Lieutenant Colonel Ed “Hertz” Vaughan is deployed to McMurdo Station, Antarctica for 50 days as commander of the Joint Task Force – Support Forces Antarctica (JTF-SFA) detachment, supporting the United States Antarctic Program (USAP). During the early part of the 2010-11 austral summer season, he will serve as senior U.S. military officer in Antarctica, supporting the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) science mission. When not deployed, Colonel Vaughan serves as Chief, Joint Operations and Plans on JTF-SFA staff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, where he reports to the Deputy Commander, JTF-SFA.
Col Vaughan began his military flying career by serving part-time in the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing as an LC-130 polar navigator and later, pilot. He first deployed to the Greenlandic icecap in 1992 and began flying Operation DEEP FREEZE (ODF) missions in Antarctica during the 1993-94 USAP season. He subsequently participated in six more ODF seasons, in both flying and non-flying roles.
In 1998, Vaughan retrained in the Air Force F-16, eventually serving as an instructor fighter pilot. He served with the 174th and 122nd Fighter Wings in Syracuse, NY and Fort Wayne, IN, respectively. Col Vaughan deployed to Southwest Asia to fly in combat operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM. His overseas duty also includes time in South Korea, Western Europe, West Africa, Central America, among others.
In 2005, Vaughan began active duty at the National Guard Bureau (NGB), serving as Chief, Aviation Safety Division, and Deputy Director, Safety for the Air National Guard (ANG). His 2007 initiation and leadership of the Wingman Project suicide prevention program, as well as the Department of Defense-funded aviation safety portals, SeeAndAvoid.org and Deconflict.org, were credited with saving lives. In 2007, Vaughan won the Chief of Staff of the Air Force individual safety trophy, and in 2008 he was inducted in the US Air Force Safety Hall of Fame, an ANG first in both cases.
Graduating from Air War College with distinction in 2009, Vaughan then served as Deputy Director of Blue Horizons, in the USAF Center for Strategy and Technology. He researched and helped prepare a report to CSAF outlining impacts of the exponential change in technology on the mission of the Air Force, during the ‘Age of Surprise’.
Vaughan is a member of the Colorado Air National Guard serving on active duty with the NGB. He holds an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he participated in Air Force ROTC. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Antarctic Service Medal, and others. He has over 200 combat flying hours and nearly 3000 total hours in F-16 (B, C, D, F models), C-130 (E, H1, H2, H3 models), LC-130, AT-38, T-43, T-38, T-37, T-3 and other aircraft.
In October and November 2010, Vaughan will co-produce a series, Dispatches from Antarctica, which will feature his first-hand experiences supporting NSF scientific research through the US Antarctic Program.
Vaughan co-produced a Antarctica Q&A Series in February and March of 2010, which featured various servicemembers working on Operation DEEP FREEZE in Antarctica.
He was also featured in the Armed with Science Podcast #35, Disruptive Solutions Process, in September 2009. The discussion explored how employing old technology in radically new ways can result in high yield solutions that challenge conventional thinking. Listen.