Gen William Shelton, USAF (Ret)
2023 Space Warfighting Forum (SWF)
General Shelton retired as Commander, Air Force Space Command, in September 2014. During his career, he commanded space operations units at every level and held staff positions in a wide range of Air Force and Department of Defense organizations. In his final assignment, he led a team of over 40,000 at Air Force Space Command to provide space and cyberspace operational forces as well as acquisition of space systems. In this role, he was responsible for a budget of over $10 billion. During his career, General Shelton was a Space Shuttle controller for the first 18 missions, commander of Global Positioning System operations during the initial deployment of the constellation, and commander of the largest ballistic missile wing. He also commanded all Department of Defense space operations during internationally significant events such as the Chinese anti-satellite test and the North Korean Taepo Dong launch. He served as the CIO of the Air Force and the director of the Air Force headquarters staff during one of the most turbulent periods in the Air Force’s history. General Shelton earned a bachelor of science degree in astronautical engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, a master of science degree in astronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a master of science degree in national security studies from the National War College.