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Ise takes on role of IMA to AEDC Commander

Col. Carl Ise (U.S. Air Force photo)

Col. Carl Ise (U.S. Air Force photo)


During the interview for his latest job, Col. Carl Ise described the opportunity to work for Arnold Engineering Development Complex as a “dream come true.”

The time he has spent in AEDC facilities and among the workforce since landing his new role has only served to strengthen this sentiment. 

“AEDC is steeped in history and advanced technologies, which I find fascinating and am thrilled to be a part of,” Ise said. “Everyone I’ve had the pleasure to meet has been simply amazing, and I look forward to continue engaging with the AEDC family and facilities.”

Ise is the new Individual Mobilization Augmentee, or IMA, to the AEDC Commander. He began this assignment on July 15, working out of Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee, the headquarters of AEDC.

IMAs are Reservists matrixed to active duty units to provide specific skill sets that augment mission performance. Additionally, IMAs bring civilian experiences that provide additional perspectives to find solutions to challenges in accomplishing the mission.

“As the senior IMA at AEDC, I am responsible for managing the IMA program to ensure we deliver high-quality capabilities to the AEDC mission and I directly support Col. Jeffrey Geraghty in his capacity as AEDC Commander,” Ise said.

From technology development, acquisition management and instruction to space launch operations and headquarters-level policy coordination, Ise brings with him a diverse career background. In his civilian career, he has worked at various levels of large liquid rocket engine and launch vehicle development, ranging from line engineer to headquarters-level interagency policy coordination.

Ise received his commission through the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. His initial assignment was to the C-17 System Program Office at the Aeronautical System Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Other past assignments include Executive Officer for the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, Chief of the Airborne Instrument Branch at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, Formal Training Instructor in Acquisition Management at the Air Force Institute of Technology School of System and Logistics at Wright-Patterson, Architecture Development Engineering for the National Security Space Office at the Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and IMA to the Commander of the 45th Range Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.

His major awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation medal with oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with oak leaf cluster.

Ise graduated from Auburn University in 1993, earning a bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering. He earned his Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1998, and he earned his Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2012. He is a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College, all based out of Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, as well as the Reserve Component National Security Course at National Defense University in Washington, D.C.   

Ise transitioned to the Air Force Reserve in 2000.

Prior to taking on the role of IMA to the AEDC Commander, Ise served as Acquisition Manager in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Space Acquisition and Integration at the Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon. There, he delivered launch vehicle expertise and advised the assistant secretary on all launch vehicle matters related to the National Security Space requirements and industrial base planning and provided interdepartmental coordination to inform strategic Department of Defense Space plans, policies and acquisition.

“My previous assignments have taught me that we can have the most technologically-advanced systems that do amazing things, from defending our nation to advancing science for the well-being of all, but none of this would be possible without the highly-skilled and motivated people dedicated to making it happen,” Ise said.

In his civilian capacity, Ise works for NASA as the Operations Integration Branch Manager for the Payload and Mission Operations Division, supporting science and payload utilization on the International Space Station. He has 20 years of service with NASA.

IMA to the AEDC Commander marks Ise’s first assignment at Arnold. He said it is an honor to lead and serve with the AEDC workforce.

“In the short time I’ve been at AEDC, I’ve been overwhelmed by the professionalism, dedication to proving system superiority, and the very personal and warm welcoming into the AEDC family,” Ise said.

Ise said he has three primary goals in his new role: to continue to grow a strong, cohesive and vibrant IMA program across AEDC with highly-skilled and motivated Reservist personnel; to pursue opportunities for collaboration between AEDC and external test work, with a focus at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center; and to apply his experience as a Ph.D., IMA and NASA engineer to provide leadership and mentoring to help others succeed in their goals.

He added the work that occurs across AEDC is highly important.

“AEDC is uniquely positioned to lead developmental test and evaluation in support of our National Defense Strategy,” Ise said. “The work we do characterizes the sharpness of our sword and the resiliency of our shield. Therefore, we must ensure our infrastructure and testing capabilities are second to none.”

He also wanted to share a message for the AEDC workforce in these tumultuous times.

“Success is borne out by having a positive attitude, being resolute in the face of adversity, and having the strength to rely on others in times of need,” Ise said. “In these times of COVID, racial tensions, and highly-partisan politics, we need these traits more now than ever. I encourage you to take time for yourself to maintain a positive outlook, keep faith that we’ll get through, and seek out others to reconnect or connect with someone new. We need each other as we navigate life’s challenges.”

Ise lives with his wife Dayna and their two sons in Huntsville. He grew up in Huntsville, and his father worked for NASA on many space projects, including work with Wernher von Braun on the Saturn Program. Ise said he enjoys traveling, snow skiing and is an avid college football fan, following with great enthusiasm his alma mater Auburn.