By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Similarities and differences among major wars is the key topic of a special lecture arranged to coincide with upcoming Medal of Honor Host City activities.
Lt. Col. Kent D. Johnson (Ret.) presents “The Original U.S. Gulf War: The Impact of The Vietnam War, Politics and Modern Technology on Achieving Stunning Battlefield Successes.” His lecture is set for 11 a.m. Thursday, April 11, in Room 2015 of the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts on Gainesville’s North Central Texas College (NCTC) campus.
Free and open to the public, the discussion will weigh comparisons between the Gulf War of the early 1990s — where Johnson served as a United States Air Force pilot and air controller — and the Vietnam War, which naturally inspired military developments of later years.
NCTC Honors Program Associate Coordinator Jill Swarner said the lecture and its topic make a fine fit with Medal of Honor Host City events scheduled for that same week.
“Last year, the honors program at NCTC did a Q-and-A with the Medal of Honor recipients and we were sold out,” Swarner said Friday. “That was very successful and so we’re trying to do something each year to tie in, since people in Gainesville do seem very interested in that.”
Swarner added that Johnson had shown interest in attending some of the 2013 Medal of Honor events in Gainesville and had given the same lecture on the Corinth NCTC campus, and later decided to present it in Gainesville during the MOH week.
“It was well received there, and at the college, we’re supporters of the Medal of Honor program and sometimes we’ve hosted some of those events,” she said.
The varying programs
Most often during the Medal of Honor Host City events of mid-April, NCTC plays host to special lecturers who analyze wars of the past. Swarner said Friday that though the lectures are always clearly patriotic, they don’t always come with a “pro-war” delivery.
“You see all different viewpoints,” she said. “There’s a wide array of feelings about war, the outcomes of war and the decisions made. But I think there’s a certain interest that a lot of people have about military strategy, and that’s what (Johnson) discusses.”
“It’s about the decision-making process in war and what we’ve learned historically,” she added. “And it’s about learning from those, hopefully, and hopefully avoiding war at all costs.”
More about Johnson
Johnson is a former Texas police officer, T-37 instructor pilot and A-10/F-15E fighter pilot. As a Texas police officer, he achieved a 100 percent felony conviction rate. His prior assignments with the United States Air Force included service aboard the United States Navy's USS LaSalle during Operation Earnest Will; combat operations as an air liaison officer with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Shield/Storm; and F-15E combat missions in support of Operation Southern Watch in Iraq. Johnson served in London with the Royal Air Force as a senior USAF advisor to the RAF Air Warfare Centre. He also is a former Pentagon political-military advisor. — Information courtesy of the International Remote Viewing Association.
For more information on the lecture or on the honors program at NCTC, call (940) 668-7731, ext. 4301.