Ricky Thomas is a private consultant for unmanned aircraft systems projects, advising organizations on unmanned aviation decision processes, complex concept presentations, training, operations planning, and proposal generation. Rick also serves on the board of directors for the Northland Community and Technical College’s Aerospace Foundation.
Rick holds a Masters in Business Administration in Aviation Management and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. He is also a certified Corporate Sustainability Manager and offers professional services to companies interested in sustainability strategies, reporting, and ‘triple bottom line’ practices. He is currently engaged in researching and writing a book on the in-depth history and background of the RQ-4 Global Hawk program, expected publish date is mid-2013.
Rick is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with 21 years of experience as a pilot and Subject Matter Expert (SME) for unmanned aircraft systems. He is a seasoned and results-producing professional with experience in positively leading and impacting military projects in the areas of operations, training, policy, strategy and acquisition for billion dollar programs. Rick is a skilled, persuasive speaker and writer experienced in communicating with Congressional as well as diverse domestic and international groups.
While on active duty, Rick was assigned to Headquarters Air Force with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (A2) directorate and was the functional manager for the 25 billion dollar USAF RQ-4 Global Hawk program and SME on high altitude reconnaissance platforms. Additionally, he was also the A2 airspace integration functional manager for unmanned aircraft systems. His military career included assignments as a budget and finance officer, a nuclear weapons courier, a joint training flight instructor, and a forward deployed squadron commander. He was a qualified pilot in the C-9A, C-141B, T-34C, T-6A, RQ-2, YRQ-4 and RQ-4A aircraft.
Rick is a FAA Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) and volunteers his time with the Civil Air Patrol as a search and rescue pilot and with the Wreaths Across America veteran’s recognition program.
An Unmanned Systems Technologies and Management Company