Colonel (Ret.) Mike Loughran is an Air Force veteran who served between 1968 and 1997. Loughran began his career as a B-52 co-pilot, and then was swiftly sent to train on the C-7 Caribou at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Loughran became a Caribou instructor pilot and trained the Vietnam Air Force to become instructor pilots in the airframe.
After his time in Vietnam he returned to B-52s, and then on to become the 69th Bomb Squadron commander, the first Harpoon-equipped Air Force squadron. Later, during his time as 416th Bomb Wing commander, the President directed that Strategic Air Command stand down from the bomber alert posture that was a centerpiece of its nuclear deterrence mission. Within a year, as part of a broader Air Force reorganization, SAC closed and Air Combat Command took over the bomber forces. Dedicated professional Airmen successfully adapted to the fundamental mission and organizational changes. ACC brought new challenges by focusing on a broader conventional bomber operational mission set.
During his career, Loughran completed three Pentagon tours, including gaining approval for the KC-135R re-engineering program as well as integrating the Harpoon anti-ship missile on the B-52G. His take on the Air Force for the future: “I think the Air Force is going to maintain a very technical orientation, continue to leverage the opportunity of available aircraft and will continue to succeed based on the dedication, knowledge and professionalism of our Airmen.”