Scott Ward, 1968-2015 | VailDaily.com

Scott Ward, 1968-2015

Vail Valley native Lt. Col. Scott Ward was one of only 10 pilots hand-selected to fly Air Force One. Ward died in a tragic auto accident. A memorial is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Lt. Col. Scott Coleman Ward was tragically killed in a bizarre highway accident on the northern border of Georgia, heading to work as a test pilot for Gulfstream in Savannah, Georgia on Aug. 10.

Scott was born to George and Shirley Ward, of Vail, on March 24, 1968, in Glenwood Springs. He attended Red Sandstone Elementary School in Vail, Patrick Henry Elementary School in Colorado Springs, Minturn Middle School and graduated in 1986 at Battle Mountain High School in Eagle-Vail. Scott excelled in sports. He was quarterback of the Battle Mountain Huskies in 1985 and led the team to the Colorado state finals for the first time in Battle Mountain history. Throughout his life, he was the ultimate Denver Broncos fan.

Scott was accepted to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management. He earned an MBA in Administration at Troy State University in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1997 and earned a Master of Military Operational Arts and Sciences at the Air Command and Staff College in 2005 at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

His professional military education took him to various air bases around the United States, including Laughlin AFB in Texas, Maxwell AFB in Alabama, Kirtland AFB in New Mexico, McGuire AFB in New Jersey and Offutt AFB in Nebraska.

His flight history began in 1994, when assigned to the 54th Airlift Squadron. Throughout his time there, he was check airman, instructor and chief of training and safety. He provided upgrade and continuation training on C-21 VIP transport missions.

In 1997, he commanded KC-10 air refueling missions worldwide out of McGuire AFB and instructed training at the KC-10 formal schoolhouse as part of the 2nd Air Refueling Squadron. His KC-10 was the first refueling jet over Manhattan on 9/11.

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At Offutt AFB in 2002, Scott was responsible for the Squadron Flying and Ground Safety Program. He ensured a safe working environment for 200 squadron members, and commanded B-747 on worldwide missions, supporting the president and secretary of defense.

At the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., in 2005, he was the directorate of manpower and organization as deputy chief of staff personnel and served as chief analyst of the U.S. Air Force Undergraduate Flying Training Program. He analyzed Air Force programs in order to develop resource allocation strategies that meshed with the Air Force total budget.

In 2008, he was assigned to the 99th Airlift Squadron/89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, as the chief of wing safety and instructor pilot on G-550, G-V, and G-III. He was responsible for flying and ground safety of 1,000-plus personnel. He was a key adviser to the commander on safety issues, investigated and briefed mishaps for safety awareness and prevention. He was captain and instructor pilot on missions for the vice president, secretary of state, secretary of defense, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the first lady.

In 2012, he was assigned to the Presidential Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, as Air Force One pilot/B-747 captain/ G-550, G-V, G-III check airman/chief of safety & training/director of operations. He was one of 10 pilots hand-selected to fly the president of the United States. He was responsible for the flying/ground safety of over 300 personnel at Andrews and managed the flying and ground training for 70-plus personnel.

Scott is survived by his wife, Jennet, and their three sons, Cole (12), Jake (11) and Zach (9), and his canine buddy, Desmond. Additionally, his mother Shirley Ward of Eagle-Vail; his sister, Stephanie Ward Archibeque (married to Ted of Eagle) and their two daughters, Isabella (10) and Zoey (7); his sister, Stacey Ward Kerek (married to Phil ) of Houston, Texas; and his brother, Richard Ward of Denver (married to Tami) and his two daughters, Kendall Jackson (18) and Allie Jackson (18); and his aunt, Doris Bailey of Avon.

Scott Ward’s memorial service

A memorial service will be held at the Air Force Academy on Friday, August 21, 2015. The service will begin at 10 a.m. in the Academy Chapel.

Guests arriving for the service should enter at the North Gate of the USAFA. They’ll be sent through the gate with a government-issued ID (driver’s license) no later than 9:15 a.m. Base access will be given at gate. Follow signs to chapel parking. It will take approximately 25 minutes to drive, park and walk to the chapel.

A basket will be available at the chapel for cards with well wishes.

To honor the life of Lt. Col. Scott C. Ward, the family cordially invites you to join them at the Marriott Hotel, 5580 Tech Center Drive. To get there take I-25 South and exit at South Rockrimmon Blvd. (3 exits south of the USAFA North Gate Exit), noon-3 p.m., following the service.

To help

In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Scott Ward Memorial Fund at http://www.youcaring.com/jennet-ward-412123/update/356504