Airway Pioneer Member
Richard W. Miller

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Born and educated in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Joined the Air Force in 1954, Boot Camp @ San Antonio, Tech School @ Biloxi then Mountain Home Idaho AS GCA operator, 2036 AACS unit.

I was very fortunate to enter CAA/FAA within 1 month after discharge. EOD - Jan 1959 - Boise, ID - CS/T –

62/63- Las Vegas Twr-
63/65 Los Angeles Twr –
65/67 - San Francisco Twr –
67/72 - Oakland Bay Tracon –
72/74 - Los Angeles - Operations Branch Specialist ­
74/76 - San Diego - Facility Manager - Miramar N.A.S. –
76/78 - Los Angeles - Branch Manager - Plans & Programs –
78/81 -- Los Angeles - Branch Manager - Operations Branch –
81/84 -- New York - Assistant Division Manager - Eastern Region –
84-85 New York - Acting Division Manager - Eastern Region –
85-88 -- Phoenix - Arizona Hub Manager / Local Coordinator / Manager of Phoenix Tower / Tracon.

My initial assignment to the low activity Combined Station Tower in Boise Idaho provided an easy transition from the rigid military environment over to the real world. This assignment would be of great value in my later years in terms of my acceptance and overall relationships when we combined FSS facilities into Major Hubs. I had been there -- done that -- and therefore believable.
My assignment to Las Vegas was equally of value - since we made a very hectic move into a new Tower and a very dramatic transition from manual approach control to radar.
My initiation into the "big league" at LAX was a real education ­that served me well when I moved in-grade to SFO for a better chance at a TS position.
My move proved justified when Don Muncy selected me as TS for the new Oakland Bay Tracon - talk about a challenge! ASDE ARTCC flat top scopes in a terminal facility - cross training and complete certification for personnel from 3 entirely diverse Air Traffic facilities -- even though the New York Common “I” had failed to do so.
And then along came Paul -- the pied piper of the Western Region - preaching the dreaded MOBILITY program - Still don't know how but he managed to seduce prime candidates from all of the major facilities into a DOWNGRADE into the Air Traffic Division and a move to Los Angeles -- Explain that to the wife and kids
In retrospect, the program proved extremely successful and launched the careers of many individuals - myself included -­and earned Mr. Hink and his Branch Mgrs - recognition from the Washington level - for their Career Development efforts.
As for my initial Facility Mgr assignment at San Diego / Miramar you might refer to John Munds resume where he states that when Hugh Shaw retired "a bushy-tailed, ambitious young chief took his place." He also acknowledges one of my proudest moments when the personnel at Miramar rose to the occasion of increased traffic volume - attained Level V status - gained National acclaim for the DSS staff for their efforts on field testing the ARTS tape and was awarded the coveted National Facility of the Year Award. ­It doesn't get any better than that. Should mean job security -? Right? – Wrong!
Calls from the Division were not so much in praise of our accomplishments, as expected, but instead indicated a need for additional career development for me! i.e. AWE-510 - Manager ­Plans & Programs Branch and a move back to Los Angeles.
After a very educational and productive tenure as AWE-5I0, I was transitioned over to the Hot Spot of the Division - AWE-540 as manager of the Operations Branch - just in time for an increase in what might be called “strained” Labor Relations.
The AWE Air Traffic Division was very successful in improving our local relationships and conducted very productive monthly meetings between AWE-540 members and the local PATCO rep.
As a spin-off of this success, Nobbie Owens, a great pal- throughout my career, selected me as Assistant Division Manager, AEA-501 in New York. It was here, as you might imagine, where a lot of Union turmoil existed.
August 3rd, 1981 - 05:00 EST - PATCO - declared war on the nation. AEA immediately brought up 200 top military controllers -Established a command center - viewed around the nation - and proceeded with the obtainment of Temporary Restraining Orders through the courts - and provided the necessary depositions.
I spent my time in charge of the Command Center, while Nobbie became the darling of the Press Corp-doing back-to-back interviews daily.
Nobbie's notoriety, as mine before, got him goosed to greatness and Ray VanVuren, the Air Traffic Service Director, stole him away from AEA and made him his Deputy. With his departure to Washington, I became the acting AEA-500 for the next year, until a permanent selection was made.
I was offered positions in Washington, as well, but elected to go to a warmer climate and a semi-retirement position as ATC Facility Manager in Phoenix AZ.
I kept myself busy by wearing a number of hats: AWE-Local Coordinator - Co-Chairman - Arizona Governor's - Airspace Utilization Committee - Arizona ATC - Hub Manager – Manager ­Phoenix Tower/Tracon. On April 1st 1988, 1 retired, and started a second career in a field that I was forced to use consistently during my tenure with the FAA. - Real Estate - After the Sale/Purchase of 12 different homes - I came pre-qualified for the profession.
Debbie and I are living in Mesa, AZ until she retires next year. We have established our own "S" Corporation called D&D Investments for our own properties - and I am acting as a "buyers" Real Estate Agent - with the Arizona Home Team - Scottsdale AZ.

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