Air Force Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle takes command at NDIA


CarlisleArlington, VA – Retired Air Force Gen. Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle has a new watch, starting his tenure Thursday, June 15, as the latest president and chief executive officer of the National Defense Industrial Association.

Carlisle was appointed in March to lead the Arlington, VA-based NDIA, a defense and national security 501(c)3 membership association that counts about 1,600 corporate members and about 80,000 individual members among its affiliates, chapters, and divisions.

“I’m excited and proud to be here and be part of NDIA’s mission,” Carlisle said. “NDIA’s collaboration with industry, the Defense Department, and Congress is steady and true. It has fostered open and honest dialog between industry and government for decades. That communication is more important now with the complex challenges ahead in defense spending and national security. I look forward to working with our esteemed members and the dedicated staff to keep NDIA a stalwart in support of defense.”

Carlisle takes over for retired Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, who leaves NDIA after coming aboard as its leader in January 2015.

“I’m leaving NDIA in the hands of a very capable leader in Gen. Carlisle,” McKinley said. “His knowledge and reputation in defense come at a time where NDIA is in a strong position to support national security.”

Carlisle retired in March after nearly 39 years of Air Force service, his last post as commander of Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, VA, which he held since October 2014.

Carlisle also was commander of Pacific Air Forces; air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command; and executive director for Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff, Joint Base Pearl Harbor in Hickam, HI. He is a command pilot with more than 3,600 hours flying the AT-38, YF-110, YF-113, T-38, F-15A/B/C/D, and C-17A.

Carlisle is a 1978 graduate of the Air Force Academy. Among his assignments, he commanded a fighter squadron, an operations group, two wings, and a numbered air force. He’s a joint service officer and served as air operations chief for U.S. Central Command Forward in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He took part in operations Restore Hope in Somalia, Provide Comfort in Turkey, and the ongoing Noble Eagle.

Carlisle has served as director of Operational Planning, Policy, and Strategy; as deputy chief of staff for air, space, and information on Operations, Plans, and Requirements;

and twice in the Plans and Programs Directorate. He also was deputy director, then director of legislative liaison at the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.


The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is the trusted leader in defense and national security associations. As a 501(c)3 corporate and individual membership association, NDIA engages thoughtful and innovative leaders to exchange ideas, information, and capabilities that lead to the development of the best policies, practices, products, and technologies to ensure the safety and security of our nation. NDIA’s membership embodies the full spectrum of corporate, government, academic, and individual stakeholders who form a vigorous, responsive, and collaborative community in support of defense and national security. For more information, visit

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