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COLONEL BENJAMIN R. JONSSON

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Colonel Benjamin R. Jonsson is the Commander, 6th Air Refueling Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. As Commander, he is responsible for the Wing's worldwide combat air refueling mission and provides installation support to Headquarters U.S. Central Command, Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command and 31 other Joint mission partners. As the Commander, he is responsible for the security and well-being of the Base’s 19,900 employees and their families, along with $2.8 billion in Base property and capital assets.

 

Col Jonsson commissioned from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1999. Upon graduation from pilot training, Col Jonsson was assigned to Charleston AFB, SC, where he flew some of the initial C-17A combat missions of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.

 

From 2006-2008, Col Jonsson and his family lived in Amman, Jordan, where he graduated from the University of Jordan as an Olmsted Scholar. He later served as the Desk Officer for Egypt and Jordan on the Joint Staff J-5 during the "Arab Spring."

 

Col Jonsson commanded the 384th Air Refueling Squadron, McConnell AFB, KS. After attending the U.S. Army War College, Col Jonsson was the Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force as well as the Director for Jordan and Acting Director for Egypt at the National Security Council, Executive Office of the President. Prior to his current assignment, Col Jonsson served as the Vice Wing Commander, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Col Jonsson is a command pilot, having logged over 3,600 flight hours and over 900 combat hours.

 

EDUCATION

1999 Bachelor of Science in Political Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado

2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

2005 Arabic Intensive Course, Defense Language Institute East, Washington D.C.

2006 Master of Arts in Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle University, Florida

2008 Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution, University of Jordan

2009 Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence

2009 Intermediate Development Education, Olmsted Scholarship

2009 Nuclear Management Fundamentals Course, AF Nuclear Weapons Center, New Mexico

2012 Air War College, Correspondence

2016 Master of Strategic Studies, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania

 

PUBLICATIONS

“A New Plan for the United States in Syria,” War on the Rocks, Oct 19, 2015

“Why is America #Losing the Twitter War with ISIS,” The National Interest, Mar 8, 2016

“Talking to the Islamic State: Co-opting Jihadists into a Political Process,” War on the Rocks, May 3, 2016 (co-author)

“The Elihu Root Study on the Total Army,” War on the Rocks, May 3, 2016 (contributing author)

“Why ISIS Remains a Threat,” The Strategy Bridge, May 31, 2016

“Tomorrow Never Comes: Neglecting the Nuclear Force,” War on the Rocks, Jun 3, 2016 (co-author) “Terminating Conflict with the Islamic State,” Army War College Review, Vol. 2, No. 3, Aug 2016, 54-57

 

ASSIGNMENTS

  1. June 1999 – Feb 2001, Introductory Flight Training, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Undergraduate Pilot Training Student, Columbus AFB, MS; and C-17A Globemaster III qualification, Altus AFB, Oklahoma
  2. February 2001 – June 2002, C-17A Pilot, Squadron Scheduler, and Mission Director, 15th Airlift Squadron, C-17A, Charleston AFB, South Carolina
  3. June 2002 – October 2004, C-17A Aircraft Commander, Current Operations and Asst Chief Executive Officer, 16th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, South Carolina
  4. October 2004 – June 2005, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander and Chief of Tactics, 16th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, South Carolina
  5. June 2005 – July 2005, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  6. July 2005 – January 2006, Arabic Student, Defense Language Institute, Washington D.C.
  7. January 2006 – August 2008, Olmsted Scholar, University of Jordan, Amman
  8. August 2008 – December 2009, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander, Prime Nuclear Airlift Force Chief of Operations, 4th Airlift Squadron, McChord AFB, Washington
  9. December 2009 – August 2010, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander, 62 AW Air Expo Director, McChord AFB, Washington
  10. September 2010 – April 2011, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander, 62 AW Chief Executive Officer, McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
  11. April 2011 – May 2013, Political-Military Planner, Middle East Division, Joint Staff J-5, Pentagon
  12. May 2013 – March 2015, Commander, 384th Air Refueling Squadron, McConnell AFB, Kansas
  13. March 2015 – June 2015, Deputy CC, KC-135 Evaluator Pilot, 22d Operations Group, McConnell AFB, Kansas
  14. July 2015 – June 2016, Student, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
  15. June 2016 – September 2017, Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, Pentagon
  16. September 2017 – July 2018, Director for Jordan, National Security Council, The White House
  17. July 2018 – July 2020, Vice Commander, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
  18. August 2020 – Present, Commander, 6th Air Refueling Wing, MacDill AFB, Florida

 

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Rating: Command Pilot

Flight Hours: more than 3,600

Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-1, C-17A, KC-135R/T, B-1B, RC-135, E-8C, C-130J, C-130H

 

LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

Modern Standard Arabic DLPT: 3/3 Levantine DLPT: 3/3

Egyptian DLPT: 2+/3

 

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster Joint Meritorious Unit Award

Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal

 

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION

Second Lieutenant June 2 1999

First Lieutenant June 2 2001

Captain June 2 2003

Major December 1 2008

Lieutenant Colonel November 1 2012

Colonel May 1 2018