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COLONEL CHAD R. 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.