Pond named Wright-Patt 88th Air Base Wing vice commander


DAYTON — On June 26, 2023, Colonel Travis Pond, of Washington Court House, assumed the role of Vice Wing Commander for the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The 88th Air Base Wing is the largest air base wing in the Air Force with more than 5,000 officers and enlisted Airmen, Air Force civilians and contractor employees, Pond said.

“The wing provides support and services to the largest, most diverse, and most organizationally complex base in the Air Force, including a major acquisition center, research and development laboratories, a major command headquarters, an airlift wing, and the world’s largest military air museum,” he said. “The base is home to more than 30,000 military, government civilian, and contractor employees and associate units.”

Wright Patterson AFB is the largest single site employer in the state of Ohio.

“I am humbled and extremely excited to join the leadership team for the 88th Air Base Wing,” Pond said. “As an Ohio native, I’m very aware of the importance of Wright-Patterson AFB to the state of Ohio, the city of Dayton and surrounding areas. Our partnership with the community is extremely important, and I look forward to becoming a part of that partnership and engagement to improve the community and support the nearly 35,000 men and women that make ‘Fly-Fight-Win’ possible for the United States Air Force.”

Colonel Pond, son of Stephen and Shirley Pond, and grandson of Ronald and Ruby Hurless is a 1995 graduate of Washington High School. Pond was a scholar-athlete at WHS, finishing top of his class. He attended Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance. He also has an MBA from Southern Illinois University, and a second Masters Degree in military operational art & science from Air University.

Pond entered the Air Force in 1999, and has had numerous assignments across the US over his 24-year career. As a warranted Contracting Officer with unlimited authority to obligate the government, he led multiple source selections and awarded contracts for weapon systems and a $1 billion communications satellite program, the Director of National Intelligence’s number one priority at the time, in 2009 while assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in Chantilly, Virginia. He spent several years at the Pentagon, working for Headquarters Air Force Contracting, and the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office.

Prior to his selection as the Vice Wing Commander at Wright Patterson AFB, Pond served four years on the Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command staff as the Deputy Director of Contracting. AFMC is the Air Force’s acquisition organization, the largest MAJCOM in the Air Force employing over 80,000 personnel across the globe, and obligating over $58 billion annually. The command develops, acquires and sustains the air power needed to defend the United States and its interests. This is accomplished through research, development, testing, evaluation, acquisition, maintenance and program management of existing and future USAF weapon systems and their components.

He has earned numerous awards during his career, including the NRO’s Directors Circle Award, given to the top 2% of NRO employees, an Air Force MAJCOM level Company Grade Officer of the Year Award at Air Mobility Command, and a Presidential Chief Acquisition Officer’s Council Award for Excellence in 2017, to name a few.

Pond has held multiple command positions during his career, first as Squadron Commander for the 509th Contracting Squadron at Whiteman AFB, MO, home of the B-2 Bomber. He was also the Commander of Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) in Seattle, WA, with oversight of contract administration and management for dozens of critical defense companies, most supporting military aviation and propulsion, across a three state region in the Pacific Northwest.

Pond has deployed three times in service to his country. A tour to Ali Al Salem in Kuwait where he commanded the Contracting Office, a deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan where he led Contracting Operations covering the entire southern half of Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, and to Baghdad, Iraq where he was an Administrative Contracting Officer responsible for $3 billion in base support and operations contracts across the country during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pond reflected on his time growing up in Washington Court House.

“Growing up in a small patriotic town, I was inspired to serve in the Air Force. My high school counselor, Mr. Keith Brown, played a key role in my decision to join the Air Force through the ROTC Scholarship Program. I have fond memories of my time in WCH, and remember the hours spent at practice and games with my sports team coaches — Gary Shaffer, Kenny Knisley, Paul Ondrus, Ken Upthegrove,” Pond said. “Being in the military and living in so many places across the country, I have come to appreciate small towns like WCH, where everyone knows your name, the people care for each other, and where educators and coaches invest their time and passion to shape children into successful adults. I am excited to have my family back home in Ohio where my children can have the same experiences I had growing up. I’ve lived in a lot of places, but I will always be a proud son of Washington Court House, Ohio.”

Col. Pond has two daughters, Hannah (17) and Sarah (14), and his wife, Shelly, is an Air Force veteran and a civilian employee for the Defense Logistics Agency in Columbus, Ohio.

No posts to display