocco.

Upon returning to the United States in August 1957, General Eddins was a flight commander with the 405th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va. In May 1959 he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. While there he was an operational test and evaluation pilot, and instructor pilot. Subsequently he become slot man for the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team (Thunderbirds) at Nellis Air Force Base from April 1959 to April 1961.

Following transition training in F-105s, General Eddins was assigned to the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing, Bitburg Air Base, Germany, and remained there until January 1965. He then returned to Nellis Air Force Base as an F-105 instructor pilot with the 4526th Combat Crew Training Wing.

In July 1966 he moved to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as a flight commander. While there he flew 100 missions over North Vietnam.

He returned to Nellis Air Force Base in November 1966 and in January 1967 became commander and lead pilot for the Thunderbirds.

neil-eddins-2From February to July 1969, General Eddins attended the Armed Forces Staff College. After graduation he was assigned to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base as chief, Fighter Training Division. In June 1971 he attended the Army War College and after graduation in June 1972, received a Bootstrap assignment to Shippensburg State College. Upon graduation the general transferred to Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., in June 1973 as deputy commander for operations with the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing.

He became vice commander of the 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in March 1975. In June 1975 he returned to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, and served as commander of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing. When the wing moved to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, in December 1975, he was again named its commander.

In May 1977 General Eddins returned to Tactical Air Command headquarters as assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics. He took command of the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, also at Langley Air Force Base, in March 1978.

General Eddins was named special assistant to the commander, 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in May 1979 and in September 1979 he took command of the wing. He assumed his present duties in July 1981.

The general is a command pilot with 5,600 flying hours which includes 260 combat hours. His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (Air Force), Silver Star, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Combat Readiness Medal.

He was promoted to major general Aug. 1, 1981, with date of rank April 1, 1978.

Caterpillar Club

Neil Eddins- Caterpillar Story

I had to eject twice from the F-100C. The first time was at Foster AFB, Texas in 1955. I was flying a functional test hop on a hangar queen. During a max takeoff, a pig tail on the afterburner had broken and fuel was collecting in the aft section under the AB and as it heated up an explosion severed both hydraulic leads to the primary and secondary flight control actuators. With no pitch control I peaked out at about 1500 feet and started down.

I got out about 800 feet AGL and was fortunate to have a modified chute with the 0 lanyard hooked up. I landed about three miles off the end of the runway and was picked up by a chopper.

My second bail out was at Nellis over Thunderbird Lake in the range complex in 1959. I was flying slot and we were doing trail to diamond loop. We started the pull in trail and I immediately called for power (Give me one, Give me two). I found myself falling back and when I could check my gages I discovered I had flamed out. Several air starts were unsuccessful. Thunderbird One said “put it on the dry lake” so I set up a forced landing pattern, put the gear down and remembered the PIF warned us not to use the lakes yet because they were still wet and soft. Thunderbird Three said “get out of that thing Neil” so I stepped over the side at about 800 ft. AGL.

With the 0 lanyard hooked up and slow airspeed my chute got tangled with risers because I did not get safe separation. The first thing I noticed after pulling the handles and squeezing the triggers and regaining my senses was the stirrups of the ejection seat right in front of my eyes. I did not have time to get it untangled so I had to straight arm it out the way to keep it from landing on top of me when I hit the ground. Because I landed with all my weight on one leg, I broke an ankle and was out of the cockpit for a little over six weeks.

The main fuel manifold had severed and it was impossible to get fuel to the engine.

Neil Eddins

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

6/1954 – 452nd Fighter-Day Squadron at Foster Air Force Base, TX
8/1956 – Instructor pilot with the 45th Fighter-Day Squadron at Sidi Slimane, Morocco
8/1957 – Flight Commander with the 405th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Langley Air Force Base, VA
5/1959 – U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, NV
4/1959-4/1961 – U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team (Thunderbirds), Nellis Air Force Base, NV
4/1961 – 36th Tactical Fighter Wing, Bitburg Air Base, Germany
1/1965 – 4526th Combat Crew Training Wing
7/1966 – 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand
1/1967 – Commander/lead pilot for the Thunderbirds
1967-1968 – Commander, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, UT
7/1969 – Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Chief, Fighter Training Division, Langley AFB, VA
6/1973 – 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Deputy Commander for operations
3/1975 – 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Vice Commander, Udorn Royal Thai AB, Thailand
6/1975 – 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Commander, Korat Royal Thai AB, Thailand
12/1975 – Tactical Air Command headquarters, assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics
3/1978 – 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Commander, Langley Air Force Base, VA
5/1979 – Commander, 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, OK

Awards & Decorations

 AF Distinguished Service Medal (2)
 Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
 Silver Star
 Legion of Merit (with 2 oak leaf clusters)
 Distinguished Flying Cross (with 4 oak leaf clusters)
 Meritorious Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster)
 Air Medal (with 14 oak leaf clusters)
 Air Force Commendation Medal
 Combat Readiness Medal

Flight Info

F-100

Command Pilot
6,070 flying hours
260 combat hours

Military Education

1969 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA
1972 Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Civilian Education

1950 Star Valley High School, WY
University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY
1973 BA/Political Science, Shippensburg State College, PA (Honors graduate)

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