COLONEL PAUL R. BIRCH
Col. Paul R. Birch, Ph.D. is the Commander, 93d Air Ground Operations Wing, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The Wing consists of three groups with over 2,800 Battlefield Airmen at 20 locations throughout the Continental U.S. Its subordinate units are the 3d Air Support Operations Group at Fort Hood, Texas, the 18th Air Support Operations Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., and the 820th Base Defense Group at Moody AFB. The ASOGs provide Air, Space, and Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance and weather expertise to plan, coordinate, and execute the supported ground commander’s scheme of maneuver. The 820th BDG provides rapidly deployable, fully integrated, highly specialized forces for active internal and external base defense.
Col. Birch earned his commission as a distinguished graduate from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996. He holds a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and a doctoral degree from the Air University. He is a senior pilot with more than 2,100 flying hours in the T-34C, T-1, T-39, T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-15E, KC-10A, U-2S and E-3B/G. He has over 750 combat hours and has flown missions in operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve and Resolute Support.
Prior to assuming his current position, Colonel Birch was the Special Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs (SAF/IA).
1994 Exchange Student, United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
1996 Distinguished Graduate, Bachelor of Science, Engineering Mechanics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1998 Master of Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
2002 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2009 Master of Airpower Art and Science, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2012 Outstanding Graduate, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2014 Doctorate of Philosophy, Military Strategy, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. May 1996–May 1998, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
2. June 1998–April 2000, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
3. May 2000–January 2001, Student, F-15E Weapons Systems Officer Formal Training, 333rd Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
4. February 2001–May 2002, F-15E Weapons Systems Officer and Scheduling Officer, 90th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
5. June 2002–June 2003, Air Force Intern, Office of the Secretary of Defense and later, Office of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.
6. July 2003–January 2005, Student, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training and Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Sheppard AFB, Texas
7. February 2005–October 2005, Student, F-15E Pilot Formal Training, 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
8. November 2005–June 2008, F-15E Instructor Pilot and Assistant Director of Operations, 335th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
9. July 2008–August 2009, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. September 2009–September 2010, Strategist, Combined Air Power Transition Force and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan
11. October 2010–May 2011, Director of Operations, 335th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
12. June 2011–June 2013, Commander, 4th Operations Support Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
13. July 2013–August 2013, Student, Joint Professional Military Education Phase II, NAS Norfolk, Va.
14. September 2013–August 2014, Air University Doctoral Candidate and Lorenz Fellow, with primary research at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
15. September 2014–May 2016, Chief, Fighter Branch, and later, Chief, Foreign Military Sales Policy and International Training Division, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, Washington D.C.
16. June 2016–June 2017, Commander, 380th Expeditionary Operations Group, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates
17. July 2017–May 2018, Special Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, Washington D.C.
18. May 2018-present, Commander, 93d Air Ground Operations Wing, Moody AFB, Ga.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. September 2009–September 2010, Strategist, Combined Air Power Transition Force and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan, as a major and lieutenant colonel
Ratings: navigator and senior pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,100
Aircraft flown: T-34C, T-1, T-39, T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-15E, KC-10A, U-2S, and E-3B/G
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement 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 April 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2010
Colonel April 1, 2016
(Current as of November 2019)