As a child, Warren Neary spent a lot of time looking out at the night skies dreaming of stars and space. He’d draw rockets and tanks and let his drawings tell their own stories.
Today, as one of the top Air Force artists in the space arena, he lets his dramatic images of satellites and all things Air Force space inspire stories in the minds of viewers worldwide.
Warren Neary is a captain in the Air Force Reserve and an Individual Mobility Augmentee for the Air Force Space Command History Office. He is currently the acting 20th Air Force Historian at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
Captain Warren has eight paintings in the Air Force Art Program and one in the Army Center for Military History, in Washington D.C. His first painting in the Air Force Art Program was of multiple missions at Whiteman AFB, Mo. His passion, however, is painting Air Force space themes.
“I served as a public affairs officer in AFSPC before joining the Reserves,” he said. “The 50th Space Wing is responsible for a suite of exciting and critical satellite missions within the command, so it is an honor to capture and share the valuable impact of these missions and share them with the public.”
Some of these missions or aspects of the missions have never been captured through artwork, such as the Wideband Global SATCOM system. Less than five percent of the artwork in the Air Force Art Collection depicts the story of space, so there is a great need for artwork that tells the Air Force space story, the captain said.
Telling the wing’s story can be more challenging because satellites are zipping around the Earth rather than sitting on a flight line where the public can see and touch them. It’s ironic then that satellites have such an impact on the day-to-day life of society.
Two of Captain Neary’s space paintings are duplicated in the pages following this story. The first painting is of WGS and the second is the fathers of GPS.
“I feel that I have a unique skill set in helping tell our story through paintings where I can orchestrate multiple ideas to capture the whole story from the satellite operator to the satellite, to the military in theater or the public using the capabilities we provide,” he said.