8TH FIGHTER WING LEADERSHIP

Colonel David Shoemaker Colonel Steven Tittel Chief Master Sergeant Reiko Meeks 

Commander

David G. Shoemaker

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Vice Commander

Steven J. Tittel

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Command CMSgt

 Reiko L. Meeks

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COLONEL KRISTOPHER W. "VIPER" STRUVE

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Colonel Kristopher W. Struve commands the 8th Operations Group at Kunsan Air Base, republic of Korea. As commander, he is responsible for the conduct of conventional air-to-ground and air-to-air missions in support of armistice and wartime taskings to defend the ROK.

Colonel Struve is a command pilot with over 2500 flying hours in the F-16, T-38, and T-37, including 450 combat hours. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1999 through the ROTC program while a student at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He attended pilot training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas and F-16 training at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.  He has served operationally at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, twice at Misawa AFB, Japan, and both attended and taught at the U.S. Air Force’s Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada. He has served in combat in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.  He commanded the 13th Fighter Squadron and led them in the opening days of operations re-entering Iraq and into Syria as part of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE.  In 2007 he was awarded the National Aeronautic Association’s Clarence Mackay trophy for the most meritorious flight of the year as part of a 12 hour, four-ship strike mission into Afghanistan. Col Struve was previously assigned to the National War College, Washington D.C. where he received his Master of Science in National Security Strategy.

 

EDUCATION:

1999    Bachelor of Science Degree, Mechanical Engineering, Cal-Poly Pomona, California

2004    Squadron Officers School, Maxwell AFB, AL

2010    Masters of Science, Aero Science Technology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

2012    Intermediate Developmental Education, Masters of Science, Defense Analysis Irregular Warfare, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

2017    Senior Developmental Education, Masters of Science, National Security Strategy, National War College, Washington D.C.

 

 ASSIGNMENTS:

1999 – 2000   Student pilot, EURO-NATO Joint Pilot Training, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas

2001 – 2001   Student pilot, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Sheppard AFB, Texas

2001 – 2001   Student pilot, F-16 RTU, Luke AFB, AZ

2001 – 2004   F-16 Instructor pilot, Squadron Scheduler, Electronic Combat pilot and Assistant Weapons Officer, Flight Examiner, Standardization and Evaluation, Cannon AFB, NM

2004 – 2005   Chief of Squadron Standardization and Evaluation, Flight Examiner, Instructor pilot, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan

2005 – 2005   Student pilot, United States Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, NV

2005 – 2007   Weapons Officer 13th Fighter Squadron, Wing Weapons Officer, Misawa AB, Japan

2007 – 2011   F-16 Instructor, Scheduling Chief, Air-to-Air Supremacy Flight Commander, Chief of Weapons School Integration, United States Air Force Weapons School, USAF Warfare Center Advanced Programs and Integration Office, F-35 Beddown, Nellis AFB, NV

2011 – 2013   Intermediate Developmental Education, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA

2013 – 2014   Assistant Director of Operations and Director of Operations, 14th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan

2014 – 2015   Commander, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan

2015 – 2016   Executive Officer to the Commander, United States Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force

2016 - 2017    Senior Developmental Education, National War College, Washington D.C.

 

FLIGHT INFORMATION:   

Rating:  Command Pilot

Combat Hours:  452

Flight hours:  More than 2,500

Aircraft flown:  T-37, T-38, F-16  

 

 

AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:

Bronze Star Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal

National Aeronautical Association Mackay Trophy (2007)

 

EFFECTIVE DATES OF RANK:   

Second Lieutenant    12 July 1999

First Lieutenant        12 July 2001

Captain                    12 July 2003

Major                       1 June 2009

Lieutenant Colonel    1 November 2012

Colonel                    1 May 2017

 

(Current as of Jul 2017)