Why the name? Tuskegee Contracting, LLC has a direct connection to the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black fighter pilots in WWII. Jeffery Rayford is the nephew of Lieutenant Colonel Lee Rayford who was assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron. Graduating in the 3rd Class of Tuskegee Airmen, Class 42E, LTC Lee Rayford flew the P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunder Bolt and the famed P-51 Mustang from 1941-1945 in Europe during WWII.

LTC Lee Rayford was one of the most highly decorated pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen and was one of only 150 awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Rayford Family is extremely proud of this Legacy and carries on this Legacy by honoring Lee Rayford through the development and success of Tuskegee Contracting, LLC.

Tuskegee AirmenIn 1982, Jeff Rayford enlisted in the Air Force and spent seven years working as an Avionic Navigation Systems Specialist at Dover AFB, Delaware. After obtaining a BS Degree in Industrial Technology from Southern Illinois University, he applied and was selected for the AF Officer Training Program.

Trained as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer, Jeff Rayford spent 3 ½ years assigned to Little Rock AFB in Arkansas where he assisted in managing the largest fleet of C-130 aircraft. In 1991 during The Desert Storm War, he deployed to England and was part of a back up airlift support team staged at Mildenhall AFB.

Luckily, due to the success of US and Allied Forces the war ended quickly and he did not have to travel in Theater to Saudi Arabia. In 1992, the C-130 aircraft were reassigned to the Air Combat Command (ACC) and 1st LT Jeff Rayford was selected to assist in managing the C-130 Fleet at the Langley AFB in Hampton, VA, location of the Headquarters for ACC.

Lee RayfordTwo years into this assignment, Jeff Rayford was promoted to Captain, competed and was selected to work as part of the ACC Commander’s Action Group. This group of Special Action Officers worked directly for the Commander of ACC, a 4-Star General. During this assignment, Captain Rayford worked for three 4-Star Generals, the last being General Richard Hawley before retiring in 1998.

During his last two years on active duty, Captain Rayford joined the Tidewater Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen and was President of the organization from 1997-1998. During this time, he assisted with organizing and participating in briefings about the Tuskegee Airmen at many functions and also visited schools during Black History Month. Captain Rayford had the distinct honor of working with LTC (Ret) Francis L. Horne, Sr. and Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Grant S. Williams, Sr., both Original Tuskegee Airmen assigned to the Chapter.