From Vance student pilot to 10th Air Force commander, Utterback’s career spanned 34 years

  • Published
  • By Sandra Hernandez
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Looking back at the outstanding Air Force leaders who learned to fly here at Vance can give today’s student pilots a glimpse of what their future can hold.

One of those leaders is retired Lt. Gen. Loyd S. “Chip” Utterback.

Utterback was commissioned into the Air Force in 1975 as a distinguished military graduate of Texas A&M University. He began training as an undergraduate pilot here at Vance from March 1976 to March 1977.

He moved to Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, for fighter lead-in training, followed by F-4D combat-crew training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, in January 1978.

After completing F-4D training, Utterback served as an F-4D aircraft commander in Kadena AFB, Japan. He continued to fly in F-4D, F-4C, F-111, and F-16A/B/C/D/CG/CJ aircraft throughout his career as an instructor and as a commander.

During Operation Desert Storm in 1990, Utterback led his squadron on the first daylight attack in Iraq. He later flew 36 combat missions in the F-16 against fixed and mobile targets in Iraq and Kuwait.

He deployed in 2001 to Southwest Asia as the first commander of the 366th Air Expeditionary Wing, where he flew combat sorties supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Utterback’s last assignment was commander of 13th Air Force, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

On Nov. 1, 2009, Utterback retired from active duty with more than 2,900 flight hours. His decorations include Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross with "V" device.

During his retirement, he has served as the CEO of Air Force Villages, an organization dedicated to providing quality retirement living and health care for retired and honorably discharged military officers from all services.