Blue and Gold - Fall 2021 | Winter 2022 Volume 2 - Issue 2 - Page 52

alum paved the way for top flight air field

Robert A . “ Bob ” Jones , Class of 1984 , spent a career in the United States Air Force making sure runways were safe for the precision takeoffs and landings of the fighter jets , bombers and military transport aircraft operating out of Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter , SC .
Shaw serves as the headquarters for the 20th Fighter Wing , Air Force and Army Central Command Headquarters , as well as 9th and 15th Air Force Command Headquarters .
Recently retired , the Graham High School graduate received his BS in Mining Engineering Technology and AS in Civil Engineering Technology from Bluefield State . Bob started at Bluefield State in 1969 , then left to join the Air Force as a cryptographic technician repairman . There , he repaired equipment that encoded and decoded top secret information transmitted through military commands . the mining industry . He started working for companies in McDowell County . At the same time , he re-enrolled at Bluefield State wanting to finish his degree . His initial work at A . T . Massey as a surveyor led to other assignments within the Safety Department . Eventually , he
During his next 36 years , Bob oversaw projects totaling $ 1.2 billion . Among his most noted accomplishments were the replacement and rebuilding of both runways and runway components .
Following an honorable discharge in 1973 as a Sgt E-4 , Bob returned to Bluefield . There he met and married Alva , his wife of now 48 years .
He also began what promised to be a career in
Bob Jones , Class of 1984 , on the tarmac of Shaw Air Force Base . Photo with permission of the United States Air Force .