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Executive director sets sights on new horizons

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- He is quiet and unassuming. He carries himself with ease and is a master of communication. If you didn't know him you'd never guess he's the 45th Space Wing's executive director. Ask almost any senior leader at Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS who their most trusted advisor is and their responses would likely turn the spotlight on Bob Fore.

For over 33 years, Mr. Fore has been there for the Air Force Blue. His accomplishments are many, yet he'd never be the one to mention them. He is totally about everyone and everything else, not himself. That's what makes Mr. Fore who he is.

Today is his last day at the 45th Space Wing. True to his humble and selfless style, he refused to be interviewed for this story. He's clearly uncomfortable with any attention coming his way.

"Mr. Bob Fore is an icon not only here at the 45th Space Wing, his legacy also can be seen on the Western Range, HQ Air Force Space Command and inside the 'Beltway' when one discusses the space launch business," said Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th SW commander. "Bob's contributions to space set him apart. The 45th Space Wing is losing one of its greatest warriors."

Mr. Fore began his career with the Air Force after graduating from Mississippi State University in May 1974. During his first 11 years he worked as a "hands-on engineer."

His first job was as an electronics engineer at Keesler AFB, Miss. It was this job that hooked him on serving as a civil servant. In November 1985, Mr. Fore became a weapons system engineering cost estimator in the Armament Division at Eglin AFB, Fla. In 1988, he began working in the Air-to-Surface Ballistic Weapons System Program Office at Eglin AFB.

Patrick AFB got its first glimpse of Mr. Fore in April 1989, when he became a supervisory electronics engineer at what was then the Eastern Space and Missile Center. In November 1991, Mr. Fore was named technical director of the 45th Logistics Group. From there he became chief of the Performance Management Division in 1998. In October 2002, he was chosen as the 45th Space Wing's "first" executive director.

As the wing's executive director Mr. Fore is the senior civilian advisor to the 45th SW commander on all matters relating to policy, launch and range operations, resources and major launch contracts. Mr. Fore's batting average as the Eastern Launch and Test Range Director is flawless - 71 successfully executed launches during his tenure. He also led the wing's journey into the Department of Defense's National Security Personnel System.

"Bob's contributions to this wing are truly immeasurable. For many years, he has been the behind-the-scenes, tireless, honest, civil servant who has truly put service before self," said Col. Mark Bontrager, 45th Mission Support Group commander. "His corporate knowledge, combined with an incredible ability to communicate complex issues, will make it virtually impossible to replace him. He has truly been a trusted agent to help Wing leadership evaluate options and chart a solid path for the future."

Ask Mr. Fore what he's most proud of during his remarkable career and he blushes. But after a little arm twisting, he'll reveal he is most proud of the wing's accomplishments in the civilian force development arena.

He believed putting the right emphasis on the development of future civilian leaders was long overdue. In that respect, he sees the 45th SW as the premier employer in the Air Force and the wing's plan to take force development to even a higher level over the coming year will make this wing the showcase for the entire DoD.

"The men and women of the 45th Space Wing team salute Bob for all he's done. His legacy will remain through those he molded and will serve as a motivator for many decades to come," said General Helms. "God speed and best wishes go to him, Myra, Sarah and Jennifer as they enter into their next exciting journey!"