This is kind of a cool day for me. I joined TRW 30 years ago today, and started working with, and in, the E-4B Program Office at Tinker AFB.
I got here in kind of a roundabout way. I was hired in Feb 84 while still at OSU by a company in OKC that was going to develop new ways for automatic reading of checks for payee and amount (that’s common today, then it was way out there). The company was bought in April by a Dallas area firm that shut down all the research projects by the company; I found out the day before graduation that I was out of a job! My boss there was kind enough to call people he knew, and one of them worked for TRW, and knew the company was looking for “computer programmer types”.
When TRW called the first time, the answering machine got it. All I knew about TRW was that TRW Reda Pump in Bartlesville was constantly in the news for laying people off. I had just lost a job and so thought that sounded kind of sketchy. They called back a couple days later, we talked, and I found out about how TRW was a “conglomerate”. I interviewed a week or so later, got my first very high level view of the E-4B and EC-135 aircraft, and was hooked.
My first day of work, my new co-worker (and later and until very recently, my boss) and I stayed in the office until 2200 building a demo (on a 64K IBM PC-1 with CGA; no hard drive) for an automated aircraft scheduling system, that was to be demo’d the *next* day to the Program Office Colonel.
My job has evolved over the years from building Office Automation programs, to direct support of modifications, to IT/IA, to system architecture. Travel for the job has taken me to 22 states and DC, including a full year in Waco, TX, of which no more needs to be said.
I’ve some very interesting work that will be going on in the next couple years that I hope to be my legacy on this weapon system. I’m a very small part of a large team that is scattered around the country, and every one of them deserves a huge THANKS for making the past 30 years an incredibly interesting and mostly fun run.