Amid deployments, Pennell found close friends in Air Force
MADISON – Pennell was commissioned in March 1984 as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He retired November 30, 2008 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
He completed Officer Training School at Medina Annex of Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, and completed Navigator Training at Mather AFB, Calif.
Pennell had assignments at Bergstrom AFB, Texas; RAF Alconbury, United Kingdom; Zweibrucken Air Base, Germany; Bergstrom AFB, Texas; Eglin AFB, Florida; Luke AFB, Ariz.; Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.; and Langley AFB, Va. Pennell returned to Eglin and finally reported to Maxwell AFB in Montgomery.
“I had the opportunity to fly over 2,800 hours in the RF-4C Phantom and the F-15E Strike Eagle. I flew 41 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm,” Pennell said.
The Pennells moved to Madison in November 2008 after he retired as a Faculty Instructor at Air War College at Maxwell AFB. “I had several friends and former co-workers who were here and told me how great the town was and how strong the job market was,” Pennell said.
He first worked at SAIC. Currently, Pennell works for a small defense contractor, Strategic Alliance Business Group, in support of Missile Defense Agency’s Director for Test. Originally from Charleston, S.C., Pennell graduated from the College of Charleston with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and later earned a master’s degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
“My wife Carrie is a full-time wife and mother to our three daughters. Jillian, 13, is a seventh-grader at Discovery Middle School, and Sarah and Rachel, 10, are in fourth grade at Horizon Elementary School,” he said.
“I also have a daughter, Erin, 28, who lives in Long Island, N.Y. My son Ryan lives in Beaufort, S.C. Ryan and his wife Andrea have a son, my first grandson, Hudson, born in January 2017,” Pennell said.
Pennell serves as Vice President of the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the Air Force Association. “Most of my spare time is occupied watching my daughters dance with Huntsville Ballet School and chasing our 10-month-old German shorthaired pointer, Millie,” he said.
“It was a great honor to serve more than 24 years in the U.S. Air Force. I worked with people every day who I consider my closest friends and will until the day I die,” Pennell said.