Major General George B. Harrison, USAF (Ret.) is a Principal Research Engineer (Emeritus), Georgia Tech Research Institute. He has overseen cross-lab activities comprising sponsored research in aerospace, transportation, electronic systems, sensors, electronic combat, signature technology, information technology, and electro-optical applications and supervised GTRI’s field activities at eight locations across the United States. He moved to Georgia Tech upon his retirement from the U.S. air Force in July 1997. His initial position at GTRI was Director, Electronic Systems Laboratory, responsible for development, design, simulation, testing and fielding advanced electronic warfare systems, as well as development and implementation of test range systems and methods and later became Director, Research Operations. Additionally, as a member of the USAF Scientific Advisory Board, he brought his expertise to bear on numerous complex Air Force issues ranging from ISR integration to strike planning and execution problems with particular emphasis on directed energy, remotely piloted aircraft and human systems integration issues. He has authored numerous papers and book chapters on Directed Energy, Electronic Warfare, Human Systems Integration and Remotely Piloted Aircraft.
From 1993 until 1997, as the Commander, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, General Harrison brought his operational experience to bear on more than 300 Air Force systems in the acquisition process. These systems included the B-1B, B-2A, F-22, F-15E, CV-22, Joint Primary Aircraft Training System, Joint Strike Fighter, Cheyenne Mountain Upgrade Program, Minuteman III Guidance Upgrade, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, Airborne Warning and Control System Radar Staged Improvement Program and numerous other systems. In addition, he initiated and implemented a comprehensive, Air Force wide approach to the development of electronic warfare techniques. By integrating the results of live flight test and digital modeling, the entire electronic warfare process was significantly enhanced.
From 1992 – 1993, he was Commander, USAF Air Warfare Center. He conducted testing of all Air Combat Command command and control, fighter avionics and weapons. In addition to planning tests, he personally flew the aircraft involved on numerous occasions. Additionally, he directed the Air Force’s command and control training school, commonly known as Blue Flag, as well as the Tactical Air Command and Control Simulation Facility. During this period, he also served on temporary assignment as joint commander of all U.S. and allied forces in Southwest Asia.
From 1991 – 1992, General Harrison was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, U.S. Air Forces in Europe. He directed all USAF operation in Europe, Africa and the former Soviet Union, including relief operations in all of those areas plus Bosnia. He implemented model-based planning systems to enhance efficiency in contingencies and installed modernized command and control systems to improve crisis response.
General Harrison was Assistant Chief of Staff for Studies and Analyses on the Air Staff from 1989 to 1991. He directed Air Force Studies to determine required characteristics for bomber, fighter and airlift systems through the mid 21st Century. He developed the definitive long-range plan for Air Force computer-aided analysis needs and initiated the Air Force model validation, verification and accreditation processes.
From 1962 until 1989, General Harrison served in a variety of operations and staff assignments. He commanded a tactical fighter training wing and an operational test squadron. He served as Chief, Joint Operations Division, OJCS where he was instrumental in the planning and execution of the American retaliatory raid on Libya, the capture of the Achille Lauro hijackers and numerous other contingencies. He flew 260 combat missions in the F-4 and O-1 during the Vietnam War and 14 combat missions in the F-16C during Operation Provide Comfort in Iraq. Awards for his service include two Distinguished Service Medals, two Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross and twelve Air Medals. Other awards include the Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service, the Association of Old Crows Gold medal for Electronic Warfare, the USAF Glen Kent Award for leadership in Air Force analysis, and the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.
While serving in the U.S. Air Force and at Georgia Tech Research Institute, George has been active in a variety of civic, charitable and community service activities. While in the Air Force, he served the Boy Scouts of America as District Chairman, Rhineland Palatinate, Boy Scouts of America, Council Commissioner, Trans-Atlantic Council, BSA, and Chairman, BSA Executive Board, Southwest Region, BSA. He was Chairman, New Mexico Combined Federal Campaign, and was the U.S. Delegate to the Aeroospace Applications Study Committee, NATO Advisory Group on Aerospace Research and Development, and was the Air Force Sponsor, Military Operations Research Society. He is a founding member of the Board, Air Warrior Courage Foundation, providing financial and other assistance to fallen military aviators and their survivors. He currently serves as President of that foundation.
In general aviation activity, George has been extensively involved in volunteer and youth activities. As a Civil Air Patrol volunteer, he serves as a Check Pilot Examiner in powered aircraft and gliders. As a glider pilot, he has introduced over 1000 young men and women to aviation through orientation flights. As an instructor in fifteen CAP glider summer programs, he has soloed numerous young men and women who have continued in aviation to become military and commercial pilots. As a Commemorative Air Force instructor and check pilot, he has trained many aviators in tailwheel Warbird aircraft.
A prostate cancer survivor, George has provided counselling and practical advice to dozens of other men afflicted with this feared disease. Also, as veteran dedicated to serving his fellow veterans, George has advised and counseled dozens of veterans from sergeants and chief petty officers to four-star flag officers about VA benefits and procedures, resulting in many awards of compensation and benefits to deserving veterans.
George Harrison has operational experience in the F-4, O-1, F-16, EC-135, E-8C, and AT-38B. He is an active civil aviator with an Airline Transport Pilot license and instructor certification in single and multi-engine aircraft and gliders. He has flown 103 different aircraft types during 9300 hours including 530 hours of combat flying.