Lt. Col. Ali Frohlich - USAF (Retired) - Panama City Beach, FL
Lieutenant Colonel Ali C. Frohlich retired from the United States Air Force as the commander of the 83d Fighter Weapons Squadron, 53d Weapons Evaluation Group, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Colonel Frohlich was responsible for evaluating combat aircraft systems through live weapons firings under realistic operational conditions, real-time telemetry capture, in- depth data analysis, and identification of weapon system deficiencies, determination of their causes with recommendations to identify deficiencies to the Chief of Staff, USAF. His Weapon System Evaluation Program (WSEP) provided detailed reporting to higher headquarters and the combat air force on ail weapons systems evaluations. He advised and supported Air Staff decisions on operational capabilities, aircraft/weapon system modifications, aircrew awareness needs, and force structure.
Colonel Frohlich was born 30 August, 1958, at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, son of the late Colonel (Ret) Donald R. Frohlich and Leyla Yalcin; he graduated from Greenon High School in 1976. Before receiving his commission, Colonel Frohlich earned his Airborne wings at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1978. He earned his pilot wings in 1981, graduating from undergraduate pilot training at Williams AFB, Arizona, in the top 10 percent of his class. He completed fighter lead-in training in August, 1981.
Colonel Frohlich was initially assigned to the 24th Composite Wing, Howard AFB, Republic of Panama, serving as an FAC and Instructor Pilot (IP) in the O-2A and as Battalion Air Liaison Officer to the 3/7 Special Forces Group (Airborne). Subsequent F-16 flying assignments include instructor pilot, chief of readiness, chief of standardization and evaluation division, NAF advisor, and operations officer. He was one of two US F-16 IPs selected to set-up the fledgling Turkish F-16 Program at Murted AB in Ankara, Turkey, and also advised the Turkish General Staff on defense related procurement planning, training issues, the restructuring of Turkish Air Force fighter wings. He also served as Special Assistant to the Commanding General of Coalition Forces for Operation DESERT STORM, flying air-to-ground and air-to-air combat missions in addition to serving as an IP for Turkish F-16 pilots.
After the Gulf War, he served as liaison and assisted with air operations planning for Operations PROVIDE COMFORT and later DENY FLIGHT. His staff tour included duty at the European Division, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J-5) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington DC, as a politico military planner, working NATO/Southern European issues. During this tour of duty he was nominated by the Secretary of the Air Force to be the Military Aide to the President of the United States. While serving as Air Force Advisor to the 419th Fighter Wing, Colonel Frohlich was responsible for the development and implementation of precision guided munitions capability for over half of the USAF’s F-16 fleet. A command pilot and combat proven aviator, he has almost 2,500 hours in the F-16 and more than 3,400 total flying hours.
Colonel Frohlich and his wife, Serra, have been married 30 years and have two children, Sibel (24) and Sean (19).
- 1980 Bachelor of Business Administration/Management, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado
- 1987 Squadron Officers School
- 1994 Air Command and Staff College
- (Colonel Frohlich also has several post graduate courses in Business Administration)
- May 1980 – June 1981, student, undergraduate pilot training, Williams Air Force Base, AZ
- June 1981 – August 1981, student, United Stated Air Force Lead-in Fighter Training Course, 479th Tactical Training Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, NM
- September 1981 – November 1981, student, Airborne FAC Operations Training Course, 549th Tactical Air Support Training Squadron, Patrick Air Force Base, FL
- November 1981 – October 1984, 3/7 Battalion Air Liaison Officer, Ground Combat Operations Flight Commander and O-2A Instructor Pilot, 24th Composite Squadron, Howard Air Force Base, Panama
- October 1984 – February 1985, student, USAF Lead-In Fighter Training Course, 479th Tactical Training Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, NM
- February 1985 – September 1985, student, F-16 Operational Training Course, 63d Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, MacDill Air Force Base, FL
- September 1985 – May 1988, F-16 Instructor Pilot and Chief of Readiness, 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, UT
- May 1988 – May 1990, Extended Training Services Specialist/F-16 Instructor Pilot (IP), Murted Air Base, Turkey
- June 1990 – January 1992, F-16 Flight Commander/IP, 526th Fighter Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
- January 1992 – May 1993, Chief, Standardization/Evaluation Division, 86th Operations Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
- June 1993 – June 1995, Political-Military Planner, European Division, The Joint Staff, J-5, The Pentagon, VA
- July 1995 – June 1997, Air Force Advisor, 419th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah
- June 1997 – June 1998, Operations Officer, 68th Fighter Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia
- July 1998 – April 2000, Operations Officer/Commander, 83d Fighter Weapons Squadron, Tyndall AFB, FL
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,400 (over 350 combat hours) Aircraft flown: F-16 (Blocks 10-50), O-2A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
- Defense Meritorious Service Medal
- Meritorious Service Medal with six oak leaf clusters
- Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
- Aerial Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
- Air Force Achievement Medal
- Joint Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
- Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters
- Air Force Recognition Ribbon
- National Defense Service Medal
- Southwest Asia Service Medal with three bronze stars Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with oak leaf cluster Armed Forces Service Medal
- Humanitarian Service Medal
- Foreign Instructorship Ribbon
- NATO Medal
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabian Government)
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
- Department of State Meritorious Honor Award (this award is not normally given outside the State Department) United States Air Force James Jabara Award for Airmanship, 1991-1992-Gulf War
- Numerous Top Gun and Company Grade Officer Awards of Distinction
Colonel Frohlich is currently a pilot for Delta Air Lines and is the Air Line Pilots Association Liaison to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. He also works at Tyndall AFB as a Defense Contractor for ARINC, providing Operational Assessments for the Commander, 1AF on a part-time basis and serves as his unofficial ALPA and FAM/FFDO Liaison. He is currently the Chairman of the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee and serves as the president of his Home Owners’ Association in Dolphin Bay. Until recently, Ali was a volunteer with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary where he was a fully certified Deputy Sheriff. His interests include football, golfing, fishing, boating, and hunting.
