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Boeing brass visits Alabama A&M University, calls school ‘key HBCU’

Alabama A&M University recently hosted top Boeing representatives, where it provided a tour of AAMU’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Physical Sciences.

Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Patrick W. Burden, an AAMU alumnus, returned to his former school as a representative of the aerospace giant. Burden is The Boeing Company’s director of Army and Special Operations Forces Field Marketing, Global Sales and Marketing Defense, Space & Security. The university said he oversees six field offices throughout the nation. Burden served 34 years of active duty service in the U.S. Army, where he acquired a wealth of acquisition experience.

The school noted the illustrious career of its former student.

“A combat veteran who participated in Operations Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Resolute Support, his tactical and operational experience include assignments in the United States, Germany, Southwest Asia and Afghanistan,” said AAMU.

The school added, “Key acquisition achievements include launching a suite of human resources, logistics and financial management systems that save the Army more than $100 million annually; streamlining delivery of $4.5 billion of military equipment to the Afghan National Defense and Security Force; and the standup of the U.S. Army Futures Command charged with leading a $31 billion annual effort to deliver modernized capabilities to the U.S. Army.”

AAMU presented Burden with the STEM Day Award, which serves as a token of gratitude for the retired major general’s continued support of the university.

Tommy Preston, Jr., a Boeing colleague of Burden’s, lauded the university as being an important educational institution to the company and called it a “key HBCU,” referring to the school’s designation as a historically black college and university. According to AAMU, Preston serves as Boeing’s director of National Strategy & Engagement and Government Operations.

A leader in the aerospace industry, Boeing houses its GMD (Ground-Based Midcourse Defense) program as well as its Missile and Weapon Systems division in Huntsville. The company holds a longstanding relationship with the Yellowhammer State, spanning over five decades. It currently employs close to 3,000 Alabamians.

Recently, Boeing’s North Alabama-based operations have contributed to numerous space-related missions conducted by NASA. The Rocket City location has also supported successful missile flight tests for the U.S. Air Force.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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