Former 21st Century Partnership director dies

wcrenshaw@macon.comSeptember 27, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- Ron Carbon, who led a successful defense of Robins Air Force Base during the last Base Realignment and Closure Commission, died early Thursday morning.

Brad Fink, board chairman of the 21st Century Partnership, broke the news at the group’s quarterly meeting just hours later.

“He’s a true friend the community will miss,” Fink said.

Carbon, 57, served as director of the 21st Century Partnership during the 2005 BRAC. The base came out of it with a Marine helicopter squadron, a Defense Logistics Agency distribution center and contractor positions, resulting in a net gain of 500 jobs.

Fink said after the meeting that Carbon was diagnosed with stomach cancer about two months ago and deteriorated rapidly.

A retired Air Force colonel, Carbon led the partnership from 2003 to late 2005.

Retired Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard, former senior adviser to the partnership, said Carbon’s leadership was instrumental in a positive outcome for Robins in the 2005 BRAC.

“His passing is very sad to everybody because Ron is one of the great guys we enjoyed working with,” Goddard said. “He was a catalyst for moving the partnership forward at a time when it was important for strong leadership and strong mission focus for securing Robins Air Force Base.”

In February, after a 2013 BRAC was proposed, Carbon spoke to The Telegraph about how the base stood today compared to 2005.

“We are in a very positive position right now,” Carbon said. “Our base is performing at a peak in the past several years. The entire base, as I can see, is performing well, and our community is improving. We are solving the encroachment issues. We are solving environmental impact on air quality.”

McCullough Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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