Education and Training Accomplishments:
- Graduated from the United Stated Air Force Academy, CO in 1980
- USAF Aeronautical Flight Training, Williams Air Force Base, AZ (graduated in top 10%)
- Fighter Lead-in Training, Holloman AFB, NM
- Completed Squadron Officers School and Air Command and Staff College NATO’s Joint Staff Officers Course, Garmisch, Germany
- Squadron Commander’s School, Langley AFB, VA
- Delta Air Lines Pilot Training, Atlanta, GA
- Air Line Pilots Association Airport Liaison/Safety Course, Herndon, VA
- Law Enforcement Standards from Gulf Coast Community College, Panama City, FL Real Estate School and Sales Agent Certification from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
- Air Line Pilots Association Legislative Advocacy Training Course, Herndon, VA Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Graduate, Artesia, NM
Professional or Employment History:
- USAF Fighter Pilot and Squadron Commander 1980 – 2000
- Delta Air Lines (First Officer/Captain) 2000 – Present
- Realtor/Sales Associate 2002 – Present
- Defense Contractor serving as Operations Evaluator, Tyndall AFB, FL 2006-10
Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans:
- Served for many years as a member of the Bay County Military Affairs Committee
- Was asked to assist the Bay Defense Alliance on several issues to protect the interests of our local military installations
- Was the driving factor for and was key in the establishment of a Military Welcome Center in the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP). Personally solicited local businesses to donate much need items to our Military Welcome Center
- Has brought and served meals to serve those at the Welcome Center and employees working at the airport every Thanksgiving and Christmas for over 15 years
- Has served as an unofficial liaison between Commanders at the Naval Support Activity Panama City and Tyndall AFB, having arranged tours of Tyndall AFB and First Air Force Headquarters and arranged for familiarization flights.
Civic Activities and Contributions:
- Served as a volunteer Auxiliary Deputy in the Bay County Sheriff’s Office
- Served as a Little League Baseball Assistant Coach, helping take a local team to the Little League Baseball World Series
- Has served for over 20 years as his Community’s Owners’ Association President
- Member of the local Econfina Club, promoting community fellowship
- Has served for over 20 years as the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Representative to both PFN and the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)
- Has served for almost 15 years as the Chairman of the Bay County Transportation Planning Organization’s Citizens Advisory Committee
- Was recognized as a Diamond Club Member by the Bay County Association of Realtors
- Is a Legislative Advocate for the State of Florida with the Air Line Pilots Association, meeting with Members of Congress to promote safer and more secure skies for the traveling public and advocating for resources to promote our local airport (ECP)
- Serves as a member of our Airport’s Technical Advisory Committee
- Volunteers as a mentor to college flight school students as part of Delta’s Propel program
- Selected and currently serves as ALPA’s Military/First Air Force, NCTC and USSS Liaison
- Continues to serve on our Congressional District’s Academy Nomination Committee
- Headed up his community’s recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, securing cleanup contractors, clearing roads and assisting his fellow residents in trying to return to some semblance of normalcy after the devastating effects of this storm
Awards or Honors:
- Numerous military decorations as cited on both his DD 214 and official Biography but highlights include multiple Top Gun Awards, Air Medals, a Commendation Medal for saving someone’s life off base, the Air Force’s James Jabara Award for Airmanship, nomination by the Secretary of the Air Force to be the Military Aide to the President and the State Department’s Meritorious Honor Medal while on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon
- Bestowed the Chief Master Sergeant’s Feather and Coin from the Chief s Association
- Has received a number of “Gaining Altitude” awards and commendations from Flight Operations for taking care of his fellow crew members and passengers as a pilot for Delta
- Recognized as the Air Line Pilots Association’s Airport Liaison Representative of the Year
- Voted Honorary Mayor of the Navy’s All Ranks Club at NSA Panama City
- Presented the Lifetime Presidential Achievement Award for his lifelong commitment to volunteer service
I have personally known this combat and highly decorated Gulf War veteran and his wife Serra for over twenty years. When I first met him, I remember he had recently retired from the military. He spoke of his commitment to making a difference to his community that he could finally call home after 13 different moves around the globe. Despite a future promotion that awaited him, he decided to plant his roots here in our town, retire from the military and make Florida home for the rest of his life. As a lifelong Floridian, native of Panama City and a community advocate, I can state unequivocally that Ali has made a difference in our community and for that matter. Northwest Florida.
