Air Force

May 2, 2014

AFTC’s first executive director to retire

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Rebecca Amber
Staff writer

Maj. Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., Air Force Test Center commander, congratulates Dr. Davy Belk, outgoing AFTC executive director, at Davy’s retirement luncheon at Club Muroc April 23.

Team Edwards†says goodbye to†Dr. Davy Belk as he retires after more than 36 years of service to the Air Force.

Members of the community were invited to join Belk for his retirement luncheon April 23 at Club Muroc. His official retirement ceremony will take place at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.,†in May.

Belk began his Air Force career in 1976 as an associate engineer in maintainability at General Dynamics in Texas. Now, he is retiring as the Air Force Test Center’s first executive director.

“Davy, like his namesake Davy Crockett, has proven to be an invaluable leader as we have embarked on this Five-Center Construct and he will be missed as we continue to forge ahead,” said Maj. Gen. Arnold Bunch, Jr., AFTC commander.

As principal deputy to the center commander, Belk served with extensive authority for broad management, policy development, decision making and effective program execution of the center’s development, test and evaluation mission. His role as an executive manager involved long and short-range planning, policy development, the determination of program and center goals, including those involving scientific and technical matters, and the overall management of the base complex.

As a child, Belk lived on his family’s farm in Levelland, Texas, where he learned to raise cotton, cows and chickens. When he was 17 he met and married his wife Catherine. Following his graduation from Levelland High School, Belk attended the University of Texas while his wife went to work.

During that time, he worked part-time in a lab and three years later, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. From there, Belk took a job working for General Dynamics where he counted fasteners on the panels of F-16s.

One year later, Belk and his family packed their bags and headed for Florida. Belk was given the opportunity to set up an organic flutter analysis and flight test capability for the Air Force to weaponize the F-16 at the Air Force Armament Laboratory, today known as the Munitions Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

From there, Belk dedicated nearly three decades to research, technology development, system development and sustainment activities. In 1987, he received the Air Force’s Harold Brown Award for his work in developing computational fluid dynamics methods, which formed the basis for modeling and simulation tools used by the Air Force Seek Eagle Office for analysis of aircraft and store compatibility. In 2002, he became the executive director of the Seek Eagle Office.

Davy has served at Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command as Technical Director for the Directorate of Engineering and Technical Management.

At Hill Air Force Base, Utah, he served as director of the Engineering Directorate for the Ogden Air Logistics Center, where he was responsible for the overall scientific and engineering expertise for more than 1,000 scientists and engineers at the center.
“The Air Force itself is better off today because nearly 40 years ago Davy Belk took the discipline, the know-how and the work ethic he developed on the farm and put them to use developing and testing the weapons this nation uses to ensure its continued defense of freedom throughout the world,” said Bunch.

Davy will retire to Fort Worth, Texas, to be near his family.




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