Lt. Gen. John Hesterman is Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia. As the Air Component Commander for U.S. Central Command, the general is responsible for developing contingency plans and conducting air operations in a 20-nation area of responsibility covering Central and Southwest Asia.
General Hesterman grew up in an Air Force family and graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1983. He has served in a variety of positions in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the United States, and has held staff assignments on the Air Staff, Joint Staff, and Office of the Secretary of Defense staff. The general has commanded the 494th Fighter Squadron, the 4th Operations Group, the 12th Flying Training Wing, and the 48th Fighter Wing.
General Hesterman has served as an instructor pilot in the F-16C, F-117A, F-15E and T-38C. He flew on the first night of Operation Desert Storm and served as an expeditionary squadron commander in operations Provide Comfort, Deny Flight, Deliberate Guard, and Northern Watch. He also served as U.S. Central Command's Deputy Combined Force Air Component Commander.
1983 Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1988 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB), Ala.
1989 Master of Aviation Science degree, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
1994 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1995 Master of Public Administration degree, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1999 Master of Strategic Studies degree, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2003 Summer Program in History and Politics, University of Oxford, England
2008 Combined Force Maritime Component Commanders Course, Naples, Italy
2009 Joint Force Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Fellow, Pinnacle Course, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1. June 1983 - August 1984, student, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. September 1984 - January 1985, student, lead-in fighter training, Holloman AFB, N.M.
3. January 1985 - September 1985, student, F-4 training, Homestead AFB, Fla.
4. October 1985 - June 1987, F-4E pilot, Spangdahlem Air Base (AB), West Germany
5. June 1987 - September 1987, student, F-16C training, Luke AFB, Ariz.
6. September 1987 - October 1988, F-16C pilot, Spangdahlem AB, West Germany
7. January 1989 - March 1990, F-16C instructor pilot, Kunsan AB, South Korea
8. March 1990 - January 1992, F-117A instructor pilot, Tonopah Test Range, Nev.
9. January 1992 - September 1994, member, Chief of Staff's Operations Group, and aide-de-camp to the Air Force Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
10. September 1994 - June 1995, student, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
11. July 1995 - December 1995, student, F-15E training, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
12. January 1996 - April 1997, assistant operations officer, later, operations officer, 492nd Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force (RAF) Lakenheath, England
13. May 1997 - May 1998, Commander, 494th Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, England
14. July 1998 - June 1999, student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
15. June 1999 - May 2001, special assistant to the Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C.
16. May 2001 - July 2002, Commander, 4th Operations Group, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
17. July 2002 - May 2004, Deputy Director for Colonel Matters, Air Force Senior Leader Management Office, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
18. May 2004 - January 2006, Commander, 12th Flying Training Wing, Randolph AFB, Texas
19. January 2006 - July 2006, special assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Air, Space and Information Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
20. August 2006 - June 2007, Deputy Director, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
21. June 2007 - August 2008, Commander, 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England
22. September 2008 - June 2010, Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs for Europe, NATO, Russia and Africa (J5), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
23. July 2010 - June 2011, Deputy Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command; Deputy, Combined Force Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command; Vice Commander 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force, Air Combat Command, Southwest Asia
24. July 2011 - November 2011, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
25. November 2011 - June 2013, Military Deputy for Readiness to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.
26. July 2013 - present, Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Southwest Asia
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 1999 - May 2001, special assistant to the Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., as a colonel
2. September 2008 - June 2010, Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs for Europe, NATO, Russia and Africa (J5), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as a brigadier general and major general
3. July 2010 - June 2011, Deputy, Combined Force Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command, as a major general
4. November 2011 - June 2013, Military Deputy for Readiness to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C., as a lieutenant general
5. July 2013 - present, Combined Force Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command, Southwest Asia
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 2,200
Aircraft flown: F-4D/E, F-16C, F-117A, F-15E and T-38C
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross with "V" device
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 1, 1983
First Lieutenant June 1, 1985
Captain June 1, 1987
Major March 1, 1994
Lieutenant Colonel Jan.1, 1997
Colonel April 1, 2000
Brigadier General June 4, 2007
Major General Feb. 12, 2010
Lieutenant General Nov. 17, 2011
(Current as of February 2015)