Col. Russ “Bones” Cook, is Commander of the 23rd Wing, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The 23rd Wing is home to the legendary “Flying Tigers” and consists of five groups, with 21 squadrons comprised of more than 4,000 Airmen, over 700 civilian employees and 71 aircraft. The wing provides A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft for close air support, forward air control and combat support for combatant commander requirements worldwide. The 23rd Wing also provides combat search and rescue and personnel recovery capabilities through the employment of HC-130J Combat King IIs, HH-60W Jolly Green IIs, and Guardian Angel weapon systems. The wing has units at Moody AFB, Ga., and Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla.
Col. Cook was commissioned in 2000 as a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He has served in a variety of flying positions during assignments in Pacific Air Forces and Air Combat Command. He commanded the 347th Rescue Group at Moody AFB, Ga., the 563rd Operations Support Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. He also served as an advisor to the Iraqi Air Force and flew numerous combat missions in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, OPERATION FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, and OPERATION RESOLUTE SUPPORT.
Col. Cook is a command pilot with more than 2,700 hours in multiple aircraft and over 250 combat hours in the HH-60G and UH-1H.
2000 Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2009 U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
2011 Master’s Degree, Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle University, Fla.
2014 Distinguished Graduate, Master’s Degree, Military Studies, USMC Command and Staff College, Va.
2015 Master’s Degree, Philosophy in Military Strategy, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air University, Ala.
2017 Distinguished Gradate, Master’s Degree, National Security Strategy, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
1. May 2000 – December 2000, Sports Information Officer, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2. January 2001 – April 2001, Assistant Executive Officer, 7th Operations Group, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
3. April 2001 – November 2001, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
4. December 2001 – June 2002, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training – Helicopter, Ft. Rucker AIN, Ala.
5. July 2002 – Feb 2003, Student, UH-1N Initial Qualification Training, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
6. March 2003 – May 2006, Chief Standardization and Evaluation, 459th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan
7. June 2006 – December 2006, Student, HH-60G Initial Qualification Training, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
8. January 2007 – January 2011, Flight Commander, 41st Rescue Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga.
9. July 2009 – December 2009, Student, U.S. Air Force Weapons School Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
10. February 2011 – May 2013, Director of Operations, 34th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
11. June 2013 – June 2014, Student, U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, Va.
12. July 2014 – June 2015, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
13. September 2015 – July 2017, Commander, 563rd Operations Support Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
14. August 2017 – June 2018, Student, National War College, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C.
15. June 2018 – May 2020, Executive Officer to the Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces Korea, Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea
16. June 2020 – May 2021, Commander, 347th Rescue Group, Moody AFB, GA
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2018 - May 2020, Executive Officer to the Deputy Commander, USFK, Camp Humphreys, ROK, as a colonel
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,700 including 250 combat hours
Aircraft flown: T-37, UH-1H, UH-1N, HH-60G, HH-60W, HC-130J
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Defense Superior Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze stars
Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze stars
Korean Defense Service Medal
NATO Medal with oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May, 2000
First Lieutenant May, 2002
Captain May, 2004
Major Feb, 2010
Lieutenant Colonel April, 2014
Colonel March, 2019
(Current as of July 2021)