Mr. William E. Roberson, Jr.

A pioneer in the Ground Based Interceptor Project, Mr. William E. Roberson, Jr. was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of the opening reception for the 6th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the Von Braun Center, on Tuesday, the nineteenth of August, 2003.  Assisting in the induction ceremony was Lieutenant General Joseph M. Cosumano, Jr., Commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

During his more than thirty-three year career, Mr. Roberson distinguished himself by exceptional engineering and management service to multiple missile defense program offices, culminating in positions of increasing responsibility in the Ground-based Missile Defense (GMD) Joint Project Office’s (JPO) Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) Project Management Office.  He was instrumental in the technical direction of the interceptor portion of the system, first through the management of the Kill Vehicle Office and ultimately as Deputy Project Manager and Acting Project Manager. His activities included the successful Integrated Flight Tests (IFT) 3 through 7.

During his tenure with GBI and its legacy programs, Mr. Roberson has faced every conceivable challenge for an acquisition manager.  He met each challenge professionally, methodically, and successfully.  As the Deputy Project Manager for the GBI Project Management Office, Mr. Roberson guided office activities that included the successful Integrated Flight Test (IFT) 3, in which the missile and kill vehicle successfully intercepted a target reentry vehicle.  Equally challenging were IFTs 4 and 5, which, while not resulting in intercepts, did lead to valuable engineering improvements culminating with the full successes of IFTs 6 and 7 – clearly demonstrating that the nation is on track to the long sought goal of a Ballistic Missile Defense system.

Mr. Roberson distinguished himself by superior management of the GBI Office Development Division.  He led the definition of requirements and all acquisition efforts for hardware, software, and office automation equipment for the division.  In addition, Mr. Roberson played a key role in the development and implementation of the process that was utilized to select the prime contractor for the GBI-X concept.  Mr. Roberson’s expertise and managerial competence gained him wide recognition and respect from his colleagues in both industry and Government.

Mr. Roberson was the 28th member of the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor.