Colonel Stephen R. Jones is the Commander of the 432d Wing and the 432d Air Expeditionary Wing, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Colonel Jones leads all operations and maintenance of the Air Force’s first Remotely Piloted Aircraft wing, equipped with more than 120 MQ-9 Reaper and RQ-170 Sentinel aircraft. The 432d Wing conducts 24/7 persistent attack and reconnaissance combat operations worldwide, while training pilots, sensor operators, intelligence professionals, maintainers, and support personnel. As 432d Wing Commander, Colonel Jones leads more than 5,000 people across five groups and twenty squadrons, in addition to serving as the Installation Command Authority for Creech Air Force Base. In the role of 432d AEW Commander, he commands MQ-9 and RQ-170 deployed operations supporting CENTCOM, EUCOM, AFRICOM, and INDOPACOM Combatant Commanders.
Colonel Jones graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley in 1996 and received his commission as a distinguished graduate of Air Force ROTC. As a B-1 Instructor Pilot, he deployed multiple times in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and flew numerous Continuous Bomber Presence missions throughout the European and Pacific theaters. Col Jones was an initial member of the team that weaponized the RQ-1 Predator and first employed it in Afghanistan immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001. He has served as the director of operations for the 556th Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron and commanded the 17th Reconnaissance Squadron at Creech AFB. Colonel Jones also commanded the 451st Air Expeditionary Group at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, where he led nine squadrons to include E-11s, KC-135s, A-10s, MQ-9s, HH-60s, and an Expeditionary Space Control Squadron. He has a variety of exchange and staff experience, including Director of the Royal Air Force Higher Air Warfare Course and Chief of the Special Programs Division for the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Jones served as the Vice Commander of the 603d Air Operations Center, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. He is a command pilot with more than 3,500 hours in the B-1, RQ-1, MQ-1, MQ-9, RQ-170, and E-11, including more than 700 combat hours.
1. June 1996 – December 1997, Student, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. December 1997 – September 1998, Student, B-1 initial qualification course, Dyess AFB, Texas
3. September 1998 – December 2000, B-1 Aircraft Commander, Weapons and Tactics Officer, 34th Bomb Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
4. December 2000 – March 2001, Student, RQ-1 initial qualification course, Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, Nev.
5. March 2001 – October 2003, MQ-1 Instructor Pilot, Chief of Flight Training, 15th Reconnaissance Squadron, Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, Nev.
6. October 2003 – March 2004, Student, B-1 requalification course, Dyess AFB, Texas
7. March 2004 – March 2006, B-1 Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, 34th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
8. March 2006 – July 2007, B-1 Instructor Pilot, Chief of Ranges and Airspace, 28th Operations Support Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
9. July 2007 – July 2008, Student, Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, UK
10. July 2008 – July 2010, Director, RAF Higher Air Warfare Course, Air Warfare Center, RAF Cranwell, UK
11. July 2010 – October 2010, Student, MQ-1 initial qualification course, Creech AFB, Nev.
12. October 2010 – April 2012, Director of Operations, 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Creech AFB, Nev.
13. April 2012 – March 2014, Commander, 17th Reconnaissance Squadron, Creech AFB, Nev.
14. March 2014 – July 2014, Deputy Operations Group Commander, 732d Operations Group, Creech AFB, Nev.
15. July 2014 – June 2015, Student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
16. June 2015 – April 2016, Deputy Chief, ISR Current Operations Division, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
17. April 2016 – August 2017, Chief, Special Programs Division, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
18. August 2017 – July 2018, Commander, 451st Air Expeditionary Group, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
19. July 2018 – May 2019, Vice Commander, 603d Air Operations Center, Ramstein, Germany
20. June 2019 – Present, Commander, 432d Wing and 432d Air Expeditionary Wing, Creech AFB, Nev.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2015 – April 2016, Deputy Chief, ISR Current Operations Division, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
2. April 2016 – August 2017, Chief, Special Programs Division, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,500
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, B-1, RQ-1, MQ-1, MQ-9, RQ-170, E-11
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with nine oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major June 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel December 1, 2010
Colonel April 1, 2017
(Current as of November 2020)