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Stephen M. Trinklein

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Stephen M. Trinklein Obituary

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen M. Trinklein passed away on January 28, 2015. He was a Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Acquisition Manager on the Secretary of the Air Force's staff at the Pentagon, currently serving as the Brilliant Eyes (BE) space-based infrared sensor system Program Element Manager (PEM).

Lieutenant Colonel Trinklein was born August 10, 1949, in Portland, Oregon, and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He graduated from Concordia High School in Portland in June 1967, and received a bachelor of science degree in secondary education from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska, in May 1971. He earned a master's degree in system management from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles In January 1982. His professional military education includes Squadron Officer School in residence at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, May 1982, Air Command and Staff College in 1985 and U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in 1986, both by correspondence. He graduated from the Air War College by correspondence in May of 1994.

After teaching high school for four years following college graduation, Lieutenant Colonel Trinklein received his Air Force commission through Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in February 1977. Lieutenant Colonel Trinklein's initial assignment was as a space systems crew commander for the AN/FSS-7 radar at Fort Fisher Air Force Station, North Carolina. After graduating from Instructional Systems Development School at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, in August 1979, Lieutenant Colonel Trinklein was assigned to PAVE PAWS (AN/FPS-115 radar) at Beale Air Force Base, California, where he served as a crew commander, chief of operations training, and chief of tactical operations.

Following graduation from Squadron Officer School in May 1982, he was assigned to the 17th Surveillance Squadron (AN/GPS-10 radar) at San Miguel, Republic of the Philippines, in August 1982, where he was chief of operations training.

Upon returning from the Philippines in August 1985, Lieutenant Colonel Trinklein served as the chief of the evaluation branch within the 1st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, until moving to Air Force Space Command headquarters, where he served in the Space Defense Surveillance Directorate's Antisatellite Planning Branch. He was assigned to the 20th Surveillance Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in August 1988, where he served as director of operations until April 1991. Major Trinklein became commander of Detachment 8, 750th Space Group, Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory in may 1991, and served in that capacity until May 1992.

Lieutenant Colonel Trinklein wears the Master Space Badge. His military decorations and awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster.

His date of rank is August 1, 1993.

He was the principal and a teacher at First Lutheran School and a math teacher at River Valley High School.

Lieutenant Colonel Trinklein was married, for over 33 years, to the former Kathy Johnson of Marysville, California and they have three daughters, Kari, Wendi and Allison; and six grandchildren.

Services will be held on March 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm at First Lutheran Church in Yuba City. A small graveside service will be held for family at 3:30 pm at the Sutter Cemetery.

Donations may be made in Stephen's name to the First Lutheran Church in Yuba City.

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Published in Appeal Democrat on Feb. 11, 2015
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