Meet Your ... ICBM Operations Trainer

Darrel Johnson, ICBM Operations Trainer with the 90th Operations Support Squadron, poses at his desk June 14, in the Missile Procedures Trainer on F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Photo by Glenn S. Robertson

What’s your name?

DJ Johnson

Where do you work?

90 OSS

So what do you do around here?

I’m an ICBM Operations Trainer…in layman’s terms, I help train the new ICBM operators that get assigned to the 90th Operations Group.

What do you feel you contribute to the mission?  

Continuity. I’ve always looked up to civilians who have retired from active duty, and continue to support the mission. Those ‘grey beards’ have seen a lot and have an endless amount of knowledge of the mission and how things have been over the years. Filling that role now is rewarding and it’s nice to share that knowledge with the current active duty personnel.

Where are you from?

Nowhere specific. My dad spent 30 years in the Air Force, so I grew up all over the world. I was born at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan and graduated High School at Ramstein American High School, Germany.

Were you active duty?

Yes, for 20 years. I retired in 2015 out of the 90 MW.

If so, what did you do in the military?

My initial assignment was in ICBM Operations. My first assignment was at the 321st  Missile Group, at Grand Forks AFB, ND. I was assigned to the 447th Missile Squadron, which we deactivated in June, 1998. After my initial ICBM tour, I transitioned into Space Operations, with assignments at the 4th Space Operations Squadron, 50th Operations Group, 14th Air Force, the Aerospace Data Facility and SBIRS Combined Task Force. I also spent 2005 deployed to Afghanistan, assigned to Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan.

What’s your alma mater, if you care to share?

My alma mater is about 45 minutes away from Cheyenne. I graduated, and received my commission, out of the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. Go Pokes!

Do you have any hobbies? If so, what are they?

I’m an avid photographer. A lot of folks know, but I’m sure there are some that don’t. I’m a professional sports photographer, and have photographed MLB games, NBA games, professional football games, a ton of NCAA Division I sporting events, and also shoot national music artists. I’m currently the lead photographer for 7220sports.com, which covers all University of Wyoming sports, but specifically Wyoming Football. I’m also an FAA certified UAV operator and engage in aerial photography and videography.

What are your favorite sports team(s), if any?

University of Wyoming Football…not just because my son plays for them, I’ve been a fan for many years.

What do you want the wing to know about you?

Not so much about me, but more about my two kids. Both my daughter, Jordan, and son, Andrew, participate on University of Wyoming sponsored teams. Jordan is a member of the UW Ranch Horse Team, where they compete in a variety of equestrian events while preserving the heritage and tradition of the functional ranch horse while showing with a competitive edge. Andrew is on a full athletic scholarship for UW Football, where he was recruited as a safety...for those who follow UW Football, keep your eyes open the next few years for #3 on defense!

What’s your favorite quote or saying?

“Travel. As much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.”

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