MELBOURNE, FLA.—Col. Glenn Vera (USAF Ret.) has been appointed director of FIT Aviation, LLC, the flight training operation of Florida Institute of Technology. Vera assumes his new post Monday, Jan. 17.
Vera has a range of experience in aviation and aerospace-related activities, including more than 25 years of U.S. Air Force service. He was directly involved in the space career field for nearly half of those years. From 1984 to 1989, Vera was assigned to the 50th Airmanship Training Squadron, eventually serving as the operations officer, and directing the largest flying training program at the U.S. Air Force Academy. In this role, he oversaw the instruction of more than 2,300 cadets annually and executed a 1,400-hour flying program. Under his direction, the squadron won the Air Force Association’s Citation of Honor.
“We are pleased and fortunate to have someone of Glenn’s experience and background join us at FIT Aviation,” said Winston Scott, dean of the College of Aeronautics. “His leadership abilities and particularly his flight training experience are an ideal match for FIT Aviation.”
“I am excited to be joining Florida Tech and FIT Aviation,” Vera said. “I look forward to working with the next generation of pilots as they acquire the skills they need to be successful and perform their jobs safely in a demanding field.”
In 1990, Vera began his first space assignment at the 2nd Space Operations Squadron and was subsequently selected as the director of operations. As director, he provided command and control of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and oversaw the training, certification and scheduling of an 80-person crew. Vera was assigned to Cheyenne Mountain in 1992 and later named Deputy Chief of the Joint Combat Centers Division. Here he directed operations, plans and analysis for the NORAD/U.S. Space Command Center, the Space Control Center and the Missile Warning Center. In 1995, Vera went on to serve as the Commander of the 534th Training Squadron, where he conducted satellite and spacelift operations initial qualification training for three of the four Space Wings in Air Force Space Command.
Vera was named Deputy Commander of the 45th Operations Group in 1997. In this role, he oversaw nearly 5,000 Air Force and contract personnel and all launch activities from the Eastern Range in support of the military, NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office and commercial customers. Under his command, the group executed 64 launches, including the Cassini interplanetary mission to Saturn, John Glenn’s historic return to space, and the first U.S. module of the International Space Station.
In 1999, Vera was selected as Chief, Space and Missile Defense Policy Division, The Joint Staff, Pentagon, where he supervised a staff that provided key advice to the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on vital national and Department of Defense space and missile defense policies. He retired from the Air Force in 2001.
From 2001 to 2006, Vera was deputy director of the Florida Space Authority. Since then, he has worked as a project engineer and deputy director for InDyne Inc. at Kennedy Space Center (2006-08). Most recently, he served as a senior manager for voice communications with Abacus Technology Corp., providing communications support for the Space Shuttle program, International Space Station and associated activities.
Vera received his bachelor’s degree from the United States Air Force Academy in 1976 and a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1981. His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Combat Readiness Medal and the National Defense Medal. He resides in Rockledge.