Jeff K. Steinkamp was born April 1955 in Maywood, Illinois. In 1958 he moved to Warrenville, Illinois were he was a student in the first class at Bower Junior High School. Outside of grade school he studied piano and orchestra under the late Mildred Douglas and Peter Itazak. In 1968 he relocated to Kansas City, Missouri.
He continued his music studies under various professors at the University of Missouri at Kansas City while attending Nowlin Junior High School and Van Horn High School in Independence, Missouri. Upon graduation from high school in 1973, he ventured into the civilian job market and landed his first job in electronics at Electronics Research in Overland Park, Kansas.
Jeff entered the Air Force in July 1973 and assigned to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas for Basic Military Training. Upon graduation, he was assigned to Chanute Air Force Base, Illinois for technical training as a Flight Simulator Apprentice.
He graduated in August 1974 and assigned to the 438th Operational Support Squadron, McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey as a C-141 Flight Simulator Specialist. In October 1975, he relocated to Ramstein Air Base, Germany and assigned to the 86th Avionics Maintenance Squadron.
Within 3 months of arrival, he quickly upgraded to the F-4E Weapons System Trainer, RF-4C Cockpit Procedures Trainer, T-40 Instrument Trainer, and head computer programmer for the GP-4B computer. His other duties over the next 3 years included: maintenance shift supervisor, Technical Order Monitor, and Quality Control Inspector. He wrote a complete theory of operations, maintenance check-out and alignment procedure for the simulated Inertial Navigation System installed on the F-4E and RF-4C trainers which greatly enhanced the reliability and training of this system.
In October 1978 with his overseas tour complete, he was re-assigned to the 12th Field Maintenance Squadron, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. He oversaw the installation of the Undergraduate Pilot Training Instrument Flight Simulator (UPT-IFS) program while attending the contractor approved maintenance schools. He later became a field training instructor for newly assigned personnel while fulfilling the position of Quality Assurance Evaluator for the remainder of the follow-on maintenance contract. In March 1981, he was transferred to the 64th Flying Training Wing, Reese Air Force Base, Texas as a UPT-IFS Quality Assurance Evaluator for three different maintenance contract on the simulator.
He was assigned to the 57th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Keflavik Naval Air Station, Iceland for a one year remote tour in May 1983. As Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Maintenance, he supervised the removal of an F-4E simulator from Bitburg Air Base, Germany and subsequent relocation and re-installation at Keflavik 3 months ahead of schedule. He overhauled a digital circuit card tester and analog instrument tester, both, which had been inoperative since his previous tour in Germany.
Upon completion of his one year tour, the Air Force decided that his body was acclimated to the cold weather and transferred him to 410th Avionics Maintenance Squadron, K I Sawyer Air Base, Michigan. As The B-52 Mobile Flight Simulator Maintenance Supervisor, he supervised a cadre of technicians who maintained this 30-year-old electronic dinosaur along with the normal recurring maintenance on the rail car, which the simulator was installed. This tour ended when he was alerted for a short notice assignment to Korea.
In May 1986, he was assigned to the 6151 Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Suwon Air Base, Republic of Korea as Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the A-10 Operational Flight Trainer. During this tour, he was personally selected by the Minister of Post and Telecommunications to act as a technical representative to the host nation during the Asian Games in September 1986. In the first three months of his assignment, he revamped maintenance and personnel scheduling, improving morale by three fold, and increasing the simulators training reliability to 98%. Upon completion of his second remote tour, he received orders for his first choice in assignments (a possible computer glitch from what we can determine).
He was reassigned to the 62nd Avionics Maintenance Squadron, McChord Air Force Base, Washington as a C-141B Flight Simulator Technician. During the first year of this tour, he re-programmed and enhanced all the visual environment models to allow a better realistic visual presentation to include the first realistic presentation of the Hong Kong curve. This model greatly reduced the amount of training time to qualify C-141 pilots with this difficult airport approach. He finalized and oversaw the transformation from active duty military maintenance to a civilian contractor.
In October of 1989, he retrained into the Aircrew Operations Field as an Aircraft Flight Engineer. Upon completion of Survival School at Fairchild AFB, WA., Basic Flight Engineer School at Altus AFB, OK., and C-130 Basic Flight Engineer School at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, he was assigned to the 40th Tactical Airlift Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina and completed Mission Qualification training in October 1990.
He was immediately deployed to Masirah Island, Oman to participate in the Persian Gulf Conflict. During this time, he flew 56 combat support missions throughout the Area of Responsibility (AOR) to include Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emeritus, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait. When the squadron re-deployed, he was assigned as a Squadron Scheduler and eventually became the Chief Scheduler. He also was appointed as the Squadron Local Area Network Administrator.
In May 1993, he attended Instructor school and subsequently re-assigned to the 41st Airlift Squadron when the 40th deactivated. During this assignment, he was Chief Scheduler, Chief Instructor, Flight Supervisor and Chief Awards and Decorations.
Jeff accepted his last military assignment as Flight Supervisor and Assistant Flight Engineer Superintendent with the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan in August 1994. During his tenure, he was responsible for the development of plans and policies governing the utilization of 26 assigned flight engineers. Wrote and reviewed annual performance reports. Counseled individual on their personal career progression. As the squadron's chief instructor, he developed individual training scenarios to achieve the maximum combat effectiveness for each individual. He deployed to austere locations on numerous occasions as the Operations Superintendent directing the day-to-day activities of 120 personnel. In April 1996, he was sited for outstanding airmanship despite extreme personal risk while removing and transporting and unknown chemical substance from an island in the South Pacific. The swift action of himself and crew were directly responsible for saving the lives of the inhabitants of this island.
MSgt Jeff K. Steinkamp is a C-130 Instructor Flight Engineer with over 3700 hours flying time. His decorations include the Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Achievement Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Readiness Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 'V' Device and 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Medal with 1 Bronze Star, Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, Humanitarian Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait.
Jeff retired from the United States Air Force on the First day of September 1998 after 25 years of distinguished service and is currently employed in Aviation Training. Jeff and his lovely bride Patricia reside in Tucson, Arizona.