|United States Secretary of the Air Force|
April 6, 1986 - December 16, 1988
Acting: April 6, 1986 - June 8, 1986
|Russell A. Rourke|
|9th Director of the National Reconnaissance Office|
August 3, 1981 - December 16, 1988
|Robert J. Hermann|
|Martin C. Faga|
Edward Cleveland Aldridge Jr.
August 18, 1938
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Texas A&M University, College Station (BS)|
Georgia Institute of Technology (MS)
Edward "Pete" Cleveland Aldridge Jr. (born August 18, 1938) is an aerospace engineer and former government official in the U.S. Defense Department. He was also selected as a payload specialist for the Space Shuttle mission STS-62-A, scheduled to launch in July 1986. The mission was canceled after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in January 1986, and Aldridge never flew.
At the Department of Defense in the 1980s, Aldridge served as the Under Secretary of the Air Force from 1981 to 1986, Director of the National Reconnaissance Office 1981-1988, and the Secretary of the Air Force from 1986 to 1988. Under President George W. Bush, he was the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics from 2001 to 2003.
Edward Cleveland Aldridge Jr. was born in Houston, Texas, the son of Lillie Idell (Née Radford) and Edward Cleveland Aldridge. Aldridge received a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from Texas A&M University in 1960 and a Master of Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Aldridge was confirmed as the Pentagon's top weapons buyer on May 8, 2001. As the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, he had responsibility for acquisition, research and development, logistics, advanced technology, international programs, environmental security, nuclear, chemical, and biological programs, and the industrial base.
In 2002, during his time as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, he authorized the acquisition of the F-35's before critical developmental testing was finished and stated the F-35 was "setting new standards for technological advances" and "rewriting the books on acquisition and business practices." His successor voiced a different opinion in 2012. "This will make a headline if I say it, but I'm going to say it anyway," Frank Kendall said. "Putting the F-35 into production years before the first test flight was acquisition malpractice. It should not have been done." As of 2012, the military has spent $373 million to fix planes already bought; the ultimate repair bill for imperfect planes has been estimated at close to $8 billion.
He served in a variety of jobs, including:
In 2005, Aldridge received the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award, by the Space Foundation. The award is in recognition for individuals who have made substantial contributions to space technology, information, themes, or resources.