Colonel Eric C. Schmidt is the Commander of the 432d Wing and the 432d Air Expeditionary Wing, Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. Colonel Schmidt 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, combat systems officers, sensor operators, intelligence professionals, maintainers, and support personnel. As 432d Wing Commander, Colonel Schmidt 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.
Col Schmidt graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1999 and earned his commission as a distinguished graduate. He has served as the director of operations and the commander of the 3d Special Operations Squadron at Cannon AFB. Col Schmidt has also commanded the 432d Operations Group where he led five squadrons to include MQ-9s, RQ-170s, and an Operations Support Squadron.
Prior to his current assignment, Col Schmidt served as the Army and Special Missions Team Director, Office of Security Cooperation—Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq. He is a command pilot with more than 2,900 hours in the MQ-9, MQ-1, AT-38C, and F-15C supporting numerous worldwide combat and contingency operations. He served on deployments to Saudi Arabia, Italy, Niger, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait.
1999 Bachelor of Science, Management, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., Distinguished Graduate
2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2006 Master of Military Operational Art, American Military University
2008 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2012 Master of Military Arts and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., Distinguished Graduate
2013 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2017 Master of Science in National Security Strategy, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
1. August 1999 – April 2001, Student Pilot, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, 80th Operations Support Squadron, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
2. April 2001 – November 2001, F-15C Student Pilot, 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
3. November 2001 – August 2004, F-15C Four-ship Flight Lead and Mobility Officer, 44th Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan
4. August 2004 – November 2006, AT-38C Instructor Pilot and Assistant Flight Commander, 435th Fighter Training Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga.
5. November 2006 – November 2008, AT-38C Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, and Chief of Scheduling, 435th Fighter Training Squadron, Randolph AFB, Texas
6. November 2008 – July 2011, MQ-1B Instructor Pilot, Assistant Operations Officer, and Interim Operations Officer, 3d Special Operations Squadron, Cannon AFB, N.M.
7. August 2011 – June 2012, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
8. June 2012 – June 2014, Operations Officer, 3d Special Operations Squadron, Cannon AFB, N.M.
9. June 2014 – January 2016, Commander, 3d Special Operations Squadron, Cannon AFB, N.M.
10. January 2016 – July 2016, Deputy Commander, 27th Special Operations Group, Cannon AFB, N.M.
11. August 2016 – June 2017, Student, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. June 2017 – May 2018, Chief, Current Operations and Power Projection Division, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
13. June 2018 – June 2020, Commander, 432d Operations Group, Creech AFB, Nev.
14. June 2020 – April 2021, Director, Army/Special Missions Team, Office of Security Cooperation – Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq
15. May 2021 – Present, Commander, 432 Wing and 432d Air Expeditionary Wing, Creech AFB, Nev.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 2,900
Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38A, F-15C, AT-38C, MQ-1B, MQ-9
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with nine oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal with “C” device
AF Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
AF Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 1999
First Lieutenant June 2001
Captain June 2003
Major November 2008
Lieutenant Colonel November 2013
Colonel May 2018