Colonel Ralph E. Bordner III is the Vice Commander, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Space Force Base, Fla. AFTAC operates and maintains the United States Atomic Energy Detection System to monitor foreign compliance with various treaties limiting nuclear testing. The focus of AFTAC’s more than 1,000 professionals is to detect special events in the atmosphere, underwater, underground and in space, to determine if they are nuclear, and to report them to national decision makers.
Colonel Bordner received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Central Florida in 1996 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. His career includes multiple space-centric positions, to include crew-certified space operator, space and missile control engineer, chief of ballistic missile subsystems, and research and development engineer. He is a classically trained engineer, earning his doctorate in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology through research on novel applications of the Komolgorov-Arnold-Moser Theorem to satellite orbits.
Prior to assuming his current assignment, Colonel Bordner advised the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force on senior leader and acquisition workforce matters as the Deputy Director for Acquisition Career Management at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Army War College.
1996 Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.
2001 Master of Science degree in astronautical engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 Air Command and Staff College (correspondence)
2010 Doctorate of Philosophy in astronautical engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2012 Air War College (correspondence)
2014 Program Manager’s Course, Defense Acquisition University, Fort Belvoir, Va.
2017 Master’s Degree in strategic studies, Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
1. June 1996 – August 1999, Satellite Vehicle Officer, Satellite Systems Engineer, and Chief of Operations Requirements, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, Schriever AFB, Colo.
2. August 1999 – March 2001, Graduate Student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
3. March 2001 – June 2002, Lead Space Mission Control Engineer, Technical Assessments Directorate, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
4. June 2002 – June 2003, Executive Officer, Technical Assessments Directorate, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
5. June 2003 – September 2004, Chief, Ballistic Missile Subsystems Branch, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
6. September 2004 – June 2007, Engineering Assignments Officer and Chief, Engineering Assignments, Air Force Personnel Center, Randolph AFB, Texas
7. June 2007 – September 2010, Intermediate Development Education, Doctoral Programs, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
8. September 2010 – June 2011, Deputy Chief, Layered Sensing Exploitation Division, Sensors Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
9. June 2011 – August 2013, Chief, Senior Leader Management, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
10. August 2013 – July 2016, Materiel Leader, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Systems Program Manager, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
11. July 2016 – June 2017, Student, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
12. June 2017 – July 2018, Deputy Director, Acquisition Workforce Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.
13. July 2018 – Present, Vice Commander, Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick SFB, Fla.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 30, 1996
First Lieutenant May 30, 1998
Captain May 30, 2000
Major June 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel Aug. 1, 2011
Colonel Oct 1, 2017
(Current as of February 2021)