April 15, 2005
Circumstances surrounding the loss of the space shuttle Columbia affirm multiple lessons that emerged from analyses of similar tragedies of the past 40 years. General Deal takes a hard look at the cause and findings of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board so that senior leaders of other high-risk operations can prevent similar mishaps and promote healthy organizational environments.
Brig Gen Duane W. Deal, USAF, is the commander of the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado. He has commanded four squadrons, one group, and three wings. General Deal had served as a president or member of a dozen aircraft and space-launch accident investigations before being appointed to serve as a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board on 1 February 2003, hours after the tragic shuttle loss. General Deal has a BS in Physics and an MS in Counseling/Psychology from Mississippi State University and an MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, and Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He completed the Executive Development Program of Dartmouth College and served as a fellow at the Harvard Center for International Affairs and also as a fellow at the RAND Corporation. He has piloted seven aircraft types, including the SR-71 Blackbird, and served as crew commander in two Air Force space systems. The general has authored more than 25 published articles on aviation, leadership, and technical subjects.