Brig. Gen. Christopher Niemi is the Director of Plans, Programs, and Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. He is responsible for planning and programming $60 billion annually for a force of more than 150,000 personnel and more than 2,000 aircraft, supporting 10 unified commands and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. He is also responsible for functions relating to the Combat Air Forces’ weapons systems acquisition, modernization, sustainment, and test involving more than 140 programs. Additionally, he directs a staff of 25 divisions and more than 700 personnel.
Brig. Gen. Niemi entered the Air Force in 1993 as a Reserve Officer Training Corps graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology. During his first two F-15E operational assignments he participated in Operation Allied Force as a combat mission commander, attended the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, and was selected as one of eight F-22 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation pilots. He was subsequently assigned to numerous fifth generation fighter units responsible for operations, operational tests and pilot qualification, and he commanded at the squadron, group, and wing levels. Additionally, he served in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and led the Jeanne M. Holm Center where he was responsible for Officer Training School, ROTC, and Junior ROTC. Prior to his current position, Brig. Gen. Niemi was the Director of Strategic Plans, Requirements and Programs, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawaii.
1993 Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
1994 Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
1999 F-15E U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
2000 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
2012 George C. Marshall Center Fellowship, Garmisch, Germany
2014 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
2018 Leading Strategically, Center for Creative Leadership, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2020 Executive Leadership Seminar, University of North Carolina Kegan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill
1. June 1994–June 1995, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
2. July 1995–May 1996, Student, F-15E Basic Operational Training Course, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
3. June 1996–June 1999, Squadron Programmer, 492nd Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom
4. July 1999–December 1999, Student, F-15E Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
5. January 2000–October 2002, Chief, Weapons and Tactics, 336th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
6. November 2002–September 2004, Chief, F-22 Dedicated Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Current Operations and Programming, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 6, Edwards AFB, Calif.
7. October 2004–May 2006, Assistant Director of Operations, 43rd Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
8. June 2006–June 2007, Student, Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
9. July 2007–June 2009, Director of Operations, 90th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
10. July 2009–July 2011, Commander, 525th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
11. August 2011–June 2012, Air Force Fellow, George C. Marshall Center, Garmisch, Germany
12. July 2012–April 2014, Senior Air Force Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Force Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
13. May 2014–May 2016, Commander, 33rd Operations Group, Eglin AFB, Fla.
14. May 2016–August 2018, Commander, 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
15. August 2018–May 2020, Commander, Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
16. June 2020–June 2021, Chief of Staff, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, Union III, Iraq
17. July 2021–July 2023, Director of Strategic Plans, Requirements and Programs, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
18. July 2023–present, Director, Plans, Programs, and Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2012–April 2014, Senior Air Force Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Force Development, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a colonel
2. June 2020–June 2021, Chief of Staff, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, Union III, Iraq, as a brigadier general
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: 3,100
Aircraft Flown: F-15E, F-22, F-35, C-12, C-17 and E-3
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
(Current as of August 2023)