Mr. Fred Hankerson, III

Mr. Fred Hankerson is a 1987 graduate of the University Minnesota, Minneapolis, where he also received his commission into the United States Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. He has a Master of Arts degree in Military Arts and Sciences from the Air University and a Master of Science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University.

Following Missile Combat Crew Training at Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB, California, he was assigned to Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota for Combat Crew Qualification training. Positions serviced during that assignment included Deputy Missile Combat Crew Member with the 321st Strategic Missile Wing, 448th Strategic Missile Squadron, Weapons Instructor in the 321st Operations Group, Missile Combat Crew Commander with 448th Strategic Missile Squadron. From 1992-1995 he served at Vandenberg AFB, California as a Weapons Systems Evaluator for the 321st Standardization and Evaluation Division, as an Emergency War Orders (EWO) Training Instructor for the 321 Operations Group, and Senior EWO Instructor in the 4315 Combat Crew Training Squadron. In 1995, he was board selected to the prestigious “Top Hand” program, where the top 1% of Air Force missileers perform the critical Follow-on Test and Evaluation of Air Force nuclear weapon systems. As a Test Director and Manager, he led over 12 weapon system flight tests, simulated electronic launch tests, and computer/propulsion performance tests for DoD and national agencies.

Additional Operational Assignments include: Chief of Flight Test, Aerospace Fusion Center, Space Warfare Center (SWC) (1998-2000), Deputy Chief, and Commanders Action Group, SWC (2000-2001). In 2001, he completed the Air Command and Staff College followed by a tour as the Chief of Readiness to the HQ European Command (EUCOM) located in Stuttgart, Germany, where he was responsible for assessing and providing current and projected status of readiness and capabilities of forces assigned to EUCOM. From 2004-2006, then LtCol Hankerson served as Director of Operations, 564 Missile Squadron, second in command of a 106 missile combat crew operators, facility managers (FMs), chefs and administers; ensuring the combat readiness of five missile alert facilities and 50 Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). In April 2006, LtCol Hankerson took command of the 701st Munitions Support Squadron, United States Air Forces Europe, in Kleine Brogel, Belgium, and was responsible for all operational command and control, maintenance, security, custody and operational release of Priority Level 1 war reserve munitions. LtCol Hankerson returned to EUCOM in 2008 as the Deputy Chief, WMD Division, EUCOM Plans Directorate J5 where he led a diverse 20-person division responsible for the development, analysis and initiatives for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD), nuclear policy, surety, and force structure. In September 2010, LtCol Hankerson retired from the Air Force and transitioned to serve as a Department of the Army civilian and held the position of Chief, Readiness and Assessments Branch, Joint Training and Readiness Directorate J7, U.S. Africa Command.

Mr. Hankerson transitioned to the Chief of Programs Requirements and Resources, within the Joint Training and Exercises Directorate (J7), Headquarters United States Africa Command, where he was responsible for the supervision and management of all resource matters and programming support for the Joint Force Training, Readiness and Exercise Directorate. He was the Directorate lead on issues relating to: Information Technology (IT), information and knowledge management, logistics and facilities, personnel administration, contracting, safety, security, and financial management. He provided oversight of the tasking, planning, development and production of directorate documents, administrative conference planning, contract and logistic support, exercise and training resource requirements.

January 2016-May 2022 Mr. Hankerson became the Deputy to the Garrison Commander, Picatinny Arsenal New Jersey.

In June 2022, Mr. Hankerson became the Deputy to the Garrison Commander, USAG White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; responsible for the management and direction of installation and tenant activity operations for the installation. He provides administrative program direction to civilian directors and special staff involved in a wide variety of functional program areas and participates fully with the garrison commander to formulate goals, policies, and objectives for the garrison. He monitors the implementation of higher-level policies and guidance and makes recommendations to both the Commanding General and Garrison Commander to adapt guidance for local situations. He is solely responsible for implementing internal controls to produce a sound system of accountability and presents recommendations to the Garrison Commander for new organizational structures and management methods.

Mr. Hankerson has over 22 years military experience with the U.S. Air Force and eleven years of government service as a Department of Army civilian. He is a recognized expert in nuclear weapon system operations, security and policy. He has prepared and developed CWMD program and budget requirements to the commander's Integrated Priority List to support the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and has coordinated CWMD program activities with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, other combatant commands and component commands. He has also assessed command plans and programs for non- proliferation implications that support national strategic guidance to include: the National Military Strategy (NMS), Defense Planning Guidance (DPG), and the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).

As a Dept of Army civilian he is a command exercise and training transformation expert. He is a subject matter expert on military, civilian and contractor manpower requirements and is a strategic force multiplier for DoD manpower solutions. 

Military Schools and Certifications:

  • NATO Nuclear Operations Course 2009
  • EUCOM Staff Officer Training Course 2008
  • Air War College 2008
  • Air Command and Staff College, Air University Montgomery, AL (2002)
  • Air War College 2008
  • Squadron Officer School 1994
  • Academic Instructor Course 1991
  • Advanced Certificate in Nuclear Surety from the DTRAs Defense Nuclear Weapon School
  • Intermediate level certification in Nuclear Operations from DTRAs Defense Nuclear Weapon School
  • ACQ 101 level 1, Defense Acquisition University, 1998/TST 101, ACQ Workforce Test and Evaluation, Defense Acquisition University, 1997


Awards and Distinctions:

As the Director of Operations - unit awarded Squadron of the Year '06 for the 341st OG, most "Professional Team Award distinctions in 20AF and the highest number of "Highly Qualified" evaluation scores in the 341MW.

As the 701st MUNSS commander - unit awarded several AF Safety Center Nuclear Surety Plaques only USAFE unit to do so in '06, 3 times awarded the Hennessey Award for best small unit dining facility in USAFE, only unit in USAFE to score "Outstanding" for the Personnel Reliability Program, DNSI '07.