TACAMO Fallen Veteran - Albert E. Wilkerson
July 13, 1945 - Feb 9, 2022
Albert E. Wilkerson, Retired Marine and previous E-6 FST Lead. It is with deep sadness that ASI acknowledges the loss of a dear employee and friend. Al Wilkerson passed away Wed. morning at home in Oklahoma City. Al was a giant in the field of supportability, especially in USN and USMC aviation. As an associates described: “ASI built a company around what Al taught us.” Al served 20 years as a United States Marine and epitomized the phrase, “Semper Fidelis.” His standout career included duty with fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and staff positions and hands-on maintenance on many USMC aircraft. His career included combat tours in some of the most intense battles in Vietnam, including Chu Lai, where 216 Marines were lost, and 26 aircraft were destroyed. Al retired as a MSgt in 1982 and started a new career as a civilian in NAVAIR, where he used his experience in the field to ensure that the those on active duty received the best possible support for the systems they worked on. His impact on the support of Naval aircraft is probably unsurpassed by any other individual in the past 50 years. He was responsible for directing the supportability analysis for the A-12 Program. Although the A-12 was never fielded, it provided a myriad of lessons learned and Al was a force in bringing those lessons learned to NAVAIR. From the A-12, he moved on to the E-6 TACAMO Program where he led several game-changing support initiatives. He led development of the E-6 Enhanced Phased Maintenance Program, significantly reducing out of service time. E-6 EPM directly led to the Integrated Maintenance Concept which is now implemented on nearly all Naval Aircraft. He pioneered new methods for In-service Maintenance Planning that are now used in varying degrees on many programs. After retiring for a 2nd time, Al became a contractor where he led development of supportability training for NAVAIR. As a highly respected expert in the field, Al personally provided training to over 3,000 NAVAIR employees. Many of whom now serve in senior positions within NAVAIR. Through these efforts he inspired many of the creative solutions that ASI is known for. From hiring one of ASIs founders as a young contractor on their very first delivery order, long before ASI was thought of, to being one of our toughest customers, to inspiring the work we do today, Al will always be a huge part of our legacy. Al was a leader, innovator, and tireless advocate for the discipline of supportability. He was a great storyteller, and the stories of his exploits will be remembered and retold by those who heard them for as long as we carry on. Some of our best memories will be of Al holding court the bar on travel, telling stories such as one about a buddy in Vietnam appropriately nicknamed “Gummer” who pawned his gold teeth so they could have a night out on the town. But most of all, Al will be remembered as a great and loyal friend who always looked out for the rest of us. Al, you will be greatly missed but never forgotten. Fair winds and following seas old friend.
The funeral service is Saturday, Feb 19, 2022 at 1300 at Barnes Friederich Funeral Home at 1820 S. Douglass Blvd. Midwest City, OK 73130. The grave side service will directly follow at Arlington Memory Gardens Cemetary at 3400 N Midwest Blvd. Oklahoma City, OK 73141.
TCVA extends its sympathy and prayer for peace to Albert E. Wilkerson's family and friends during this time of the passing.