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BRIGADIER GENERAL CRAIG R. BAKER

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Brig. Gen. Craig R. Baker is the Commander, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, with an air expeditionary group at Kandahar Airfield and detachments located throughout Afghanistan. As commander, he is responsible for executing full spectrum air operations in support of United States, coalition and partner forces in Afghanistan. The wing also supports security for Bagram Airfield, supervises the Joint Operations Area’s largest Role III hospital and directs aeromedical evacuation and command and control assets in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Resolute Support mission.

General Baker graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1992 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He has commanded at the squadron and wing levels and held staff assignments at Headquarters, Air Force and the United States Air Forces Central Command. Prior to his current assignment, he was Chief of the Checkmate Division for Headquarters Air Staff, U.S Air Force.

General Baker is a command pilot with more than 2,600 flying hours in the F-22A, F-16C/D, T-38A and T-37.

EDUCATION
1992 Bachelor of Science, mechanical engineering, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
1999 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2006 Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence, Joint Military Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.
2012 Master of Science in Strategic Studies, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
2015 Air Force Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

ASSIGNMENTS
1. August 1992 - September 1993, student pilot, 54th Flying Training Squadron, Reese AFB, Texas
2. September 1993 - October 1994, F-16 initial training, 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
3. October 1994 - October 1995, Squadron Electronic Combat Pilot, 35th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea
4. October 1995 - July 1997, instructor pilot and assistant Weapons Officer, 4th Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah
5. July 1997 - December 1997, student, U.S. Air Force Weapons School F-16 Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
6. December 1997 - March 1999, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 4th Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah
7. March 1999 - July 2002, instructor and flight commander, USAFWS F-16 Fighter Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
8. July 2002 - July 2004, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
9. July 2004 - July 2005, F-22 Program Manager, 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
10. July 2005 - August 2006, student, Joint Military Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency, Bolling AFB, Washington D.C.
11. August 2006 - March 2008, Chief, Global Strike Branch, Directorate of Requirements, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operational Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C.
12. March 2008 - September 2009, Director of Operations, 7th Fighter Squadron, Holloman AFB, N.M.
13. September 2009 - July 2011, Commander, 8th Fighter Squadron, Holloman AFB, N.M.
14. July 2011 - June 2012, student, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
15. June 2012 - July 2013, Director of Operations, Air Force Central Command Operations Directorate, Al Udeid AB, Qatar
16. July 2013 - February 2014, Vice Commander, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nev.
17. March 2014 - July 2016, Commander, 180th Fighter Wing, Toledo Air National Guard Base, Ohio
18. July 2016 – June 2017, Director, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Checkmate Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C.
19. June 2017 – present, Commander, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,600
Aircraft flown: F-22A, F-16C/D, T-38A, T-37

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

EFFECTIVE DATES PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 30, 1992
First Lieutenant May 30, 1994
Captain May 30, 1996
Major Jan. 1, 2003
Lieutenant Colonel Sept. 1, 2007
Colonel Aug. 1, 2013
Brigadier General Frocked

 

(Current as of June 2017)