The Honorable Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge, Jr.
Former Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics
2007 Ronald Reagan Award Winner
The Honorable Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge, Jr. retired from government service in May 2003 as the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics). As a Presidential Appointee, confirmed by the Senate in May 2001, he was responsible for major weapon system acquisition matters, the research and development activities leading to future capabilities and plans and policy for logistic support of our weapon systems and warfighters. He also provided an oversight role for nuclear weapons, chemical and biological weapon defense, missile defense, international cooperation and the defense industrial base.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Aldridge was the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California. The Aerospace Corporation is a non-profit, Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) who provides systems engineering and other technical support for the U.S. national security space systems and launch vehicles. He held this position from March 1992 until May 2001.
Prior to this position, during the period December 1988 — March 1992, he was President of the McDonnell Douglas Electronic Systems Company (MDESC), headquartered in Washington, D.C. and with engineering and manufacturing facilities in St. Louis, MO, Huntington Beach, CA, and Monrovia, CA. He was responsible for the overall management, policy direction and strategic planning of MDESC businesses, which included electronic, laser, space and software systems development and production.
From June 1986 to December 1988, Mr. Aldridge was Secretary of the Air Force. He was responsible for all affairs of the Department of the Air Force. This included all functions necessary for the training, operations, administration, logistical support and maintenance, research and development, welfare, preparedness, and effectiveness of the Air Force.
Prior to becoming the Secretary of the Air Force, he served from 1981 to 1986 as Under Secretary of the Air Force. In addition to his management responsibilities in this position, he provided overall direction, guidance and supervision for Air Force space programs, including launch and on-orbit operations, and planning for future space capabilities. During the period 1981 — 1988, Mr. Aldridge was also the Director, National Reconnaissance Office, an organization responsible for the development, launch and operations of classified national security satellite systems. Prior to the Challenger failure, he was in astronaut training to fly the first Shuttle mission from Vandenberg AFB, California.
He was named Vice President, National Policy and Strategic Systems Group for the System Planning Corporation, Arlington, VA., in March 1977. Mr. Aldridge was responsible for the corporation's study and analysis activities in the areas of strategic and conventional forces and long-range strategic planning.
Mr. Aldridge served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategic Programs from February 1974 until March 1976. He was then selected to be the Director, Planning and Evaluation, a principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense in the planning and program evaluation of U.S. military forces and support structure.
Prior to this service in DoD, he was a senior manager with LTV Aerospace Corp. in Dallas for a year until he was named Senior Management Associate in the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C., in 1973.
From 1967 to 1972, he was with the staff of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis as an operations research analyst and then served as Director of the Strategic Defense Division. He also served as an adviser to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in Helsinki and Vienna.
Prior to joining the Department of Defense in 1967, Mr. Aldridge held various staff and management positions with the Douglas Aircraft Co., Missile and Space Division, in Santa Monica, CA and in Washington, D.C.