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Mr. Ronald B. Cortopassi


Mr. Ronald B. Cortopassi is the executive director for the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The executive director is directly linked to the wing commander and provides continuity of senior management, offers technical advice and counsel in matters of policy and direction, watches out for the health and wellness of the civilian component of Vandenberg AFB, and ensures the 30th Space Wing functions as a world-class range and test facility.

After earning a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from California Polytechnic State University in 1983, Mr. Cortopassi began his civil service career at the Western Space and Missile Center, Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Mr. Cortopassi has served in a variety of positions, including the executive secretary for the STS Flight Termination Criteria Evaluation Committee, developer of the STS Range Safety Display simulator, certified skyscreen and telemetry observer, and lead flight safety analyst for the 30th Space Wing's first Titan IV launch.

Mr. Cortopassi also wrote collision avoidance software, terminal area hazard and caution area determination software, ship-hit probability software and general mapping software for use by the flight safety analyst. During his tenure as chief engineer for 30th Space Wing Safety, Mr. Cortopassi was responsible for oversight of all aspects of range systems and launch vehicle development and processing to ensure 'cradle to grave' safety of all launch missions at the 30th Space Wing. His duties included development of requirements for range tracking and command systems, development and approval of up-range and downrange hazard areas, development and approval of in-flight abort criteria, and providing final range safety "clear-to-launch" to the spacelift commander during launch countdowns. 


1983 Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
2004 Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, N.C.


1. August 1983 - January 1990, Flight Safety Analyst, Safety Office, Western Space and Missile Center, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
2. January 1990 - September 1992, Chief, Operations Safety Analysis, 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
3. September 1992 - August 2000, Chief, Flight Analysis Office, 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
4. August 2000 - December 2005, Chief Engineer, 30th Space Wing Safety, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
5. January 2006 - Present, Executive Director, 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

(Current as of August 2009)