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Brig. Gen. Joel L. Carey is the Commander, 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th Wing, the largest combat wing in the U.S. Air Force, provides the Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, trained and equipped tactical air superiority forces; combat search and rescue forces; command and control platforms; aeromedical evacuation capability; and global mobility resources for contingency operations. The Wing flies the F-15C, KC-135, HH-60 and E-3 aircraft. Additionally, the wing provides the Fifth Air Force Commander a responsive, staging and operational air base with integrated, deployable, forward-based air power.

Brig. Gen. Carey was commissioned as a distinguished graduate of ROTC at Baylor University in 1992. He has served in numerous positions at the squadron, group, wing, numbered air force, major command, and Joint Chiefs of Staff levels. His assignments have included serving as commander of an operational fighter squadron, vice commander of two combat wings, commander of a flying training wing and commander of an air expeditionary wing. He has deployed in support of operations Deliberate Force, Provide Comfort, Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Freedom Sentinel and U.S. Air Forces Central Command’s Theater Security Package. Prior to his current position, he was the Commanding General, Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air and Commander, 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, Kabul, Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Carey is a command pilot with more than 3,100 hours in multiple aircraft including the F-15C, A-29, F-111, EF-111, T-38C, C-208 and MC-12W. His aircraft time also includes more than 200 sorties and 600 hours in combat.

1992 Bachelor of Arts, Economics, Baylor University, Waco, Texas
1998 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2006 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Master of Strategic Studies, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2017 Air Force Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

1. May 1993 – July 1994, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
2. July 1994 – May 1998, Student, F-111 Formal Training Unit and Student, EF-111 Transition Course; later, Flight Lead and Assistant Chief of Plans, 429th Electronic Combat Squadron, 27th Fighter Wing, Cannon AFB, N.M.
3. May 1998 – December 1998, Student, F-15C Formal Training Unit, 1st Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
4. December 1998 – December 2001, F-15C Mission Commander and Chief of Safety, 12th Fighter Squadron; later, Flight Commander, 44th Fighter Squadron, 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan
5. January 2002 – July 2005, F-15C Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner and Assistant Director of Operations, 1st Fighter Squadron; Chief, Standardization and Evaluation, 325th Operations Group, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
6. July 2005 – June 2006, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
7. July 2006 – June 2009, Chief of Policy, Third Air Force; later Chief, Commander’s Action Group and Executive Officer to Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany
8. July 2009 – June 2012, F-15C Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner and Chief, Plans and Programs, 18th Wing; later, Director of Operations, then Commander, 44th Fighter Squadron, 18th Wing, Kadena AB, Japan
9. July 2012 – July 2013, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. July 2013 – December 2013, Vice Commander, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
11. February 2014 – July 2014, Vice Commander, 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, Kabul, Afghanistan
12. July 2014 – June 2016, Chief, Force Application Division, Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate (J8), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
13. June 2016 – May 2018, Commander, 12th Flying Training Wing, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas
14. June 2018 – June 2019, Commanding General, NATO Train Advise and Assist Command-Air and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander, Kabul, Afghanistan
15. July 2019 – present, Commander, 18th Wing, Kadena AB, Japan

1. July 2014 – June 2016, Chief, Force Application Division, Force Structure, Resources and Assessment Directorate (J8), Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a colonel
2. June 2018 – June 2019, Commanding General, NATO Train Advise and Assist Command-Air and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander, Kabul, Afghanistan, as a brigadier general

Rating:  command pilot
Flight hours:  more than 3,100, including 612 in combat
Aircraft flown:  F-15C/D, A-29, F-111, EF-111, MC-12W, C-208 and T-38C

Defense Superior Service Medal with combat device and oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal

Second Lieutenant May 16, 1992
First Lieutenant Nov. 8, 1994
Captain Nov. 8, 1996
Major May 1, 2003
Lieutenant Colonel May 1, 2008
Colonel Oct. 1, 2013
Brigadier General Oct. 2, 2018

(Current as of March 2020)


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