Air Force doctrine center renames wargaming building for fighter ace, former AU commander

  • Published
  • By Phil Berube
  • Air University Public Affairs

The Air Force’s doctrine development center renamed its wargaming building in honor of a Korean War fighter ace and former commander of Air University.

The Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education dedicated the Cleveland Wargaming Institute building to the late Lt. Gen. Charles "Chick" Cleveland during a ceremony May, 25, 2023.

Cleveland was the Air University commander from July 1981 until his retirement in August 1984. He is credited with five confirmed enemy kills during the Korean War flying the F-86 Sabre jet fighter. His aircraft, “The Chris Craft,” sits on display at Maxwell’s Air Park. The general lived in Montgomery, Alabama, after retiring and passed away on May 22, 2021, at the age of 93.

The Cleveland building houses the Air Force Wargaming Institute.

"General Cleveland was instrumental in making wargaming fundamental to the success of the Air Force,” said Maj. Gen. William Holt II, commander, LeMay Center, and vice commander, Air University.

In 1983, Cleveland established the Center for Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education at Air University. The precursor to the LeMay Center, CADRE emphasized wargaming as a “foundational tool” to Air Force doctrine development, said Holt.

“In fact, General Cleveland felt so strongly about the importance of wargaming that he advocated with then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Lew Allen for its inclusion in the Air Force's budget,” he said. “Since his creation of the institute, the organization has conducted countless wargames via a world-class wargaming enterprise with compelling operations, technology and facility capacity across all levels of classification to advance Air Force and joint force capabilities against peer competition."

The Air Force Wargaming Institute provides a broad range of wargames and exercises to the Air Force, the Department of Defense and international sponsors.

After his military retirement, Cleveland was heavily involved in the community. He served as the executive director of the Montgomery Area United Way and was appointed as the commissioner of human resources for the state of Alabama. Among other charitable endeavors, he was the founder of the Montgomery Area Food Bank and was involved with the Alabama World Affairs Council.