The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is proud to announce the addition of Buz Carpenter, a retired United States Air Force (USAF) Colonel and former command pilot and instructor pilot for the SR-71 Blackbird, to its Foundation Board.
"It is a privilege to be able to welcome Buz Carpenter to our Foundation Board. Because of the secrecy surrounding the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane and its classified missions, pilots like Buz are among America's unknown heroes. Buz brings a dynamic personality, broad aerospace and museum industry knowledge and big-picture enthusiasm to the table. We are fortunate to have earned his commitment to the Cosmosphere," said Cosmosphere CEO Dick Hollowell.
Mr. Carpenter graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1967 with a B.S. in International Affairs, earned an M.S. in Systems Management at the University of Southern California and graduated with the Air Force Command and Staff College and National Defense Management degrees.
"Buz is a prominent, nationally known, public figure," said Alan Feldkamp, Chair of the Cosmosphere Foundation Board. "He has wide-reaching relationships with the Air Force and the Smithsonian. We're honored to have him join our team in building the mission and future of the Cosmosphere."
Mr. Carpenter flew 777 hours in more than 60 operational missions in the SR-71, the world's fastest spy plane. Only 32 of these stealth aircraft were built, and one of those actually flown by Mr. Carpenter now proudly towers above the Cosmosphere's lobby. Mr. Carpenter also flew missions in the C-141, RF-4C, and T-38 planes, logging 150 combat hours in Vietnam. He also served as the Director of Programs for USAF Europe, Program Manager for USAF's Black World project (with a budget of $6 billion annually), Strategic Program Manager for the B-52 and B-1 Advanced Cruise Missile, and Air Division Chief of Reconnaissance Plans - Future Korean Contingency/War Planning.
"Buz Carpenter played a significant role in the SR-71 program," said Jim Remar, President and COO of the Kansas Cosmosphere. "It is exciting to have someone of his stature serve on the Foundation Board and to act as a strong advocate for the organization."
Mr. Carpenter served in Major Air Command positions with Air Combat Command, Headquarters USAF Pentagon, U.S. Air Forces Europe, Strategic Air Command, Tactical Air Command, Pacific Air Command and Military Airlift Command. He led over 15,000 service men and women worldwide while serving as Vice Commander 2nd Air Force, Battle Management Air Forces from Beale AFB, CA. He commanded the 377th Combat Support Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany and the 70th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Moody AFB, GA.
"My goal is to bring far greater recognition to the nationwide aerospace community on the excellence of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, and to attract more visitors to the museum and to its superb space camps," said Carpenter.
Today, Mr. Carpenter organizes SR-71 and U2 symposiums and volunteers as a docent for the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, Udvar Hazy Center, located at Dulles International Airport. He is also Vice President of Business Development for Washington Operations-ComCept Division of L-3 Communications.
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