2019 William Thomas

It is with great pleasure that the Precision Strike Association presents the Richard H. Johnson Award and the Johnson Trophy to William L. Thomas. The Johnson Award recognizes outstanding personal technical achievement resulting in significant contribution to precision strike systems.

The impact of William’s many contributions extends across the precision strike community. Most notably, William’s work in the United States Air Force has impacted more than one generation of precision-guided weapons, both air-to-ground and air-to-air.

In particular, the award jury takes note of his contributions to Net Enabled Weapons (NEW) technology. NEW spans multiple launch platforms, targeting systems, and guided weapons. William’s NEW contributions went beyond the program boundaries of SDB to enable interoperability and open information exchange, ushering in dramatic new capabilities for operational forces.

Like Dick Johnson, for whom the award is named, William has a background which includes a large number of precision guided weapons.  William has worked at more than one corporation, and has made personal technical contributions to many systems. His USAF career included joint weapons which have enhanced operations across the DoD and a host of allied nations. 

From 1984 to 2019, William served in various roles in precision strike, including work on BOXOFFICE, the USAF predecessor to AIM-9X, Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser, and Small Diameter Bomb.

One criterion for the Johnson Trophy is recognition by other institutions. William has been recognized with a number of awards and honors, including the 2018 AFLCMC Technical Leadership Award.

As the result of these and other contributions, the Precision Strike Association is proud to name William Thomas as the recipient of the eleventh annual Richard H. Johnson Technical Achievement Award and the 2019 Johnson Trophy.


October 23, 2019


Wayne Willhite and William Thomas