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COLONEL THOMAS J. PRESTON

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Col Thomas J. Preston is the commander of the 49th Maintenance Group, Holloman AFB, New Mexico. He commands 2,100 maintenance personnel in four squadrons responsible for all equipment and aircraft maintenance on 84 F-16C/D Fighting Falcons, 24 MQ-9 Reapers and 12 Ground Control Stations to meet the 49th Wing’s operational training and contingency taskings. He also manages all 49th Wing MQ-9 and F-16 sortie production, maintenance, training, weapons standardization and quality assurance. He is responsible for over $2.5 billion in total assets, including aircraft, avionics, test equipment, engines and munitions.  

Col Preston grew up in Billings, Montana and is a 1998 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He is a fully qualified joint officer and has served in various operational and staff positions in maintenance and logistics including Sortie Support Flight Commander, Maintenance Supervisor, Aircraft Maintenance Unit OIC, Operations Officer and Squadron Commander supporting F-117A, F-4F, T-38, HH-60, F-15C, F-22, B-1B, KC-135, C-17, C-130, RC-135 and E-8 aircraft.

EDUCATION 
 
1998 Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, CO
1999 Aircraft maintenance Officer School, Sheppard AFB, TX
2003 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2005 Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Operations School, Nellis AFB, NV
2006 Master of Aeronautical Science, Aviation management, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
2007 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL, by correspondence
2010 College of Naval Command and Staff, US Naval War College, Newport RI
2010 Master of Science, National Security and Strategic Studies, US Naval War College, Newport RI
2012 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL, by correspondence
2016 Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, Washington, D.C.
2016 Master of Science, National Resource Energy, Eisenhower School, Washington D.C.
 
ASSIGNMENTS
 
1. May 1998 - July 1999, Academic Affairs Officer/Instructor, USAF Academy, CO
2. July 1999 - May 2000, Propulsion Flight Commander, 49th Maintenance Squadron, Holloman Air Force Base, NM
3. May 2000 - November 2001, Sortie Support Flight Commander, 9th Fighter Squadron, Holloman AFB, NM
4. November 2001 – December 2002, Chief, Quality Assurance Evaluation, 49th Logistics Group, Holloman AFB, NM
5. January 2003 - May 2003, Maintenance Supervisor, 85th Maintenance Squadron, Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland
6. May 2003 - January 2004, 85th Aircraft Maintenance Unit OIC, 85th Maintenance Squadron, Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland
7. January 2004 - December 2005, 94th Aircraft Maintenance Unit OIC, 1st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Langley AFB, VA
8. December 2005 - December 2006, 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit OIC, 1st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Langley AFB, VA
9. January 2007 - June 2009, Operations Officer and Instructor, Advanced Maintenance and Munitions Officer School, Nellis AFB, NV
10. June 2009 - June 2010, Student, College of Naval Command and Staff, Naval War College, Newport, RI
11. July 2010 - July 2011, Commander, 379 Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
12. July 2011 - June 2012, Chief, Stockpile Logistics, Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
13. June 2012 – June 2013, POC, AF Logistics Panel, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
14. June 2013 – June 2014, Deputy Panel Chair, AF Logistics Panel, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
15. June 2014 – June 2015, Executive Officer to the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters United States Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
16.  July 2015 – June 2016, Student, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, Washington, D.C.
17.  July 2016 – May 2017, Chief, Future Operations Branch, European Command J4, Stuttgart, Germany
18.  May 2017 – March 2018, Deputy Chief, Operational Logistics Division (J43), European Command J4, Stuttgart, Germany
19.  April 2018 – April 2020, Chief, Operational Logistics Division (J43), European Command J4, Stuttgart, Germany
20.  May 2020 – Present, Commander, 49th Maintenance Group, Holloman AFB, N.M.
 
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
 
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Volunteer Service Medal
 
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
 
Second Lieutenant               May 1998
First Lieutenant                    May 2000
Captain                                 May 2002
Major                                    Nov 2007
Lieutenant Colonel               Oct 2012
Colonel                                 Jan 2019
 
(Current as of 15 May 2020)
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