Lt. Gen. Frank J. Kisner is Commander, NATO Special Operations Headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium. He leads a multinational staff, representing 26 NATO and three non-NATO nations, acting as the primary point of direction and coordination for all NATO special operations-related activities in order to optimize employment of NATO special operations forces. The headquarters is responsible for NATO SOF doctrine, operational and higher echelon training and standardization and, when directed by SACEUR, for providing an operational command capability for NATO special operations forces.
General Kisner graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1980. He has held a variety of operational assignments and has commanded at the squadron, group, wing, and geographic combatant command sub-unified command levels. This includes command of a special operations wing, an airlift wing and a Theater Special Operations Command. Additionally, the general has held staff assignments at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Joint Special Operations Command, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Headquarters U.S. Pacific Command, and Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command.
General Kisner has significant experience in combat and leadership in major joint contingency operations. He served on a joint special operations task force during Operation Desert Storm, commanded a special operations squadron during Kosovo operations and conducted contingency operations in Africa. From September 2001 to January 2002, he was forward-deployed with Joint Special Operations Task Force-North in Operation Enduring Freedom. From December 2002 to May 2003, he was forward- deployed for operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. From May 2008 until May 2009, he served as commander for forces in Operation Enduring Freedom Trans Sahara.
1980 Bachelor of Science degree, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1985 Distinguished graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1993 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
1994 Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
1994 Master of Science degree in management, Central Michigan University
1997 Air War College, by correspondence
2000 Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies, with distinction, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
1. June 1980 - June 1981, student, undergraduate pilot training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
2. July 1981 - October 1981, C-130 initial qualification, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
3. October 1981 - December 1986, pilot, aircraft commander, executive officer, instructor pilot and flight examiner, 774th Tactical Airlift Squadron and 463rd Tactical Airlift Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas
4. January 1987 - March 1987, MC-130E initial qualification, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
5. April 1987 - May 1990, aircraft commander, instructor pilot, flight examiner and flight management officer, 1st Special Operations Squadron, and Chief, Standardization and Evaluation, 353rd Special Operations Wing, Clark Air Base, Philippines
6. May 1990 - June 1993, Chief, Combat Talon Tactical Airlift Special Operations (J3), Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.
7. June 1993 - June 1994, student, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort
8. June 1994 - December 1994, C-130 requalification and MC-130H initial qualification, Little Rock AFB, Ark., and Kirtland AFB, N.M.
9. January 1995 - July 1995, flight commander and aircraft commander, 7th Special
Operations Squadron, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England
10. July 1995 - June 1997, Director of Operations and flight examiner, 7th Special
Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, England
11. June 1997 - June 1999, Commander, 7th Special Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, England
12. July 1999 - June 2000, student, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
13. June 2000 - June 2001, Chief, Pacific Division, Office of Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, Washington, D.C.
14. July 2001 - June 2002, Commander, 16th Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
15. June 2002 - October 2003, Commander, 16th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
16. November 2003 - January 2005, Commander, 43rd Airlift Wing, Pope AFB, N.C.
17. February 2005 - November 2005, Director of Plans and Programs, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
18. December 2005 - February 2007, Deputy Director, Strategic Planning and Policy (J5), U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii
19. February 2007 - May 2008, Director, Center for Force Structure, Requirements, Resources and Strategic Assessments (J8), Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Fla.
20. May 2008 - July 2010, Commander, Special Operations Command Europe, and Director, Special Operations, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany
21. July 2010 - present, Commander, NATO Special Operations Headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. May 1990 - June 1993, Chief, Combat Talon Tactical Airlift Special Operations (J3), Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C., as a major
2. September 2001 - January 2002, Deputy Commander, Joint Special Operations Task Force-North, and Commander, Joint Special Operations Air Component, JSOTF-North, Operation Enduring Freedom, as a colonel
3. November 2002 - May 2003, Commander, Combined/Joint Special Operations Air Component, Operations Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, as a colonel
4. December 2005 - February 2007, Deputy Director, Strategic Planning and Policy (J5), Headquarters U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, as a brigadier general
5. February 2007 - May 2008, Director, Center for Force Structure, Requirements, Resources and Strategic Assessments (J8), Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Fla., as a brigadier general
6. May 2008 - July 2010, Commander, Special Operations Command Europe, and Director, Special Operations, Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart- Vaihingen, Germany, as a major general
7. July 2010 - present, Commander, NATO Special Operations Headquarters, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Mons, Belgium, as a lieutenant general
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 5,000
Aircraft flown: C-130E/H and MC-130E/H
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal Air Force Commendation Medal Army Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with "V" device and two oak leaf clusters
1997 MacKay Trophy with crew of Whisk 05
Romanian General Staff Emblem of Honor
Federal Republic of Germany Parachutist Wings
Royal Netherlands Army Parachute Badge (static line) Republic of Poland Parachutist Wings
Awarded Poland's Commander's Cross
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 28, 1980
First Lieutenant May 28, 1982
Captain May 28, 1984
Major October 1, 1991
Lieutenant Colonel November 1, 1996
Colonel March 1, 2001
Brigadier General Jan. 1, 2006
Major General Dec. 9, 2008
Lieutenant General July 26, 2010
(Current as of September 2013)