About the Author
Tom Lee is a retired US Air Force Colonel who served over 26 years in various operational, planning,
and intelligence assignments worldwide. The son of a federal civil servant, he lived overseas in the
Far East and Middle East during his formative years. He graduated from high school at the Bolles
School in Jacksonville, Florida. He attended Tulane University where he was a member of the Naval
ROTC Crack Drill Team. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Huntingdon College
in Montgomery, Alabama where he also met his future wife. Tom continued his education at
Columbia University in New York City where he received his Master of International Affairs degree
from the School of International Affairs after a two year multi-disciplined course of study.
He was commissioned in late 1962 at the Officer Training School, Lackland AFB, Texas at the end
of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He served as an Air Defense Weapons Controller and Identification Officer at two
NORAD SAGE Sectors on the Northern Tier of the United States. Hoping to better use his educational background
he crosstrained into the intelligence career field and attended the Armed Forces Air Intelligence
Training Center (AFAITC) located at Lowry AFB, Colorado. He was awarded the dual specialty codes of Air
Intelligence Officer and Photo Intelligence Officer. Most of his career was spent in the operational side of
Air Force intelligence as a Targets Officer. Beginning as a fighter wing targeteer in the United Kingdom
with the F100 equipped 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, he remained in the targeting business for the next quarter
He served in targeting activities on the Air Staff in the Pentagon during the latter part of the Vietnam War,
and was a member of the USAF Linebacker Targets Group that recommended North Vietnamese targets
to the White House.
He wrote and implemented the DoD Targeting Course at AFAITC which trained DoD targeting
personnel for the next 15 years until its ill-advised demise.
At Offutt AFB, Nebraska he served as a senior SIOP analyst and planner with the JCS Joint Strategic Target Planning
Staff. He developed significant nuclear planning packages against the former Soviet Union.
As the Targets Chief for the US Pacific Command at Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii, his targeting team
put the first Navy Tomahawk cruise missiles on line and recommended many of the improvements that make it the
preferred strike weapons today. He revitalized target analysis programs that underpinned PACOM
target planning and modernized the targeting data bases.
As the Director of Targets, HQ USAF between 1984 and 1988 he provided targeting expertise
for Air Staff operational contingency planning. He was active in USAF special projects including
the F117A Stealth fighter.
During 1968-1969 Tom served in the DoD Project 404 as an in-country "black" targeteer during the Secret War
in Laos. He was a US Embassy target validation officer for South Laos, developed special targeting
strike packages against the Ho Chi Minh Trail, served as the combat intelligence officer for the
RAVEN forward air controllers, and advised the Lao Armed Forces. He flew over 100 missions in Laos
as the "Guy in Back".
Tom retired from the Air Force in 1988 and resides in Northern Virginia. He works for Science Applications International
Corporation. Tom is married with two grown children and four grandchildren.
Association of Former Intelligence Officers
National Military Intelligence Association
Air Commando Association
American Legion, China Post 1 - Worldwide
Laos List Home Page
The Laos List
Laos Incident List