Brigadier General Derek J. O’Malley is the Commander, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, with an air expeditionary group at Kandahar Airfield and other geographically separated units. As commander, he is responsible for executing full spectrum air operations in support of United States, coalition, and partner forces in Afghanistan. The wing also supports security for Bagram Airfield, supervises the Joint Operations Area’s largest Role III hospital, and directs aeromedical evacuation and command and control assets in support of Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s RESOLUTE SUPPORT mission.
Brig Gen O’Malley received his commission as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program from Brigham Young University, Utah in 1996. He completed pilot training at Vance AFB, Okla. in 1998, and has accumulated more than 2,500 flight hours in operational flying assignments in the F-16, F-35A, and A-10C. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and also served as an F-16 Weapons School instructor. In 2009, Brig Gen O’Malley was selected for the initial cadre for the F-35 Lightning II. Subsequently, he commanded an operational test squadron, where he led test efforts for the F-16, F-15C, F-15E, A-10, F-22, and F-35A. Brig Gen O’Malley also served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Senior Military Evaluator for Air Warfare Systems and as the Vice Wing Commander of the 388th Fighter Wing. He has deployed in support of Operations NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. Prior to his current position, he was the Commander of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.
1996 Bachelor of Arts degree, Communications, Brigham Young University, Utah 2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 Distinguished Graduate, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2005 Master’s degree in business administration, Trident University, distance learning program
2005 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2009 Distinguished Graduate, Master of Science degree, Special Operations & Low Intensity Conflicts, Naval Postgraduate School
2013 Air War College, by correspondence
2015 Distinguished Graduate, Master of Science degree, Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College, Pa.
- October 1996 – May 1997, Executive Officer, 71st Operations Group, Vance AFB, Okla.
- May 1997 – September 1998, student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
- September 1998 – August 1999, student, F-16 Initial Qualification Training, 308th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
- August 1999 – July 2001, Assistant Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 389th FS, Mt Home AFB, Idaho
- July 2001 – January 2003, F-16 Flight Examiner, Flight Commander, 22d FS Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany
- January 2003 – July 2004, student, U.S. Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, 16th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
- July 2004 – August 2005, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 35th FS, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
- August 2005 – June 2008, F-16 Instructor, Assistant Director of Operations, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, 16th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
- June 2008 – October 2009, student, Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, Calif.
- October 2009 – July 2011, Deputy Operations Group Commander, 33rd Operations Group, Eglin AFB, Fla.
- July 2011 – June 2012 Director of Operations, 422d Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
- June 2012 – June 2014, Commander, 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
- June 2014 – June 2015, student, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pa.
- June 2015 – June 2017, Senior Military Advisor for Air Warfare Systems, Office of the Secretary of Defense
- June 2017 – June 2018, Vice Commander, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah
- June 2018 – June 2020, Commander, 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C.
- June 2020 – Present, Commander, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
Summary of Joint Assignments
June 2015 – June 2017, Senior Military Advisor for Air Warfare Systems, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Director of Operational Test & Evaluation, Pentagon, Va.
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,500 including 160 combat hours Aircraft flown: T-3, T-37, T-38, F-35A, F-16, and A-10C
Major Awards and Decorations
Defense Superior Service Medal Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with valor device
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Effective Dates of Promotion
Second Lieutenant August 1996
First Lieutenant August 1998
Captain August 2000
Major August 2006
Lieutenant Colonel December 2010
Colonel May 2016
Brigadier General June 2020
(Current as of June 2020)