Fernando Ribas-Dominicci was born on June 24, 1952, in Utuado, Puerto Rico. He was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force through the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Puerto Rico on June 1, 1975, and went on active duty beginning May 25, 1976. Lt Ribas-Dominicci next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Laughlin AFB, Texas, in July 1977, followed by service as an F-111 Aardvark pilot with the 522nd and then the 523rd Tactical Fighter Squadrons of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, from July 1977 to February 1983. During this time, Captain Ribas-Dominicci served as an instructor pilot with the 522nd TFS, as chief of scheduling and training with the 523rd TFS, and as Wing Stan/Eval flight examiner for the 27th TFW. His next assignment was as an F-111 pilot with the 495th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, England, from March 1983 until he was killed in action during a strike on Libya during Operation El Dorado Canyon on April 15, 1986. His remains were returned to the United States in 1989, and he was buried at the San Andreas De Utuado Cemetery in Utuado, Puerto Rico.
His Meritorious Service Medal Citation reads:
Major Fernando L. Ribas-Dominicci distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States while assigned to the 495th Tactical Fighter Squadron and the Wing Standardization and Evaluation Division, 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, from 3 March 1983 to 15 April 1986. As a Flight Commander and Chief of Scheduling and Training in the only replacement training unit in Europe, Major Ribas-Dominicci's exemplary leadership acts, skillful management techniques, and talented instructional abilities were the major forces behind the excellent awards conferred on this squadron during two United States Air Forces in Europe inspections. The outstanding results of the imaginative programs he instituted as Assistant Chief of the Wing Standardization and Evaluation Division made it one of only four standardization and evaluation divisions in the entire command to earn an excellent rating for 1985. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Major Ribas-Dominicci in the dedication of his service to his country reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.