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COLONEL CRAIG R. SIMMONS

Col. Craig R. Simmons is Commander, 482nd Operations Group, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida. As group commander, he is responsible for the combat development and training of over 150 Airmen, including active duty, Air Reserve Technicians, traditional reservists, and full-time civilians in a group consisting of 28 F-16C/D aircraft. His leadership span of control encompasses aviators, intelligence, aircrew flight equipment, medical, air traffic control, and administrative personnel. Additionally, he manages operations training ensuring maximum individual proficiency to facilitate combat deployments in support of the combatant commanders.
 
Col. Simmons received his commission in 1996, from the United States Air Force Academy. He has served as a Fighter Pilot, Instructor Pilot, Flight Evaluator, Air Liaison Officer, Joint Terminal Attack Controller, Flight Commander, Director of Operations, and Commander of the 482nd Operations Group, Detachment 1. Prior to his current position, Simmons was Chief, Combat Operations Division, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.
 
Simmons is a combat veteran of ten deployments including Operations Northern Watch, Enduring, Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Unified Protector.
 
EDUCATION
1996 Bachelor of Science, Engineering Mechanics, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2000 Electronic Combat Pilot School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2001 Air-Ground Operations School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2011 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2018 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2018 Master of Strategic Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
 
ASSIGNMENTS
1. May 1996 - April 1997, Research Assistant, Department of Astronautics, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2. April 1997 - September 1997, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
3. September 1997 - August 1998, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Columbus AFB, Miss.
4. August 1998 - May 1999, F-16 Replacement Training Unit, 62nd Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
6. May 1999 - January 2002, F-16 Fighter Pilot, Assistant Chief of Weapons, Shaw AFB, S.C.
7. January 2002 - April 2004, Air Liaison Officer, Joint Terminal Attack Controller, Flight Commander, 20th Air Support Operations Squadron, Fort Drum, N.Y.
8. April 2004 - December 2006, F-16CM Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, 55th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
9. December 2006 - July 2007, Operations Flight Commander, 8th Operations Support Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea
10. July 2007 - July 2008, Chief of Plans, Programs, and Inspections, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
11. July 2008 - October 2010, F-16CM Instructor Pilot and Evaluator, Flight Commander, 307th Fighter Squadron/Detachment 1, Shaw AFB, S.C.
12. October 2010 - October 2011, Assistant Director of Operations, Shaw AFB, S.C.
13. October 2011 - October 2013, Director of Operations, 482nd Operations Group, Detachment 1, Shaw AFB, S.C.
14. October 2013 - May 2014, Special Assistant to the Operations Group Commander, 20th Operations Group, Shaw AFB, S.C.
15. May 2014 - December 2016, Commander, 482nd Operations Group, Detachment 1, Shaw AFB, S.C.
16. December 2016 - July 2017, Deputy Commander, 20th Operations Group, Shaw AFB, S.C.
17. July 2017 - May 2018, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
18. May 2018 – February 2019, F-16 Functional Manager and Subject Matter Expert, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
19. February 2019 – May 2021, Chief, Combat Operations Division, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
20. May 2021 – present, Commander, 482nd Operations Group, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla.
 
FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating:  Command Pilot
Flight hours:  More than 2,800, including 1000 combat hours
Aircraft Flown:  T-37, T-38, AT-38, and F-16
 
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Distinguished Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor with six oak leaf clusters
 
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTIONS
Second Lieutenant May 1996
First Lieutenant May 1998
Captain May 2000
Major May 2006
Lieutenant Colonel August 2012
Colonel March 2019
 
(Current as of June 2021)