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COLONEL BENJAMIN R. JONSSON

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Colonel Benjamin R. Jonsson is the Vice Commander, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. This composite wing includes strike; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; mobility; aeromedical evacuation; and command and control assets which support Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel. The wing provides support to more than 7,100 Air Force, joint, and coalition forces.

 

Col Jonsson was commissioned in the Air Force after graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1999. Upon graduation from pilot training, Col Jonsson was assigned to Charleston AFB, SC, where he flew some of the first C-17A combat missions during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

 

From 2006-2008, Col Jonsson and his family lived in Amman, Jordan, where he graduated from the University of Jordan as an Olmsted Scholar. Col Jonsson later served as the Desk Officer for Egypt and Jordan on the Joint Staff J-5 during the "Arab Spring."

 

Col Jonsson commanded the 384th Air Refueling Squadron and later served as a Deputy Group commander for the 22d Operations Group at McConnell AFB, KS. After attending the U.S. Army War College, Col Jonsson was the Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force. Prior to his current assignment, Col Jonsson served as the Director for Jordan and Acting Director for Egypt at the National Security Council, Executive Office of the President. Col Jonsson is a command pilot, having logged over 3,100 flight hours and over 500 combat hours.

EDUCATION
1999 Bachelor of Science in Political Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado
2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
2005 Arabic Intensive Course, Defense Language Institute East, Washington D.C.
2006 Master of Arts in Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle University, Florida
2008 Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution, University of Jordan
2009 Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence
2009 Intermediate Development Education, Olmsted Scholarship
2009 Nuclear Management Fundamentals Course, AF Nuclear Weapons Center, New Mexico
2012 Air War College, Correspondence
2016 Master of Strategic Studies, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania 

PUBLICATIONS
“A New Plan for the United States in Syria,” War on the Rocks, Oct 19, 2015
“Why is America #Losing the Twitter War with ISIS,” The National Interest, Mar 8, 2016
“Talking to the Islamic State: Co-opting Jihadists into a Political Process,” War on the Rocks, May 3, 2016 (co-author)
“The Elihu Root Study on the Total Army,” War on the Rocks, May 3, 2016 (contributing author)
“Why ISIS Remains a Threat,” The Strategy Bridge, May 31, 2016
“Tomorrow Never Comes: Neglecting the Nuclear Force,” War on the Rocks, Jun 3, 2016 (co-author)
“Terminating Conflict with the Islamic State,” Army War College Review, Vol. 2, No. 3, Aug 2016, 54-57 

ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 1999 – Feb 2001, Introductory Flight Training, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Undergraduate Pilot Training Student, Columbus AFB, MS; and C-17A Globemaster III qualification, Altus AFB, Oklahoma
2. February 2001 – June 2002, C-17A Pilot, Squadron Scheduler, and Mission Director, 15th Airlift Squadron, C-17A, Charleston AFB, South Carolina
3. June 2002 – October 2004, C-17A Aircraft Commander, Current Operations and Asst Chief Executive Officer, 16th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, South Carolina
4. October 2004 – June 2005, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander and Chief of Tactics, 16th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, South Carolina
5. June 2005 – July 2005, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
6. July 2005 – January 2006, Olmsted Scholar Arabic Student, Defense Language Institute, Washington D.C.
7. January 2006 – August 2008, Olmsted Scholar, University of Jordan, Amman
8. August 2008 – December 2009, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander, 62 AW Prime Nuclear Airlift Force Chief of Operations, 4th Airlift Squadron, McChord AFB, Washington
9. December 2009 – August 2010, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander, 62 AW Air Expo Director, McChord AFB, Washington
10. September 2010 – April 2011, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander, 62 AW Chief Executive Officer, McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
11. April 2011 – May 2013, Political-Military Planner, Middle East Division, Joint Staff J-5, Pentagon
12. May 2013 – March 2015, Commander, 384th Air Refueling Squadron, McConnell AFB, Kansas
13. March 2015 – June 2015, Deputy CC, KC-135 Evaluator Pilot, 22d Operations Group, McConnell AFB, Kansas
14. July 2015 – June 2016, Student, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
15. June 2016 – September 2017, Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Pentagon
16. September 2017 – July 2018, Director for Jordan, National Security Council, The White House
17. July 2018 – Present, Vice Commander, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar 

FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: more than 3,100
Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-1, C-17A, KC-135R/T 

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
Modern Standard Arabic DLPT: 3/3
Levantine DLPT: 3/3/2+
Egyptian DLPT: 2+/3 

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal 

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 2 1999
First Lieutenant June 2 2001
Captain June 2 2003
Major December 1 2008
Lieutenant Colonel November 1 2012
Colonel May 1 2018

(Current as of July 2018)