Lominac retires after 40 years of civil service

Kent Lominac, chief of the AEDC Capital Improvements Branch, retires Feb. 3 from civil service after 40 years.

Kent Lominac, chief of the AEDC Capital Improvements Branch, retires Feb. 3 from civil service after 40 years.

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. -- When Kent Lominac, chief of the AEDC Capital Improvements Branch, started his career with the government, he would begin a journey that would present many projects until retirement Feb. 3.

Lominac writes about portions of his career path and experiences before his departure.

HM: Who was your first employer at AEDC?

Lominac: I arrived at AEDC in October of 1977 with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, and have worked here ever since, giving me a total of 39 years and 4 months.

High Mach: What led you on your path to work at AEDC?

Kent Lominac: My wife is originally from Tullahoma and her father worked for ARO [Arnold Research Organization, Inc.]. When she and I became engaged, I was working in Atlanta for a private consulting firm. On the weekends I would drive to Tullahoma on the AEDC Access Road (Wattendorf Highway) and go past the main entrance to AEDC. I saw the marquee outside the main gate such that I became aware of AEDC. On one visit, her father brought me to AEDC and toured me around, showing me the various test facilities and the overall complex.

HM: What are the other areas you have worked throughout your career, including AEDC?

Lominac: Almost eight years of the 40 year total was with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and roughly seven years of the eight years was with the Corps of Engineers here at AEDC. I started my career in Tampa, Florida, with the Jacksonville District of the Corps of Engineers and when I came to AEDC, I moved to the Mobile, Alabama, district. Since moving to the Air Force in 1985, I initially started in the Base Civil Engineering Group. Later I moved to the newly formed Maintenance Group and finally worked in the Capital Investments/Improvements Group.

HM: How do you see the future of AEDC?

Lominac: As long as the country has a need for defense and warfighters, AEDC will always be needed in my opinion. AEDC has been on the leading edge of development for the country, Department of Defense and the Air Force. The future needs of the Air Force will not look like the needs of today. With the expanding frontier in space, weapons development, newer and greater aircraft, both fighter and support, AEDC has played an integral part of prior expansion in these areas. I see no reason why it won’t continue into the future. With an aging infrastructure, test facilities and capabilities, a greater focus will be required to maintain and improve as much as possible these facilities and capabilities to ensure AEDC can support the warfighter.

HM: What will you miss most about AEDC and why?

Lominac: This is a complex question in that I definitely will miss the people of AEDC. Over my career of 40 years, you can only imagine the individuals that I’ve worked with, both contractor and Government, dealt with, and become friends with – some very close friends. Many are retired and others have passed on. I have vivid memories of all. AEDC has some of the most professional people that I’ve had the experience to work with throughout my career. I will miss the dedicated mission focus and effort necessary and required to support our warfighters. I will also miss the opportunities to be a part of an enterprise dedicated to providing the capabilities and means for the defense of this great country.

HM: What is your most memorable moment at AEDC?

Lominac: I have several memorable events such that it is hard to single only one moment. Basically, there are three moments that I remember as very significant while at AEDC. One is being selected as the Air Force’s National Society of Professional Engineers Federal Engineer of the Year and one of the top three individuals for the Department of Defense’s National Society of Professional Engineers Federal Engineer of the Year. The second most memorable event was being a part of the Aeropropulsion Systems Test Facility (ASTF) construction. I arrived at AEDC shortly after the ground breaking for ASTF and remained with the program to fruition, which included the transfer to the Air Force of the completed, operational facility. The total time for the ASTF project was nearly eight years. And the third event was being the AEDC Program Manager for the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program to relocate the testing capability of the U. S. Navy at their test facilities in Trenton, New Jersey, to AEDC. This program was known as the Trenton Transition and lasted approximately five years from beginning to end.

HM: What are your retirement plans?

Lominac: Currently, my wife and I have no imminent plans for travel or major activities. We will continue to provide the care and support for her mother. We plan to continue with improvements, modernization and upgrading of our home in Tullahoma. Amid those activities, I am going to try and sneak in some golf games when I can as well as continuing to teach basic engineering courses at Motlow State Community College, where I’ve been teaching there off and on for over 35 years.