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Col Chad James


Vice Commander, 159th Fighter Wing

Col Chad R. James is the Vice Commander, 159th Fighter Wing, Louisiana Air National Guard, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana.  As Wing Vice Commander, he is responsible for assisting the Wing Commander in formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting more than 1,500 Louisiana Air National Guard Airmen and civilians throughout the State.

Col James was commissioned in 1999 as a distinguished graduate from Louisiana Tech University’s ROTC program and earned his pilot wings as a graduate of the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training in Sheppard Air Force Base, TX.  His first operational flying assignment was in the 493d Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, UK.  Next, he moved to AETC, serving as an instructor pilot in the F-15C Formal Training Unit located at Tyndall AFB, FL. In 2008, he entered the PACOM AOR. He served a one year stint as an Air Liaison Officer in the Republic of Korea and then as an assistant director of operations at Kadena AB, Japan. During his time at Kadena AB, he deployed to Balad AB, Iraq, as a MC-12 Mission Commander in support of Operation NEW DAWN. In 2012, Col James transferred into the Oregon Air National Guard and served a second assignment as a F-15C Formal Training Unit instructor pilot at Kingsley Field, OR. He then served as Stan Eval Division Chief at 1AF in Tyndall AFB, FL. In this position, he flew with five different F-15C ANG squadrons while attached to the 125th Fighter Wing in Jacksonville, FL. In 2017, Col James entered the Louisiana Air National Guard. He has served as the Commander of both the 159th Operations Support Flight and the 159th Operations Group.  Col James has flown over 520 combat hours in 111 combat missions over Iraq. He assists the 159th FW Commander when conducting DSCA operations in order to mitigate loss of life and property.

Col James is a Command Pilot with more than 3,000 hours in Air Force fighter and ISR aircraft. He is also an Airbus pilot with a major airline.

1999   United States Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, GA
1999   Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA
2003   AMRAAM Warfighter Course, Tuscon, AZ
2003   Joint Tactical Information Distribution Systems Course, Fort McPherson, GA
2005   USAF Aircraft Mishap Investigation Course, 2005, Kirtland AFB, NM
2006   Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2008   Joint Air Operations Command and Control Course, Hurlburt Field, FL
2010   Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence
2014   Air Reserve Component Chief of Safety Course, Savannah CRTC, GA
2016   Air War College, Correspondence
2018   Air National Guard Squadron Commander’s Course, Andrews AFB, MD
  1.  January 2000–May 2000, Casual Lt/Assistant Scheduler, 963ACS, Tinker AFB, OK
  2.  May 2000–August 2001, UPT, 89/90FTS, Sheppard AFB, TX
  3.  August 2001–July 2002, F-15C RTU, 95FS, Tyndall AFB, FL
  4.  June 2002–June 2003, F-15C Pilot, Assistant Chief of Training, 493FS, RAF Lakenheath, UK
  5.  June 2003–June 2004, F-15C Pilot, Assistant Chief of Mobility, 493FS, RAF Lakenheath, UK
  6.  June 2004–March 2005, F-15C Mission Commander, Chief Air-to-Air Division, 48OSS, RAF Lakenheath, UK
  7.  March 2005–March 2006, F-15C IP, Chief of Safety, 2FS, Tyndall AFB, FL
  8.  March 2006–March 2007, F-15C IP, Flight Commander, 2FS, Tyndall AFB, FL
  9.  March 2007–May 2008, F-15C IP, Chief of Scheduling, 2FS, Tyndall AFB, FL
  10.  May 2008–May 2009, Air Support Operations Center Director, 607ASOG, Osan, AB, ROK
  11.  September 2009–March 2011, F-15C IP, Assistant Director of Operations, 67FS, Kadena AB, Japan
  12.  March 2011–October 2011, MC-12W Mission Commander, Ass. Director of Operations, 362ERS, Balad AB, Iraq
  13.  October 2011–March 2012, F-15C IP, Chief of Fighter Plans, 18OSS, Kadena AB, Japan
  14.  March 2012–November 2013, F-15C IP, Chief of Training, 114FS, Kingsley Field, OR
  15.  November 2013–February 2015, Wing Chief of Safety, 173FW, Kingsley Field, OR
  16.  February 2015–September 2017, Stan Eval Division Chief, 1AF, Tyndall AFB, FL
  17.  September 2017–October 2019, Commander, 159OSF, NAS JRB New Orleans, LA
  18.  October 2019–December 2020, Commander, 159OG, 159FW, NAS JRB New Orleans, LA
  19.  December 2020–Present, Vice Commander, 159FW, NAS JRB New Orleans, LA
Rating:  Command Pilot            
Flight Hours:  More than 3,000       
Aircraft flown:  T-37, T-38A, AT-38, MC-12W, F-15B/C/D/DJ
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with one silver leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with six oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long
Second Lieutenant December 17, 1999
First Lieutenant December 17, 2001
Captain December 17, 2003
Major August 1, 2009
Lieutenant Colonel April 29, 2014
Colonel April 30, 2020