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8TH FIGHTER WING LEADERSHIP

 
 

Commander

Col. John B. Gallemore

Biography

Vice Commander

Col. Michael Richard

Biography

Command Chief

 CMSgt Thomas C. Schaefer

Biography

Biography Alphabetical List

COLONEL WESLEY R. "VIPER" HALES

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Colonel Wesley R. Hales is the Commander, 8th Operations Group, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Colonel Hales entered the United States Air Force after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy as a distinguished graduate in 1999. He has served as a T-38 and F-16 instructor pilot in support of operations worldwide. He has been assigned as a combat aviator, including as a squadron commander, in the INDOPACOM Area of Responsibility on four different occasions and has deployed to the Republic of Korea twice as part of Theater Support Packages. Additionally, Colonel Hales is a certified Foreign Area Officer with language and cultural training in both Latin America and Western Europe. He has worked in various jobs at the squadron, group, and wing level and in the joint environment, including Deputy Division Chief of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s European Operations Division in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and Deputy Commander, 56th Operations Group, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Prior to his current position, he was the Pacific Air Forces Liaison Officer to Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington D.C.

EDUCATION
1999 Bachelor of Science, Operations Research, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado
2001 Masters of Arts, French Language, Literature and Civilization, Middlebury College, Paris, France Campus
2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
2011 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, by Correspondence
2011 Spanish Basic Course, Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California
2012 Argentine Air Command and Staff College, Escuela Superior de Guerra Aerea, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2016 Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, by Correspondence

ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 1999 – June 2001, Graduate Student, Middlebury College, Paris, France Campus
2. June 2001 – December 2002, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, MS
3. January 2003 – April 2003, Student, T-38 Pilot Instructor Training, Randolph AFB, TX
4. April 2003 – April 2006, T-38 Instructor, Unit Standardization/Evaluation Monitor, Squadron Executive Officer, Assistant Flight Commander, Check Flight Instructor Pilot, Columbus AFB, MS
5. July 2006 – April 2007, Student, F-16 Basic Course, Luke AFB, AZ
6. June 2007 – June 2008, F-16 Pilot, Chief of Mission Integration, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea
7. July 2008 – Mar 2011, F-16 Instructor, Chief of Training, Chief of Wing Inspections, Assistant Director of Operations, Misawa Air Base, Japan
8. April 2011 – December 2011, Student, Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, CA
9. January 2012 – December 2012, Student, Escuela Superior de Guerra Aerea, Buenos Aires, Argentina
10. January 2013 – May 2016, Assistant Team Chief, Team Chief, Deputy Division Chief, Acting Division Chief, Defense Threat Reduction Agency European Operations Division, Kaiserslautern, Germany
11. August 2016 – June 2018, Advanced Programs Office Chief, Director of Operations, Misawa AB, Japan
12. June 2018 – June 2019, Commander, 8th Operations Support Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea
13. June 2019 – July 2020, Deputy Commander, 56th Operations Group, Luke Air Force Base, AZ
14. July 2020 – July 2021, Pacific Air Forces Liaison Officer to Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
15. July 2021 – Present, Commander, 8th Operations Group, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea

FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating:  Command Pilot
Flight hours:  2,200
Aircraft flown:  T-37, T-38, F-16

AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal 
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Achievement Medal 
Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Korean Defense Service Medal 

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 2, 1999 
First Lieutenant June 2, 2001 
Captain June 2, 2003 
Major November 1, 2008 
Lieutenant Colonel May 1, 2014
Colonel June 1, 2020