Billy D. Thompson
Billy D. Thompson (Billy Ray) is the Director of Airpower Requirements & Capabilities at Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies. Billy Ray retired from the United States Air Force as a Brigadier General in November 2018 after a nearly 30-year career. Prior to his career with Raytheon, he was the Vice President of Air Force Programs for Textron, Inc., responsible for working customer requirements, defense budgets, acquisition and policy issues supporting Textron Government Programs in Washington, D.C. Billy Ray commanded at the Squadron, Group, and Wing levels, culminating his career as the Commander of the Jeanne M. Holm Center. His staff tours included stints as the Director of Regional Affairs for Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs, Chief of the Air Force Senate Liaison Office for the Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Liaison, Deputy Champion for Global Persistent Attack at Headquarters Air Force, as well as a tour at United States Special Operations Command as a Regional Planner and member of the Future Concepts Working Group. Billy Ray is a career helicopter pilot and had operational tours in Air Force Special Operations Command, to include an exchange tour with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), as well as tours in Pacific Air Command and Air Combat Command where he deployed to multiple humanitarian and contingency operations. Billy Ray is a native of Dothan, Alabama, and is a 1989 graduate of Auburn University. He also earned Master’s Degrees from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Air University, and the School of Advanced Military Studies.