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Tommy Williams

This page is created and maintained by the Kopperl High School Class of 2015!


Graduated from Duncanville High School

Joined the Texas Air National Guard and served as an airman and sergeant while attending college.  He took classes at the University of Texas in Austin, the University of Texas in Arlington, Dallas College and Dallas Baptist College.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Lifetime Teacher's Certificate in Mathematics and Communication from Dallas Baptist College.  He later earned a Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle University.

He pulled ANG duty at Hensley Field, Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany and Torreton Air Base in Spain.  He attended the Air Force Non-Commissioned Officer Academy, graduating at the top of his class.  He was selected from a field of over 100 applicants to attend Air Force Pilot Training and for 52 weeks flew super-sonic jets at Columbus AFB, MS.



After graduating from pilot training, Lt. Williams flew KC-97 L Tankers in the U.S., Germany, Spain, the UK and Puerto Rico.  He upgraded from copilot to air craft commander to instructor pilot.  He graduated from Air Force Instructor School, Squadron Officer School and Command and Staff College.  He was selected as Tactical Air Command's "Crew of Distinction" for saving a catastrophically damaged KC-97.  While flying the KC-97 in the Air National Guard, he worked as a math teacher at Midlothian High School and Northwood University.  He was hired by Bell Helicopter to run the training department in their joint venture with the Shaw of Iran in Hurst, TX and Tehran, Iran.



In 1980, Major Williams had the opportunity he had been preparing for throughout his civilian and military careers when he was "called to Active Duty" as an Air Force Instructor Pilot.  He attended C-130 conversion training and was assigned to the 136 Airlift Wing as Chief of Training.  He flew airlift missions "across the globe:" South & Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa and throughout the Pacific.  He flew classified missions supporting the Honduran Air Force against Nicaragua's military.  He developed and managed the unit's Aircraft Simulator Training Program.  His ground and flying training programs were rated "Outstanding" by 21st Air Force IG.

He was "Team Chief" of the 136th Airlift Wing Crew that won Volant Rodeo, the largest Air Force competition of the best crews from around the globe.  When Iraq invaded Kuwait he volunteered to serve, deployed the first Texas C-130 to Al Ain Air base in the United Arab Emirates, and flew combat missions throughout the region.  He was the outstanding graduate of the National Defense University.  In 1992, Lt Col Williams was selected as the Advisor to the Commander of the Air Training Command and assigned to ATC HQ at Randolph AFB.  Working on the four star general's headquarters staff, he assisted in managing all training programs for the Air Force's half-million members. His training expertise saved the Air Force millions of dollars and thousands of training hours.  He was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal and promoted to Colonel.

After 5 years, of commended service at Air Education and Training Command, Col Williams was presented the Air Force Excellence in Training Award-Staff Level and was assigned to the 129th rescue wing as the Vice Commander and later Wing Commander.  He and his war-fighters flew HH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and MC-130 Combat Shadow aircraft rescuing downed airmen and injured soldiers in combat.  He worked with the Coast Guard and federal agencies to rescue injured civilians from remote locations that could only be reached using the 129th's unique capabilities of refueling the HH-60 from the MC-130 in the air, then airdropping PJs from either aircraft.  His highly trained crews used air refuelings to extend the range of their helicopters and flew life saving missions lasting over 14-hours covering over 1200-nautical miles.  His Air Force Special Operations Wing was rated Best Flying Wing 3-times, won the Spaatz Trophy, two Air Force Association Best Flying Unit Awards, three Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, and two Patriot Trophys.  His crews and support personnel flew missions in Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch.  In 2003, they self deployed to Iraq where they were the first unit on the ground for Operation Iraqi Freedom. They flew the first combat rescue days later saving the life of an injured solider.  Col Williams planned, coordinated and was Aircraft Commander of the 129th Rescue Wing's 300 save, overcoming severe inclement weather and air dropping his pararescue jumpers who saved the life of a critically injured sailor.  During his 10 years, the 129th Rescue Wing saved over 150 military and civilian lives, flew the first combat save in Iraqi Freedom and deployed Team Hawk on highly effective drug interdiction missions.

Col Williams was the Commander of the U.S. Forces in the Ukraine during multi-year Rough and Ready exercises where U.S. civilian and military personnel worked disaster response missions with personnel from the Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova.  He recruited, trained and LED 7-Rapid Response Counter-Terrorism Teams.  His Pararescue squadron was rated Best in the Air Force, and his Wing received Excellent ratings on all Operational Readiness Inspections.  He flew dozens of rescue missions earning 3-Air Medals for "Acts of Gallantry."  His other awards include The Legion of Merit (the 7th highest medal awarded by the US), The Order of California, The Southwest Asia Service Medal, The Army Achievement Medal, The Coast Gaurd Achievement Medal, and more than a handful of other Air Force medals.



Col Williams (Ret) teaches math at Kopperl.  He uses the training expertise he learned in the Air Force to teach in ways that reach every student.  He teaches math he learned flying jets.  Flying the exact course is Trigonometry. Computing fuel flow and distance to target is Algebra.  Dropping P.J.s, Beans or Bullets from a jet while accelerating and changing altitude is Calculus.  If a pilot does not work these math problems perfectly, he will not accomplish his mission and he will have a very short career.  Col Williams (Ret) teaches his students to work real world math problems perfectly preparing them for long, successful careers as productive citizens.

Tommy Williams

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