The Embassy Suites Hotel has advised us they have "SOLD OUT" some of the nights during our reunion. Listed below are some alternative Hotels that are close to the Embassy Suites just north of the DFW airport. Some do not have an airport shuttle and other do. Most have substantial discounts for seniors, military, ARRP, AAA etc. Check with them: This list is not an endorsement, but those that are near-by and hopefully reputable:

------Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Center (very close w/airport shuttle)

------Hilton Garden Inn DFW North Grapevine (w/airport shuttle)

------Homewood Suites by Hilton

------Double Tree by Hilton

------Hampton Inn & Suites Dallas-DFW North

------Super 8 Grapevine/DFW Airport North

       The formal invitation letter and Event sign-up sheet have been mailed out to the membership. A copy of both is included by clicking on the link below. NOW IS THE TIME for those planning to attend to complete and return the Event Sign-up Sheet along with your payment. If you haven't made your Hotel time for that is also NOW. Please BOOK your room at Embassy Suites Outdoor World IAW the information below. The cutoff date for the Embassy Suites Hotel is 1 April 2015 to obtain the Big Safari reunion special rate.

CLICK HERE: for the 2015 Reunion Event Letter & Sign-Up Sheet


The next reunion is planned for the April 22nd to 25th 2015 in Dallas Texas. The Reunion will be held at the Embassy Suites Outdoor World, which is located just north of the DFW airport. This is a Four Star property located next door to a PRO BASS store and the BIG BUCK BREWERY and STEAK HOUSE (more information can be found at: FREE transportation to and from the DFW airport is provided by the hotel, call 972-724-2600. We have a special BSA group (double occupancy) rate. This rate includes a free cooked breakfast and two hours of evening drinks each day for you and your spouse. Each attendee MUST make their own reservations. Reservations should be made early. Reservations MUST be made prior to 1 April 2015 to get the Reunion rate. The total number of rooms available to us at this rate are limited. If you call reservations at 972-724-2600 (ext 3030), ask for the "Big Safari Reunion (BSA) rate".

The Host will be L-3 Mission Integration, Division , located in Greenville.


Here is the schedule:

22 Apr - Registration Day (Hospitality room will be open from the 22nd to the 25th)

23 Apr - The BSA Golf Tournament, a Ladies event and Austin Ranch BBQ dinner.

24 Apr - Bus to L-3 Com. Big Safari RC-135 facility in Greenville, TX for a day with the Big Safari 645th AESS (old Det2 Sq.) and L-3 Com., our hosts. Tour the facilities/aircraft/etc. This is the special "exclusive event" during this Reunion. DON'T MISS this one. Prior to our return to Dallas, we plan to have Lunch in Greenville. We will return to Dallas in time for a "Free Night Out in Dallas", so make your plans with friends.

25 Apr - BSA Seminar, BSA Business Meeting and Banquet.

There will be time for other things in Dallas area. Hope you all can come to 2015 Reunion in DALLAS. Again, don't miss out on the OPEN HOUSE day in Greenville, TX. The modification/support facility for the RC-135 aircraft. It's going to be the Great Event for 2015


       CMSgt Thomas J. Sprague, USAF, Ret. passed away on 16 February 2015. Tom worked in the 645th AESS (formally Det 2) Greenville Texas as until his retirement from Civil Service in 2007. Tom was the Chief of the Quality Control Branch, and as such he was in charge of the Hanger Dock and Line maintenance, of the Big Safari RC-135 fleet under going PDM and upgrades.

       MSgt Michael (Mike) L. Ford, USAF, Ret. passed away on 22 January 2015. Mike worked in the 645th AESS (formally Det 2) Greenville Texas in the Navigation/Avionics office, until his retirement in 2014. He was recognized as the "Core Expert" in the LN-120 Stellar/Inertial/Doppler nav system used in the RC-135, SR-71 and other Big Safari aircraft. His was the lead expert in the Development, Flight Testing, Modernization and Integration of the LN-120 into RC-135 "Glass Cockpit" avionics upgrade.

       Major Thomas (Loose) H. Lane, USAF, Ret. passed away on 1 January 2014. Loose was originally assigned to Det 2 (now 645th AESS) Greenville Texas as the Chief Navigator to the Detachment for all models of the RC-135. He served as the Program Manager and Project Engineer in the Development , Flight Testing and Modernization of all the RC-135 ACFT navigation systems. He was the "EXPERT".

