Air Force Col. Walter R. Milliken, 54, a logistics engineer who was killed Sunday when he was struck by a tree limb at Fort McNair during a heavy rain and wind storm, had been special assistant to the president of the National Defense University there since 1978.

He was in charge of Air Force Reserve affairs. He lived in Alexandria.

Col. Milliken was born in Quincy, Mass. He grew up there and in New Bedford, Mass. He graduated from the U.S. Miltary Academy at West Point in 1949, when he entered the Air Force.

He was assigned to the U.S. Japan Air Depot Wing in Japan during the Korean conflict and returned to this country to earn a master's degree in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1958.

Col. Milliken then was an instructor in mathematics for two years at the U.S. Military Acadmey. He left the Air Force in 1960 to become a projects director for the Mitre Corporation, a defense contractor near Boston.

He subsequently moved with the firm to McLean, working there until 1967 when he became a projects director for the Logistics Management Institute in Washington. He worked for Systems Research, Inc. in Washington from 1970 to 1974, when he returned to the Air Force as special assistant to the superintendent in charge of Air Force Reserve matters at the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala.

Col. Miilliken was a member of the Society of Logistics Engineers.

He is survived by his wife, Priscilla, of Alexandria; a son, Mark R., of Virginia Beach; his parents, Roland R. and Adele Milliken, of Largo, Fla., and a sister, Elizabeth Milliken Klim, of Cambridge, Mass.