From the time he left the military. Colonel Frohlich sought out ways to serve our community. He began by getting his Law Enforcement standards from Gulf Coast Community College, now Gulf Coast State College, and served as an Auxiliary Deputy with the Bay County Sherriff s Office. Despite flying with Delta four days a week, he managed to allocate time to do monthly training, ride-alongs and keep up his firearms qualifications. Early on after he retired from Tyndall AFB, he purchased and built the first home in his community and became the first president of his Home Owners’ Association, which was a new gated community in unincorporated Bay County. I served with him on our Military Affairs Committee of which he was quite active, as he had recently left the service. He also became a Liaison with the Airport Authority, Airline Pilots Association and the Chamber and served on the Chamber’s Transportation Committee.
At the time, the airport was in discussions about moving to a new location and Ali was instrumental in helping that come to fruition. He worked with the airport, St Joe officials and utilized his contacts at ALP A, going to Washington on more than one occasion to get support for the move. I can remember his Op Eds in the local paper supporting the move against the old guard opposition that refused to embrace change and move our area forward. I know he endured quite a bit, receiving hate mail and phone calls at his home for his support of the airport’s relocation. Ali went into that battle head first and the end result was the beautiful and wildly successful airport that we now have here in northwest Florida. He spoke at the Grand Opening representing the CEO of Delta Air Lines and landed the first Delta jet into our new airport.
I also know Ali from his work with me on the Transportation Planning Organization’s Citizens Advisory Committee. From the first day he attended one of our meetings, it was evident he was all in on helping our community grow responsibly and smartly. He soon became our committee’s chairman and was the driving force to establish a beltway around our metropolitan area. It’s known as the Gulf Coast Parkway and its genesis came from our committee and its birth was from an idea that Ali pushed until it came to fruition. I have been with him as we have met with community leaders and DOT officials on site to review transportation options and improvements and not once has he complained about the time it has taken from his precious time at home when he is not flying for Delta.
He also does things under the radar and quietly behind the scenes. For over a decade, he has brought food to airport workers and folks in the military lounge on Thanksgivings and Christmas and avoided any spot light of his good deeds until our local news got hold of what he had been doing. He continues to work with the airport authority to make improvements and was the driving factor in the installation of new equipment on one of the runways that improved landing minimums at the airport, reducing the number of diverts during poor weather days. He represents local aircrews that commute to work, not just Delta employees and advocates for our airport with our elected representatives. The Pilot’s Association has recognized his work with the airport by honoring him with the Airport Liaison Representative of the Year award.
I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss his actions during Hurricane Michael and its aftermath. Ali stayed during the storm to support his owners that either could not or would not evacuate and to help protect the property of those that did leave after the event. Following the storm, he had his community up and running, getting debris removal coordinated and having tarps placed on damaged homes through coordination with other neighborhood volunteers. He had the only operating/functioning phone in the neighborhood and provided his phone to neighbors, took calls and basically was the conduit to the outside world for loved ones trying to contact his fellow residents in the community. He coordinated with visiting law enforcement to get patrols in his unsecured community, which now had open gates due to the lack of power and was personally responsible for chasing away a of a number of would-be looters. He secured the homes of some residents that could not return and took pictures and communicated damage assessments to others while they waited to return home to assess the damage for themselves.
Ali deserves this award, not only for his recent actions, he has earned it through demonstrating a life-long commitment to us in this community and has far exceeded the contributions of many that have lived here all their lives. He has proudly embraced this place, our city and state as his home and done exactly what he said he would set out to do when I first met him over twenty years ago. He said he would make a difference in the community that he chose to call his home when he left the service and he has done just that. It is with great pride and admiration that I proudly nominate my friend, fellow Bay Countian and Floridian to the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame.