This month, Fighter Country Partnership newsletter features Mr. Bruce Larson, Senior Vice President and Arizona Regional Manager for RBF Consulting, a company of Michael Baker Corporation (RBF). RBF is a nationwide engineering, planning, and surveying consulting firm. Mr. Larson was inducted into the Luke Air Force Base’s Honorary Commanders program in October 2008 assigned to the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron. Since his induction, Mr. Larson has strived to make a positive impact by staying active with the base and his squadron.
Background: Mr. Larson has over 24 years of engineering and design experience with numerous public and private sector projects throughout the Southwest. Under his current role of managing the RBF Phoenix and Tucson offices, Mr. Larson supervises and directs the development of engineering, planning and survey projects within Arizona. Mr. Larson’s professional experience provides him with a vast knowledge of the varying requirements of many municipalities, state agencies and governmental departments. In addition to being an Honorary Commander alumnus with Luke Air Force Base, Mr. Larson also currently serves on the City of Glendale Planning and Zoning Commission.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Larson has coordinated many complex and diverse development projects, from commercial and industrial projects to major transportation corridors and Master Plan developments. He specializes in the oversight and management of all facets of development by coordinating with varied disciplines within RBF along with sub consultants, clients, and public agencies to create the most cost effective and sustainable developments possible.
When asked what it is like being an Honorary Commander, he explained, “The experience was incredible!” “Being a native of Phoenix, I grew up in the west valley but never knew much about Luke AFB. The program helped me understand the mission better and get to know the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron I was assigned to.”
He explained that there were many highlights during his tenure as an Honorary Commander; however, the visit to the Barry Goldwater range, the tour of his adopted squadron and all the social events, award ceremonies and the Air Force Ball are among his most enjoyable, informative, interesting and inspiring events.
“I also have enjoyed introducing the two commanders I have served under in CMS to my firm and what we do,” Mr. Larson said. “The commanders have toured my company and learned more about what we do as civil engineers, planners, and surveyors.”
As far as the mission at Luke AFB goes, he explained, “I saw how the airmen are very creative in how they keep the jets up and running at the base,” he said. “Contrary to popular belief, the base runs on a very tight budget. Some of the flights have created their own tools and methods to save time and money.”
Major James Blackman, commander of the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron said, “When I arrived to Luke in 2010, Mr. Larson had been a tremendous supporter of the airmen in CMS and across the base through the Honorary Commander program. Although his two-year commitment in the program ended later that year, he still makes himself available to attend events almost two years later. His sincere appreciation for the military, the mission at Luke, and the airmen stationed here is clear by his continued involvement and that has made him more than an Honorary Commander Alumni and professional contact; he has also become a personal friend.”
Mr. Larson supports the airmen at Luke in many ways. One of the ways he supports is to ensure they enjoy themselves in the Phoenix area during their assignment.
“My company has season tickets to some of the professional sports in the valley,” he said. “I have been able to share these with some of the airmen in the CMS squadron through the commander. I feel they also appreciate my participation and interest in their assignments and what they do.”
When asked what inspires him to keep participating in the HC program and Fighter Country Partnership he explained, “There are many reasons to keep participating at the base. Some of these are the excitement and energy felt when at the base, the important mission of the base, and the men and women and their service to our country.”
“I would also have to say what I treasure the most is the friendship with the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron commander, Major James Blackman and former CMS commanders; Brigadier General Jerry D. Harris, Commander of the 56th Fighter Wing and his lovely wife; base leadership including Mr. Rusty Mitchell, the Director of the Community Initiatives Team, and those involved with Fighter Country Partnership. More than anything, I’m inspired and enjoy the opportunity to give back to the airmen and their families for their service.”
“As a member of Fighter Country Partnership, I’m excited to be part of the Blue Blazer Squadron of honorary commander alumni. There are so many business and community leaders that have been through the honorary commander’s program. I’m compelled to stay engaged and help further the mission of Luke Air Force Base.”