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COLONEL JOHN R. ECHOLS

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Colonel Echols is the Commander, 325th Operations Group, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The group’s mission is to train and project unrivaled 5th Generation Combat Airpower. As the F-22’s sole Formal Training Unit, the 325th Operations Group flies F-22 and T-38 aircraft, conducts F-22 academic and simulator training, trains F-22 intelligence specialists and operates Tyndall AFB’s airfield to train and prepare F-22 pilots and operational support personnel for worldwide assignment to combat Air Force units.

Colonel Echols graduated from the University of New Mexico where he was commissioned in 1999. He is a command pilot with over 2,000 fighter hours in the F-15C/D Eagle and F-22A Raptor, and has led combat forces in Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and NORTHERN WATCH. Colonel Echols has served in a variety of operational, educational and staff assignments. He was an initial cadre member of the first operational F-22 squadron, served as a Political Affairs Strategist and Executive Officer to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command Chief of Staff, commanded the 94th Fighter Squadron and was a National Defense Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Most recently he served as Executive Officer to the Commander, United States Air Forces Europe – Air Forces Africa, led the transition team for the incoming Supreme Allied Commander-Europe and led United States Air Forces Europe – Air Forces Africa’s Special Programs Division.

EDUCATION:

1999    Bachelor of Business Administration, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

2006    Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL

2011    Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL

2017    Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Staff College, Naval Air Station Norfolk, VA

2018    International Relations Masters studies, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University,

Medford, MA; Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

 

ASSIGNMENTS:

  1. November 99 – January 01; Student Pilot, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, TX
  2. February 01 – May 01; Student Pilot, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Moody AFB, GA
  3. June 01 – December 01; F-15C Student Pilot, 1 FS, Tyndall AFB, FL
  4. January 02 – September 04; F-15C Instructor Pilot, 27 FS, Langley AFB, VA
  5. October 04 – January 07; F-22A Instructor/Evaluator Pilot, 27 FS, Langley AFB, VA
  6. February 07 – June 10; F-22A Instructor/Evaluator Pilot, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, Flight Commander, 43 FS, Tyndall AFB, FL
  7. July 10 – June 11; Student, Air Command and Staff College, Political Affairs Strategist, Maxwell AFB, AL
  8. July 11 – May 12; Joint Campaign Planner, NORAD and USNORTHCOM, Peterson AFB, CO
  9. June 12 – April 13; Executive Officer to NORAD and USNORTHCOM Chief of Staff, Peterson AFB, CO
  10. May 13 – October 13;  Director of Operations, 1 OSS, Langley AFB, VA
  11. November 13 – February 15; Director of Operations, 94 FS, Langley AFB, VA
  12. March 15 – March 17; Commander, 94 FS, Langley AFB, VA
  13. April 17 – July 17; Deputy Commander, 1st Operations Group, Langley AFB, VA
  14. August 17 – June 18; National Defense Fellow, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, MA
  15. July 18 – May 19; Executive Officer to COMUSAFE-AFAFRICA, Ramstein Airbase, Germany
  16. June 19 – May 20; Chief, Special Programs Division, USAFE-AFAFRICA, Ramstein Airbase, Germany
  17. June 20 – Present; Commander, 325th Operations Group, Tyndall AFB, FL

 

FLIGHT INFORMATION:

Rating:  Command Pilot

Fighter Hours:  More than 2000

Aircraft flown:  T-37, T-38A/B, F-15C/D and F-22A

 

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Achievement Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

 

(Current as of September 2020)

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