Colonel Jerry Bennett is the Vice Commander, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. The wing, comprised of over 6,000 Airmen and coalition partners at six geographically separated airfields, provides air mobility, precision strike, personnel recovery, electronic attack, logistics operations, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets in support of operations throughout Southwest Asia. Approximately 400 of the wing’s Airmen are filling Joint Expeditionary Taskings in support of U.S. Army combat support requirements at forward operating bases in Southwest Asia.
Colonel Bennett received his commission through USAF Officer Training School in 2001. He is a C-17 to KC-135 PHOENIX REACH graduate and has served as the Chief of Force Development in the Directorate of Manpower, Personnel, and Services Headquarters at Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base Il., as well as in various positions at squadron, group, wing, MAJCOM, and Joint Staff levels.
He has also deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom in four different aircraft, including a deployment as a Combat Air Advisor to the Iraqi Air Force as a dual-qualified C-208 and C-172 Instructor Pilot. He is a command pilot with over 2,600 hours in airlift, tanker, and training aircraft.
Prior to his current position, he served as a military fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C.
2001 Bachelor of Arts, General Studies in Geography, University of Nebraska, Omaha, Neb.
2007 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2008 Master of Aeronautical Science in Aviation Safety, Embry-Riddle University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2012 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB., Ala., by correspondence
2013 Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
2013 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2015 Joint Professional Military Education II, Norfolk, Va.
2020 Center for Strategic and International Studies Military Fellow, Washington D.C.
- January 2002-May 2003, Student Pilot, T-34 / T-1, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla. and Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
- May 2003-May 2005, Chief of Training and C-21 Instructor Pilot, Peterson AFB, Colo.
- May 2005-May 2007, Chief of Standardization/Evaluations, C-21 Evaluator Pilot, Keesler AFB, Miss.
- October 2007-October 2010, Assistant Director of Operations and C-17A Aircraft Commander, 517 Airlift Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska (June 2009-January 2010, C-208/C-172 Combat Air Advisor to the Iraqi Air Force and Group Executive Officer, 321st Air Advisory Expeditionary Group, Baghdad, Iraq)
- October 2010-December 2012, Deputy Director of Staff, Wing Executive Officer, Assistant Director of Operations and KC-135R Instructor Pilot, 22nd Air Refueling Wing, McConnell AFB, Kan.
- December 2012-December 2013, Student Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
- December 2013–July 2016, Chief, Space Policy Branch, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J5) and Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Global Policy and Partnerships, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
- July 2016–July 2018, KC-135 Evaluator Pilot/Commander, 344th Air Refueling Squadron, 22d Air Refueling Wing, McConnell AFB, Kan.
- July 2018-June 2019, AMC, Chief Force Development, Directorate of Manpower, Personnel, and Services Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
- June 2019-Aug 2020, Training Program Manager, Air Force Security Assistance and Training Squadron, HQ AETC, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas
- Aug 2020-June 2021, Military Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.
- June 2021-Present, Vice Commander, 386 Air Expeditionary Wing, Ali Al Salem AB, Kuwait
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 2600
Aircraft flown: KC-46A, KC-135R, C-17A, C-21, C-172, C-208, T-1, T-34
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant December 20, 2001
First Lieutenant December 20, 2003
Captain December 20, 2005
Major December 1, 2011
Lieutenant Colonel February 1, 2015
Colonel February 1, 2021
(Current as of June 2021)