       Chief MSgt Lawrence A. Cobb, USAF, Ret. passed away 5 November 2013. Larry was assigned to Det 2 (now 645th AESS) Greenville Texas to assist the modernization of the RC-135 ACFT to the Rivet Joint configuration. Upon his retirement from the AF ,he was the Program Manager for the RC-135S Cobra Ball fleet at the Greenville Detachment. Larry was instrumental in the success of the Cobra Ball program for over 20 + years. Early in his AF career he flew numerous operational missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the AF Air Medal with 8 oak leaf clusters.

       Colonel Bruce D. Strotman, USAF, , passed away on 9 August 2013. Bruce was a Pilot and flew various aircraft and combat missions in Vietnam. He worked closely with Security Service and Electronic Security Command in the airborne collection of intelligence. Bruce was an essential in the Development , Flight Testing and RC-135 Rivet Joint Modernization (Block1/2) Program.

        Chief Master Sgt David H. McMullen, USAF, Ret. passed away on 6 August 2013. David supported various Big Safari Airborne Programs as an In-Flight Maintenance Technician and Quality Control representative. He was instrumental in the development and deployment of the Real Time Optical System (RTOS) for the "Cobra Ball" platform. While on active duty he was assigned to Det 2 Greenville Texas.

       Lt. Col. Wilson (Wil) E. Main, USAF, Ret. passed away on 19 January 2011. Wil  was an RC-135 Electronic Warfare Officer on the "Cobra Ball" platform. He gave a lifetime of service to various Big Safari programs during and after his retirement from active duty. Wil was an exceptional leader, sportsman and friend to many of the Big Safari Association members.

       Maj.Gen. Paul H. Martin, USAF, Ret. passed away on 22 July 2010. Paul was an RC-135 pilot and numerous Combat Reconnaissance Missions in the RC-135M "Combat Apple" aircraft in support of the Vietnam war. He was assigned to many of the intelligence organizations such as; 6SW, 55SW, Det 1 and ECS during his Air Force career. Gen. Martin was great friend to many of the Big Safari Programs after retirement from the US Air Force

       Mr. Gary Jett passed away on 17 December 2008. Gary served the Big Safari organization at WPAFB, OH for over 35 years and was instrumental in the genesis and fielding of the Compass Call electronic attack weapon system in 1982. He helped grow and mature the capabilities of the EC-130H aircraft over the last 25 years. Gary's engineering expertise and affable personality are greatly missed by the Compass Call community and by all who knew and worked with him.

      Lt. Col. Bruce Carson, USAF, Ret. passed away on 13 September 2008. Bruce was an RC-135S Electronic Warfare Officer. He was assigned to the 24th SRS at Eielson AFB, Alaska. He flew many  RC-135S "Cobra Ball" reconnaissance missions from Shemya AFS, Alaska. Since his retirement from the USAF, he has been working with the Air Staff, AF/A2CP, in the Pentagon.

      Major John C. Chipman, USAF, Ret. passed away on 25 May 2008. John  was an RC-135M Airborne Mission Supervisor (AMS) assigned to the 6990th Electronic Security Group, Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan. He flew the "Combat Apple" mission over Vietnam in the very early days of the War. John was the one first AMS to be Commissioned as a 2nd Lt. during his Kadena AB assignment. John was also assigned to Det 2, Greenville, TX later in his Military career.

      Lt. Col. Kenneth (Ken) D. Oliver, USAF, Ret. passed away on 23 May 2008. He served as Det 4. Commander at Lockheed Aircraft Service Corp. Ontario, CA facility modifying various Special Mission C-130.

      Lt. Col. Robert (Bob) J. McMahon, USAF, Ret. was killed in a car accident on 3 December 2007. Bob was an RC-135M Navigator assigned to the 82nd Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (SAC) Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan. He flew the "Combat Apple" missions over Vietnam in the very early days of the War.

      Chuck Riechers, passed away on 14 October 2007. He served Big Safari in Det 4, AFLC/AZ and SAF/AQLG. At the time of his passing he was the Air Force's principal deputy assistant SAF/AQ. Chuck was an ardent Big Safari spokesperson.  He was a Seminar presenter at Dallas 2007 Reunion.

      Maj. Gen. Doyle E. Larson, USAF, Ret. passed away on 14 August 2007. Gen. Larson was the Commander  of the 6990th Electronic Security Group, Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan during the early days of the Vietnam War. This unit flew the "Combat Apple" missions in the RC-135M aircraft. In later years Gen. Larson was the Commander of the Electronic Security Command located in San Antonio Texas. Until his death Gen. Larson was very active in the intelligence community.

