Indiana, in particular, is making a name for itself. Through a unique suite of defense assets, the state provides an optimal environment for developing and testing capabilities for the 21st century war fighter. And few know the dynamics of this narrative better than Vice Admiral Mike Bucchi.
Following his commission in June 1970, Vice Admiral Mike Bucchi completed flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator on October 1971. The rest of his intense operational career was marked by significant achievements. For instance, he was the first East Coast fleet pilot to fire a Phoenix missile; he served as an instructor at Top Gun; and he was the Operations Officer for Fighter Squadron Thirty-One during its first year as an F-14 squadron. He was assigned to Commander, Fighter Wing One with additional duties as Special Intelligence Officer to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Strategic Support Team, and then served as Readiness Officer for the Commander, Tactical Wings Atlantic.
VADM Bucchi then moved on to serve as first Executive Officer, then as the thirty-fourth Commanding Officer of Fighter Squadron Thirty-Three. His command tour was followed by appointment as F-14 Fighter Readiness and Adversary Officer at Commander, Naval Air Forces, Atlantic. In 1990, he became the Deputy Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Eight, and participated in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Provide Comfort. During those operations he logged over thirty combat missions and more than one hundred combat flight hours. Following graduation from National War College, Vice Admiral Bucchi commanded Carrier Air Wing Three from late 1992 to mid-1994.
He has completed various Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf cruises aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), USS America (CV 66), and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), amassing over 6,000 total flight hours and more than 1,000 carrier arrested landings. VADM Bucchi was promoted to Flag rank in June 1994 and then assigned as the Deputy U.S. Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium. In June of 1996 Vice Admiral Bucchi became Commander, Carrier Group Six, homeported in Mayport, Florida. In December 1996, he assumed additional duties as Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia until March 1997. Vice Admiral Bucchi then became the Chief of Naval Air Training on December 15, 1997 and received his third star en route to his assignment as Commander, U.S. Third Fleet and the Director of the Navy’s Sea Based Battle Lab. Vice Admiral Bucchi completed his last active duty tour as Commander of the United States Third Fleet on 28 May 2003.
His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Combat “V,” the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Strike/Flight awards with Combat “V,” the Joint Service Commendation Medal, five Navy Commendation Medals with Combat “V,” the Humanitarian Service Medal and various campaign and unit awards.
On June 16, 2003 Mr. Bucchi started work at Ocean Systems Engineering Corporation (OSEC), a high-tech software company whose corporate office was located in Carlsbad, CA. He joined OSEC as the Chief Operation Officer and Executive Vice President and later became President of the Company on March 1, 2005. After OSEC was acquired by Apogen Technologies, a QinetiQ North America company, Mr. Bucchi became a Senior Vice President for the Mission Solutions Group where he led the Navy Business unit in Southern California. Mr. Bucchi is presently employed with Concurrent Technologies Corporation as Executive Technical Director with a primary focus on helping NSWC Crane grow strategically. He also serves as the Vice Chairman & Treasurer for the National Center for Complex Operations’ Board of Directors.
Sagamore Institute spoke with Vice Admiral Michael Bucchi to better understand the evolution of modern warfare and the economic potential these changes bring to Indiana.