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Colonel Kurt C. Helphinstine is the Commander, 332d Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia, where he commands a composite wing that includes a wide array of combat Air Force capabilities including precision strike, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and combat search and rescue in direct support of U.S. Air Forces Central and U.S. Central Command priorities. The wing is comprised of the 1st Expeditionary Rescue Group, two staff directorates and 13 additional operational and support function squadrons with more than 2,100 total force Airmen.

Colonel Helphinstine was commissioned in 1999, from ROTC at the University of Portland. He has served as an evaluator pilot, weapons officer, and USAF Weapons School instructor in the F-15E. He has commanded at the squadron and wing level, and has served on the Joint, Headquarters Air Force, and Air Combat Command staffs.

Colonel Helphinstine is a Command Pilot with more than 3,100 hours. He has 900 combat hours, flown over seven deployments to the Middle East. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Executive Officer to the Air Force Chief of Staff.

1999 BS in Civil Engineering; University of Portland; Portland, OR
2006 USAF Weapons School, F-15E; Nellis AFB, NV
2008 MA in Business Management; American Military University; Charles Town, WV
2011 USMC Command and Staff College; Quantico, VA; MA in Military Studies
2017 National Security Affairs Fellow; Hoover Institute; Stanford, CA
2018 Joint Professional Military Education, Phase II; Joint Forces Staff College; Norfolk, VA

1. February 1999 – May 2001, student, undergraduate pilot training, Sheppard AFB, TX
2. June 2001 – March 2002, student, F-15E basic course, 333 Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, NC
3. April 2002 – January 2005, F-15E pilot, scheduler, assistant chief of weapons, 391 Fighter Squadron, Mountain
Home AFB, ID
4. February 2005 – January 2008, F-15E flight examiner, security officer, chief of tactics, 492 Fighter Squadron,
Lakenheath AFB, United Kingdom
5. February 2008 – June 2011, F-15E USAF Weapons School instructor, Mission Employment project officer, Chief
of Wing Weapons, 57 Wing, Nellis AFB, NV
6. July 2011 – June 2012, student, USMC Command and Staff College, Quantico, VA
7. July 2012 – June 2014, action officer, JCS J-35 Joint Operations Directorate, Pentagon, VA
8. July 2014 – July 2016, Assistant Director of Operations and Commander, 494 Fighter Squadron, RAF
Lakenheath, United Kingdom
9. August 2016 – May 2017, National Security Affairs Fellow, Hoover Institute, Stanford, CA
10. June 2017 – June 2018, Executive Officer to the Commander of Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, VA
11. July 2018 – June 2020, Deputy Commander For Operations, 366 Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, ID
12. June 2020 – May 2022, Commander, 4 Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, Goldsboro, NC
13. June 2022 – July 2023, Executive Officer to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Pentagon, VA
14. July 2023 – present, Commander, 332 Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia

Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with 8 oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Combat Action Medal

Rating: Command Pilot
Flight/combat hours: 3100/900
Aircraft flown: F-15E, T-37, T-38

Second Lieutenant January 1999
First Lieutenant January 2001
Captain January 2003
Major September 2008
Lieutenant Colonel November 2012
Colonel April 2018

(Current as of July 2023)