A senior United States Air Force officer, Maj. Gen. James O. Poss, is returning home to the Magnolia State where he will be joining Mississippi State University after his retirement from active service. An Ocean Springs, Poss will begin his new duties as director of strategic initiatives in the High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPC2) at MSU in December.
The fifth-generation Mississippian has had a distinguished career of service, and is currently the assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and is the senior career intelligence officer in the Air Force. He is responsible to the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight and leadership of Air Force ISR capabilities.
In May, he delivered the keynote address at Mississippi State’s 2012 UAS Symposium: Breaking Through Barriers and Fielding the Technology.
Poss’ Air Force and intelligence community background is a very strong match to opportunities available to MSU — he has been part of the USAF unmanned aerial vehicle program since its inception. Additionally, he has extensive experience in remote sensing, and is one of a handful of intelligence officers to have used Department of Defense remote sensing to support Mississippi, both after Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Poss received his commission through the Reserve Officers Training Corps program at the University of Southern Mississippi. He served in Desert Storm with the U.S. VII Corps RC-12 Guardrail Battalion in Saudi Arabia, and was director of intelligence for Central Command Air Forces deployed to Southwest Asia at the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. The general commanded the 488th Intelligence Squadron, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, flying RC-135s in combat during the Kosovo Air War. He has also commanded the 609th Air Intelligence Group at Shaw AFB, S.C., and 70th Intelligence Wing at Fort George G. Meade, Md.
The general has previously served as the director of intelligence at both Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Combat Command. Prior to his current assignment, he was director, ISR strategy, integration and doctrine, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.