CHAIRMAN- Col. Palmer Sullins Jr.
COL Sullins is a native of Tuskegee, AL born on the campus of Tuskegee Institute University. At the age of nine, his dream of flying became a reality when he overheard Chief Charles Alfred Anderson telling someone about the need to teach youth to fly. Palmer suggested that he become his third son. In 1955 “Chief” Anderson, took him under his wing and began giving him flight instructions at Moton Field. They remained very close as “Best Friends” until Chief’s death in 1996.
He attended Tuskegee Institute University 1964 to 1968 where he lettered in swimming and football. He completed Advanced ROTC and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in July 1968. Upon graduating, he was hired by Tuskegee Institute as Head Swimming Coach, Physical Education Instructor and Special Teams Assistant Football Coach one year prior to departing for active duty in the United States Army.
He entered active duty at Ft. Eustis VA, 1969 and was promoted to First Lieutenant in 1970 during Rotary Wing Flight School at Ft. Rucker, AL. He was promoted to Captain in 1971 while serving in the Republic of South Viet Nam. He was a test pilot and flew over 300 combat support missions.
After returning stateside and serving at Sacramento Army Depot, CA, he left active duty to become a civilian pilot for Chevron Oil Company in New Orleans in 1975. His Louisiana National Guard career also began that year. He was promoted to Major in 1978, Lieutenant Colonel in 1991 and Colonel in 1996. His duties in the Guard included many positions culminating with Commander of 204th Air Traffic Services Group and retiring in 2001 after thirty-three years of service.
Sullins has amassed over 24,000 flying hours and holds Airline Transport Ratings (ATP) in airplanes, seaplanes and helicopters. He retired from X-Chem, LLC in 2016 where he worked as a Pilot and Corporate Relations Coordinator.
COL Sullins served seven years as Treasurer of Black Pilots of America, Inc. (BPA) as well as Treasurer of New Orleans Golden Eagles. He was elected President of BPA in 2005 and held that position until January 2011.
He is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and an active member of New Orleans Alumni Chapter. He was inducted into the Tuskegee University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. In 2008, he was elected Vice Chairman of Friends of Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Inc. and assumed the position of Chairman in 2009 of which he continues to serve today.
In 2018, COL Sullins (52 years of safe flight) was awarded the Wright Brothers Award which is the highest FAA civilian recognition for 50 or more years of continuous safe flying operations and the Chief Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Tuskegee.