Col Elvert L. Gardner, USAF

Assistant Professor, National Security Industrial Base Department

Eisenhower School

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Colonel Elvert L. Gardner, USAF, is an Assistant Professor at The Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, where he is responsible for development and instruction of graduate-level coursework for senior military, civilian and international students.  Additionally, he leads the Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3) Industrial Base Industry Study, planning and managing course execution for 18 students to include interaction with senior military, government, interagency and industry executives, as well as CONUS and OCONUS field studies.

Prior to his assignment at National Defense University, Col Gardner served as the Assistant to the Director (ATD) of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), US Army Garrison, Stuttgart, Germany.  In this role he advises the EUCOM staff on emerging missile defense capabilities and deployment options as well as ballistic missile defense system requirements, development, operational testing, fielding, and sustainment.

Prior to his MDA position, Col Elvert Gardner was a student and distinguished graduate from the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University, Ft McNair, Washington D.C. Prior to his school tour, Colonel Gardner was Chief, Space and Cyberspace Policy for the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s Executive Action Group.  As chief, he reviewed and developed policy proposals on Air Force structure as well as space and cyberspace missions and operations directly impacting current and future warfighting capabilities.  On behalf of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Secretary of the Air Force, he also prepared conferences, briefings, correspondence, and articles for Congressional and DoD audiences. 

Col Gardner was commissioned in May 1993 through the Reserved Officer Training Corps at the distinguished Detachment 015, Tuskegee University, home of the Tuskegee Airmen.  His outstanding career includes assignments in a variety of space operations and staff positions, including ICBM operations, missile warning, space surveillance, satellite command and control, Space Weapons Officer at Headquarters Joint Task Force Southwest Asia (JTF-SWA) as Chief of Space Operations, Branch Chief for Space Superiority Programming, and serving as a deployed squadron commander in Afghanistan.

Colonel Gardner’s recent assignment highlights include:  Chief, Space Control Division, Headquarters Air Force; Commander, 76th Space Control Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; and Commander, 1st Expeditionary Space Control Squadron. He is a graduate of the highly selective School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), a Weapons School graduate, and a Distinguished Graduate from Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) at Maxwell AFB, AL. 

Prior to his assignment at Maxwell, Col Gardner was Chief, Strategy Development Team and Deputy Chief, Strategy Division, Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC), 14th Air Force, Vandenberg AFB, CA, where he led the development of the space support plan for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM - the first of its kind.  

In the months following September 11th, 2001, Col Gardner completed the United States Air Force Weapons School and immediately deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia.  There, he developed and implemented a theater-wide ballistic missile early warning system that protected over 16,000 coalition personnel. 

Col Gardner has directly supported several major military operations including Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.  He has deployed twice – most recently to Bagram AB, Afghanistan, where he commanded an expeditionary squadron.