Col. Christopher J. Leonard is the Commander of the 48th Mission Support Group at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. The 48th Mission Support Group is the second largest in USAFE, with 2,000 personnel, 601 facilities, 1,300 military family housing units valued at $5.6 billion, as well as the largest AAFES and DeCA facilities in the U.K., and five DoDEA schools across three bases.
Col. Leonard entered the Air Force in May 1997 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has held numerous base, major command and Air Staff positions, which include Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight Commander, Readiness Flight Commander, Engineering Flight Commander and Operations Flight Commander. As Commander of the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron, he led 350 military and civilian personnel, providing engineering expertise and support to the 8th Fighter Wing’s two F-16 squadrons and deployed forces. His staff experience includes numerous positions within Air Combat Command and Headquarters Air Force. He has had multiple deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, serving as both an air advisor and explosive ordnance disposal officer.
Prior to assuming his current position, he served as the chief of the CBRN Defense Equipment Requirements Branch for the Joint Requirements Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense, J-8, Joint Staff at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
1997 Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
2000 Master of Science in engineering and environmental management, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2010 Air War College, by correspondence
2011 Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
2015 National Defense Fellow, Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Mass.
1. July 1997 – August 1998, program manager, Cultural and Natural Resources, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
2. August 1998 – March 2000, student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio
3. March 2000 – November 2000, student, Naval Explosive Ordnance School, Eglin AFB, Florida
4. November 2000 – June 2002, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight Commander, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
5. June 2002 – January 2003, Assistant Chief, Wing Plans and Inspections, 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C.
6. January 2003 – May 2003, Chief, Maintenance Engineering, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
7. May 2003 – May 2004, Contingency and Electrical Flight Commander, 39th Civil Engineer Squadron, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
8. May 2004 – May 2005, Readiness Flight Commander, 39th Civil Engineer Squadron, Incirlik AB, Turkey
9. May 2005 – May 2006, Command Civil Engineer Inspector, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
10. May 2006 - November 2006, Liaison to 3rd Ordnance Battalion (EOD), 732rd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron Detachment 5, Victory Base, Iraq
11. November 2006 – July 2007, Chief, Southwest Asia Delivery Team, Air Combat Command A7, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
12. July 2007 – May 2008, Engineering Flight Commander, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
13. May 2008 – June 2009, Chief of Civil Engineering/Air Advisor, Coalition Air Force Transition Team Headquarters, Baghdad International Zone, Iraq
14. June 2009 – June 2010, Operations Flight Commander, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
15. June 2010 – June 2011, student, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
16. June 2011 – June 2012, Commander, 8th Civil Engineer Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
17. June 2012 - August 2013, MILCON Branch Chief, Office of the Civil Engineer, Deputy Chief of Staff
for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters U. S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
18. Aug 2013 – July 2014, Executive Officer to the Director of Civil Engineers, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters U. S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
19. July 2014 – July 2015, National Defense Fellow, Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Mass.
20. July 2015 – July 17, CBRN Defense Branch Chief, Joint Requirement Office, J8, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
21. July 2017 – present, Commander, 48th Mission Support Group, RAF Lakenheath, England
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATONS
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Army Commendation Medal with Valor device
Air Force Combat Action Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 1997
First Lieutenant May 1999
Captain May 2001
Major November 2006
Lieutenant Colonel December 2010
Colonel April 2017
(Current as of July 2017)