Col. Surya J. Frickel is the Vice Wing Commander, 482nd Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. He leads a mission-ready combat fighter wing. Col. Frickel also establishes and directs plans, objectives, policies and wing organization for more than 2,300 military and DOD civilian personnel as well as is responsible for overall operation, safety and security of a 2,200-acre Air Reserve Base, including tenant units.
Frickel was commissioned in 1995 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He attended Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin AFB, Texas and then F-16 training at Luke AFB, Ariz. After serving on active duty, he joined the Air Force Reserve in 2010. He has served in multiple leadership capacities at both the flight, squadron and group level. Prior to his current position, the colonel was an Individual Mobilization Augmentee assigned to J3, Headquarters United States European Command, Stuttgart, Germany.
Col. Frickel is a command pilot with more than 3,500 hours in the F-16C/D and the A/T-38B/C to include more than 700 combat hours. He has served in Operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Resolute Support, Freedom Sentinel and Noble Eagle. In his civilian capacity, Frickel is currently employed with a major U.S. airline where he flew the McDonnell-Douglas MD-88/90, the Boeing 737NG and the Boeing 757/767ER.
1995 Bachelor of Science, History, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2001 Squadron Officer School, Distinguished Graduate, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2002 USAF Adversary Threat Tactics Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2005 USAF Flight Safety Officer Course, Kirkland AFB, Nev.
2007 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Forward Air Controller (Airborne) Joint Firepower Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2011 Master’s degree in Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2015 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2016 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
June 1995 – December 1995, Assistant Director, Falconry Program, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
January 1996 – January 1997, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
January 1997 – May 1997, Student, 49th Fighter Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, Miss.
May 1997 – January 1998, Student, F-16C Formal Training Unit, 308th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
February 1998 – February 2001, F-16 Pilot, 13th FS, Misawa Air Base, Japan (March – June 1998 and March – June 2000, 13th Expeditionary FS, Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia)
February 2001 – November 2004, A/T-38B/C Chief Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, 49th FTS, Moody AFB, Ga.
November 2004 – February 2006, F-16 Pilot and Chief of Flight Safety, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
February 2006 – January 2010, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander and Assistant Director of Operations, 421st FS, Hill AFB, Utah (May – October 2006 and December 2007 – May 2008, 421st Expeditionary FS, Balad AB, Iraq; July – October 2009, 421st Expeditionary FS, Bagram AB, Afghanistan)
January 2010 – February 2012, F-16 Instructor Pilot and Assistant Director of Operations, 466th FS, Hill AFB, Utah (September – December 2011, 466th EFS, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea)
February 2012 – September 2013, Director of Operations (combined), 419th Operation Support Squadron/388th OSS, Hill AFB, Utah
September 2013 – August 2014, Director of Operations, 466th FS, Hill AFB, Utah
September 2014 – July 2015, Special Assistant to the Commander, 466th FS, Hill AFB, Utah
(February – May 2015, 4th EFS, Bagram AB, Afghanistan)
July 2015 – June 2017, Commander, 466th FS, Hill AFB, Utah
June 2017 – September 2017, Special Assistant to the Commander, 419th Operation Group, Hill AFB, Utah
October 2017 – May 2019, Commander (Group), Headquarters Utah Test and Training Range, Hill AFB, Utah
June 2019 – June 2021, IMA to ECJ3, United States European Command, Stuttgart, Germany
July 2021 – Present, Vice Wing Commander, 482nd Fighter Wing, Homestead ARB, Fla.
MILITARY FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,500, including more than 700 combat hours
Aircraft flown: T-41C, T-37, T-38A, AT-38B/C and F-16C/CJ/CG/CM
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Combat Readiness Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one device
Iraqi Campaign Medal with one device
Korean Defense Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long
NATO Medal with one device
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 31, 1995
First Lieutenant May 31, 1997
Captain May 31, 1999
Major July 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel July 1, 2012
Colonel September 1, 2017
(Current as of January 2022)