      Lt. Col. John King, USAF, Ret. passed away on 22 Dec 2006 in Rockwall Texas. John was an RC-135 Pilot and also served as the Big Safari Det 2 Commander at the E-Systems Greenville Texas facility. John was an early leader in the development of the RC-135 Programs. His dedicated service was instrumental to the current success of these important airborne programs.

      CMSgt Jimmie E. Ely, USAF, Ret. passed away 29 May 2006 at his home in Montgomery Alabama. Jimmie retired after 55 years of distinguished service to his country with 32 years retiring as a Chief from the U.S. Air Force, 18 years civilian duty at Wright-Patterson AFB and five years as a contractor. Jimmie was a "corner stone" to the Big Safari Program. His positive dedication, influence and guidance to the many Big Safari programs will continue for many to come.

     Lt. Col. Lloyd T. Navarro, USAF, Ret. passed away on 18 January 2006 in Universal City Texas. Lloyd served his country for over 31 years in both the U. S. Marine Corps and the U. S. Air Force. He was an early RC-135 Raven on many of the Combat Apple missions in the late 60's. After retirement from the service Lloyd was an accountant for the City of  Austin Texas.

     Mr William J. (Bill) McCormick passed away on 4 January 2006 at his home in Austin Texas. Prior to his retirement Bill was the Lead and Senior Project Engineer for the Big Safari ELINT program for E-Systems at the Greenville Division. He was instrumental in the development of the AEELS sensor installed on the RC-135 aircraft. His was a dedicated Engineer and totally devoted to supporting the various Big Safari programs though-out the world.

     Lt. Col. William (Willie) C. Mueller, USAF, Ret. passed away 13 October 2005 according to the Albuquerque Journal, 14 Oct 05 edition. Willie was an early RC-135 Raven and was assigned to the EWO training school at Mather AFB, CA for many years before his retirement. Willie flew as a Raven on many of the Combat Apple missions in the late 60's.   

     Mr Wade Drew Whitaker passed away on 18 September 2005 at his home in Canton Texas. Prior to his retirement he was Vice President of Special Projects (Big Safari) for E-Systems at the Greenville Division. He also served in the United States Air Force. Wade was instrumental in the delivery of the first Block III Rivet Joint Aircraft.

The Associations Current Board of Directors:

President Mr. Bruce Trego

Vice President Mr. Kim High

Secretary/Web Master Mr. Barry A. Kibbe*

Treasurer/Membership Chairman Mr. John Reynolds

Other Elected Board Members

Mr. Ken Belden

Mr. Tom Boyce, III

Mr. Danny Bryant

Mr. Jon Burgoyne

Mr. Tom Coffield*

Mr. Jack Cooke*

Mr. Joe Durant

Mr. Bill Ernst*

Mr. Charles Gilmer

Mr. Bill Grimes*

Mr. Sam Klein

Mr. Charles Gilmer

Mr. Kevin McNellis

Mr. Mike Meermans

Mr. Ralph Pollitt*

* Permanent Director Status (IAW BSA Bylaw 3.1.2)

Appointed Board Member

Chief of Special Projects (AFMC 645 AESG/CC)


Earlier this year we mailed out postcards and letters to you. If you are a BSA Member they had a date after your name. This date indicates your: "Membership Good Thru Date".  If the date shown after your name is 2014 or earlier its time to renew your membership.   Our dues are still: $10 per year or 3 years for $25.00.  If there isn't a date after your name, you are not a BSA member. For those desiring to join the Big Safari Association, you can CLICK on the link below for a the BSA Membership/Renewal form. You can also contact me by the email link below. If necessary we will email you a Membership form. For those wanting to renew your BSA Membership, please mail your dues to our Treasurer: John Reynolds at 4448 Beach Dr. Greenville, TX 75402-8776. Checks should be payable to the: Big Safari Association with RENEW and number (1 or 3 ) of years on the Memo line. Please help keep our data base up to date by letting us know of changes to your mailing and E-mail address or any other changes in your contact information.

CLICK HERE: for the BSA Membership & Renewal Form

"The History of Big Safari (paperback edition)Book" can be found on-line at the Amazon book store

Big Safari Association Membership Book

A copy may be obtained by active BSA members by written request, address shown below, to the association or by E-mail to the Webmaster shown below. Please include your name and mailing and E-mail address in the request. The Association Membership Roster is not available for "Commercial purposes", but for use by only it's active members.

 Man AT Work

(Secretary/Web Master:  Barry A. Kibbe)

Big Safari Association

 10511 Linda Lane

Greenville, TX 75402-3519


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