Maj. Gen H. D. Polumbo Jr. is Commander, Ninth Air Force, Air Combat Command, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. Ninth Air Force comprises eight active-duty wings and three direct reporting units in the Southeastern United States with more than 400 aircraft and 29,000 active-duty and civilian personnel. Ninth Air Force is also responsible for the operational readiness of 16 Air Reserve Component wings.
General Polumbo entered active duty in 1981 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has commanded at the squadron, group and three times at the wing level including a year-long deployment as Commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility where he also led planning and deployment of the first U.S. Army Patriot Battalion on his base in the area of responsibility. He also served in joint positions with Headquarters Allied Air Forces Northwestern Europe, NATO, and as the Assistant Deputy Director for Global Operations on the Joint Staff. General Polumbo recently served as the Commander, 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force- Afghanistan; Deputy Commander-Air, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan; and Deputy Chief of Staff-Air, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command where he oversaw three air expeditionary air wings and three expeditionary groups consisting of more than 4,500 Airmen directly engaged in combat operations for Operation Enduring Freedom missions.
The general is a command pilot with 4,000 flying hours in all blocks of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, including combat sorties in Operation Northern Watch. He also holds the distinction as the first Air Force general officer to fly the U-2S in combat and completed 21 operational U-2 missions in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. The General also flew combat missions in the MC-12W weapon system during Operation Enduring Freedom.
1981 Bachelor of Science degree in engineering sciences, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1984 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1987 U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
1992 Master of Science degree in aeronautical science technology, Embry-Riddle University, Fla.
1994 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1994 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
2000 National Defense Fellow, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
2005 Leadership for a Democratic Society, Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Va.
2008 Joint Forces Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 Combined Force Land Component Commander's Course, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
1. June 1981 - June 1982, Student, undergraduate pilot training, Williams AFB, Ariz.
2. August 1982 - October 1982, Student, lead-in fighter training, Holloman AFB, N.M.
3. November 1982 - June 1983, Student, F-16 flying training, 63rd Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, MacDill AFB, Fla.
4. June 1983 - August 1985, F-16 Instructor Pilot, 428th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
5. August 1985 - December 1988, Instructor Pilot and Scheduler, F-16 Replacement Training Unit, 61st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, MacDill AFB, Fla.
6. January 1987 - June 1987, Student, U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, F-16 Division, Nellis AFB, Nev.
7. January 1989 - December 1989, Weapons and Tactics Officer, 36th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Osan Air Base, South Korea
8. January 1990 - August 1993, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander and Assistant Operations Officer, U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, F-16 Division, Nellis AFB, Nev.
9. August 1993 - May 1994, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. May 1994 - July 1994, Student, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
11. July 1994 - May 1996, Policy Staff Officer, Allied Air Forces Northwestern Europe, NATO, Royal Air Force High Wycombe, England
12. June 1996 - June 1997, Operations Officer, 36th Fighter Squadron, Osan Air Base, South Korea
13. July 1997 - June 1999, Commander, 51st Operations Support Squadron, Osan Air Base, South Korea
14. July 1999 - June 2000, National Defense Fellow, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
15. June 2000 - August 2001, Chief, Foreign Liaison Division, Office of the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
16. August 2001 - August 2003, Commander, 52nd Operations Group, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany
17. August 2003 - January 2005, Commander, 80th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard AFB, Texas
18. February 2005 - April 2006, Assistant Deputy Director for Global Operations, Operations Directorate, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
19. May 2006 - June 2008, Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale AFB, Calif.
20. June 2008 - June 2009, Commander, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia
21. July 2009 - September 2010, Director of Plans and Programs, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
22. October 2010 - July 2011, Director of Strategy, Plans and Programs (J5), Headquarters U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany.
23. July 2011 - May 2012, Chief of Staff, U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany
24. May 2012 - May 2013, Commander, 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force, and Deputy Commander-Air, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.
25. May 2013 - present, Commander Ninth Air Force, Shaw AFB, S.C.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 1994 - May 1996, policy staff officer, Allied Air Forces Northwestern Europe, NATO, Royal Air Force High Wycombe, England, as a major
2. February 2005 - April 2006, Assistant Deputy Director for Global Operations, Operations Directorate (J3), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as a colonel
3. October 2010 - July 2011, Director of Strategy, Plans and Programs (J5), Headquarters U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany, as a major general
4. July 2011 - May 2012, Chief of Staff, U.S. Africa Command, as a major general
5. May 2012 - May 2013, Deputy Chief of Staff - Air, ISAF Joint Command, as a major general
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,000
Aircraft flown: F-16A/B/C/D, TU-2S/U-2S, MC-12W, RQ-4A, KC-10 and T-38A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 27, 1981
First Lieutenant May 27, 1983
Captain May 27, 1985
Major Oct. 1, 1993
Lieutenant Colonel Jan. 1, 1997
Colonel April 1, 2001
Brigadier General Aug. 15, 2007
Major General Sept. 3, 2010
(Current as of July 2015)