Col. John A. Kent is the Vice Commander of the 48th Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, the only wing in the Air Force with an official name, the "Statue of Liberty Wing." The Liberty Wing consists of approximately 4,500 active-duty personnel and over 1,000 British and U.S. civilians. The wing includes a geographically-separated installation at nearby RAF Feltwell. It employs three combat-ready squadrons of F-15E Strike Eagle and F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft, as well as a squadron of HH-60G Pave Hawk Combat Search and Rescue helicopters and a squadron of Guardian Angel pararescuemen.
Col. Kent was born in Altus, Okla. and earned his commission upon graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996. He graduated, with distinction, from Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. Col. Kent has served as an F-15C instructor pilot, flight examiner, flight commander, assistant director of operations, chief of weapons and tactics, director of operations, commander, and deputy commandant.
Prior to this assignment, Col. Kent served as the Deputy Division Chief of Air Force Strategy, Directorate of Strategy, Concepts, and Assessments, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, where he led a team responsible for developing Air Force strategic documents designed to guide the organizing, training, and equipping of the force over the coming decades. He is a command pilot with more than 2,100 flight hours and has supported operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Noble Eagle, and deployed as the J3 for CENTCOM Forward Jordan.
1996 Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2010 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2010 Master of Military Arts and Science, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2015 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2015 Master of Strategic Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. August 1996 - May 1997, assistant executive officer, instructor, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
2. May 1997 - May 1998, student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
4. May 1998 - October 1998, student, Intro to Fighter Fundamentals, Columbus AFB, Miss.
5. October 1998 - July 1999, student, F-15C pilot, 1st Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
6. July 1999 - October 2002, aircraft commander, scheduling officer, instructor pilot, activity security manager, 27th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
7. October 2002 - August 2003, flight commander, instructor pilot, 60th Fighter Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.
8. August 2003 - May 2004, assistant chief, Weapons and Tactics, instructor pilot, 33rd Operations Support Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.
9. May 2004 - July 2005, assistant chief, Standardization and Evaluation, flight examiner, 33rd Operations Group, Eglin AFB, Fla.
10. July 2005 - February 2007, Chief, Weapons and Tactics, 493rd Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, England
11. February 2007 - July 2009, Weapons Instructor Course instructor pilot, Assistant Director of Operations, 433rd Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
12. July 2009 - August 2010, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
13. August 2010 - June 2011, Director of Operations, Weapons Instructor Course instructor pilot, 433rd Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
14. June 2011 - January 2014, Commander, 433rd Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
15. January 2014 - July 2014, Deputy Commandant, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
16. July 2014 - June 2015, student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
17. June 2015 - May 2017, Deputy Division Chief, Air Force Strategy, Directorate of Strategy, Concepts, and Assessments, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C.
18. May 2017 - present, Vice Commander, 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: over 2,100
Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38, F-15C
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major May 01, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel July 01, 2011
Colonel Apr. 01, 2017
(Current as of May 2017)