Friday, August 1, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

EDHS grad retires as USAF general

By
From page A1 | July 17, 2013 |

By Ian Thompson

Daily Republic

Nearly 40 years later, 1976 El Dorado High School graduate Bobby Allardice never thought the uniform of an Air Force officer would be such a good fit.

“By the 10-year reunion of my high school, I had seen 73 countries. It still amazes me, how much of the world I have seen,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert R. Allardice said in a phone interview before his retirement after serving 33 years in the Air Force and attaining the rank of lieutenant general.

It has been a long career of hard work, Allardice said, “but it has truely been an honor to serve, because you serve with such great airmen,” Allardice said. “I am proud to have been a part of one of the world’s greatest organizations.”

Allardice, who currently calls Washington state home, is retiring from the Air Force at Scott AFB, Ill., on Sept. 1.

He grew up in Northern California while his father worked in the forest industry. During his time at El Dorado High School, he got involved in soccer and served as the junior class president in 1975.

That was the year that he and several other El Dorado students went to Sacramento to photograph then-President Gerald Ford and interview their area’s state assemblyman.

The students were in front of the Senator Hotel when Lynette “Squeaky” Fromm tried to shoot Ford but was restrained before she could get off a shot.

“We went down to see if we could get an interview with the president and were standing on other side of crowd line. I was very impressed with how the Secret Service reacted and protected the president who was white as a sheet,” Allardice said.

Allardice even went as far as offering a handkerchief to a government agent who had cut his hand and interviewed several people who were talking to Ford when the gun was shoved at him. The interviewees thought the students were young reporters because they were well dressed in suits and ties.

When looking back on how his time in El Dorado County affected him, Allardice said his community and his teachers were a very big influence. He specifically mentioned guidance counselor Joyce Boesch and English teacher the late Gordon Purdy.

He dreamed of pilot training since he was a kid and when he was a freshmen in El Dorado High School, his career was launched when he was given an Air Force Academy handbook from a friend “and I read it from cover to cover.” Allardice pointed out his teachers solidly backed him in his efforts to get into the academy.

“It was the only place that I applied for,” said Allardice.

Allardice’s love of aviation helped get him through what he called four really hard, but rewarding years in a class he described as containing “great people that I wanted to serve with.”

“I initially wanted to be a fighter pilot, but I talked to those air mobility guys who talked about being able to fly around the world and were always where the action was,” Allardice said of why he gravitated toward Air Mobility Command in his early career.

His first assignment as a second lieutenant was Travis Air Force Base, which he remembers “as very windy, but I was thrilled to be flying missions all over the world, especially out into the Pacific.”

“Every few years, we get through the area. I’d like to see it again soon,” Allardice said.

Allardice graduated with the first Air Force Academy class to include women.

“To think now that it was such a novelty to have a woman in our organization,” Allardice said, noting that women now serve in every part of the Air Force. That includes a personal commitment on his family’s part since all three of his daughters have gone into the Air Force.

During the next three decades, Allardice flew the C-141 Starlifter, the C-5 Galaxy and the C-17 Globemaster III, he also took on more and more command responsibilities that included serving as commander of the 437th Operations Group at Charleston AFB, SC; commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord AFB, Wash., and commander of the 18th Air Force at Scott AFB. Ill.

“It has been a privilege to command at every level,” said Allardice of his succession of commands that culminated with serving as vice commander of Air Mobility Command. “I got to work with the world’s finest folks.”

Allardice was operations commander at Charleston AFB when 9/11 happened “and within a couple of weeks, we were dropping humanitarian supplies at the same time that we were doing combat operations.”

“It was the thrill of a lifetime and I was so proud to be a part of that. It was a phenomenal, life-changing event,”

During the invasion of Iraq, he commanded a C-17 airdrop mission in March, 2003, to put a brigade in northern Iraq, “the largest single airdrop since World War II,” Allardice said.

Of all his assignments, he said that his year in Iraq during the surge was his most rewarding and difficult when he worked to build an Iraqi air force.

The Air Force has gotten smaller during his career and it has gotten busier with the tasks put before Air Mobility Command in the War on Terror.

“Every two minutes. an airplane takes off. Someone needs something and we are going to get it to them,” Allardice said. “No matter where a disaster happens, if the U.S. responds with the military, we will find a way to succeed.”

What has impressed Allardice about the Air Force is how much the families support their service members and how dedicated young service members are to doing their jobs.

“I cannot express how much I appreciate how patriotic Americans are,” Allardice said of times he has seen people applaud his airmen when they come home from deployments or have offered to pay the check for their meals. “Americans are great patriots.”

He also remembers one young airman during a stop at Ramstein Air Base in Germany who he found taking a short nap after working almost an entire day on the flightline preparing a humanitarian mission to Afghanistan.

“I shook his shoulder and asked how long he had been up, and then told him to go get some sleep. He then asked me not to tell him to leave the flightline until his aircraft took off. You can’t imagine how inspirational that is to be around such young people who are committed to the mission,” Allardice said.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Comments

comments

Special to the Democrat

.

News

Cameron Park house burns

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Supes delay petition

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

Fire generated small city, inspired volunteers

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Sand Fire 95% contained

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Two fires in town

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A3

SUV hits parked cars

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

The weekly Daley: The wrong side of history

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

 
Billingsley’s bullets: Advice from my psychiatrist

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

.

Letters

EID rate discrimination

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Second Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

Pollock Pines’ Fourth of July Parade

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Water conservation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

Koby

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Debt reduction at EID with Coco?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Time for change in CP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Olives need less water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

.

Sports

Camp draws good numbers

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
New law tackles gridiron concussion problem

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Rafting denied

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A9

 
Racing returns with big 5-division card

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A9

Roundup: July 31, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

 
.

Prospecting

Sing while you paint

By Placerville Arts Association | From Page: B1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Plenty of golden fun during SlugFest

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: Aug. 1, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2

 
The making of a champion

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B2

Art on the Divide is showing new exhibitor

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B3

 
‘The Flu Season’ stirs emotions

By Ovation Stage | From Page: B4

Guitar group performs in Sutter Creek

By Sutter Creek | From Page: B5

 
Time to register for classes at Center Stage

By Center Stage Dance Academy | From Page: B5

Get a groove on in Sutter Creek

By Sutter Creek | From Page: B8

 
Chris Young in concert at Carson Valley Inn

By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B8

The music continues at Bear Valley Music Festival

By News Release | From Page: B8

 
Sacramento Museums are celebrating

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B9

 
.

Essentials

Weather stats

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 17-19

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Larry A. Randall

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Mark A. Smith

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jeffie “Jeff” Lee Callahan

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Patsy Ruth Wing

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

Decorating your home by the numbers

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

 
Avoiding the deal killers

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

Press Release | From Page: HS7

 
Luxury home sales jump

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Pending home sales decrease in June

Press Release | From Page: HS13

 
Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

Press Release | From Page: HS17

Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

Press Release | From Page: HS23

 
.

Comics

.

Home Source

Decorating your home by the numbers

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

Avoiding the deal killers

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Luxury home sales jump

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Pending home sales decrease in June

Press Release | From Page: HS13

Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

Press Release | From Page: HS17

Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

Press Release | From Page: HS23