Before his retirement from the Air Force as a lieutenant general and his appointment as JPL deputy director, Tattini was commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. He was responsible for managing the research, design, development and acquisition of space launch, command and control, and satellite systems. The center employed more than 3,200 people nationwide and had an annual total obligation authority in excess of $5 billion.
His 36-year military career included 20 separate assignments ranging from serving as a Minuteman II missile combat crew member at Grand Forks Base, N.D. to an air staff acquisition policy staff officer in the Pentagon. His oversea assignments were in Wheelus Air Base, Tripoli, Libya and Kwang Ju Air Base, Korea. During his career he was the program manager for more than $700 million in structural and avionics modifications to the B-52. He was a member of the development team that launched the first U.S. anti-satellite weapon against a cooperating space target.
Gene is the receipient of many awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.