Brig. Gen. Thomas E. Kunkel is the Deputy Director for Operations, Operations Team Five, National Joint Operations and Intelligence Center. Brig. Gen. Kunkel leads a Joint Staff team conducting worldwide monitoring, crisis action, strategic nuclear and current operational watch functions.
Brig. Gen. Kunkel received his commission in 1994 from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has served in a variety of flying positions in Air Force Special Operations and the Combat Air Forces as an MH/HH-60G special operations and rescue pilot, flight examiner and weapons officer. He has deployed in support of operations Allied Force, Enduring Freedom-Philippines, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Brig. Gen. Kunkel has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels and is a command pilot with more than 2,700 flight hours in the T-37, UH-1H, M/HH-60G and HC-130J; including 260 combat hours.
1994 Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Texas at Arlington
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2003 HH-60 Weapons Instructor Course, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev. (Flying Award)
2005 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2006 Master of Science, Strategic Leadership, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2008 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2012 Master of Science, National Security and Resource Strategy, The Eisenhower School, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C.
2014 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
1. October 1994 - October 1995, Student Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance Air Force Base, Okla
2. October 1995 - May 1996, Distinguished Graduate, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training-Helicopter, Fort Rucker, Ala.
3. May 1996 - August 1999, MH-60G Pilot, Executive Officer, 55th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
4. August 1999 - February 2001, HH-60G Instructor Pilot, Chief of Readiness, 56th Rescue Squadron, Keflavik NAS, Iceland
5. February 2001 - December 2002, HH-60G Flight Examiner, Chief Standardization and Evaluation, 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan
6. December 2002 - May 2005, Flight Commander, 55th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
7. May 2005 - June 2006, Student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
8. June 2006 - June 2008, Program Element Monitor, U.S. Air Force Rescue/Rotary Wing, SAF/AQ, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Va.
9. June 2008 - July 2009, Operations Officer, 55th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
10. July 2009 - June 2011, Commander, 41st Rescue Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga.
11. June 2011- June 2012, Student, The Eisenhower School, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. June 2012 – July 2013, Commander, 609th Air and Space Operations Center, Al Udeid AB, Qatar
13. July 2013 – July 2015, Vice Director then Director, Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va.
14. July 2015 – July 2017, Commander, 23rd Wing, Moody AFB, Ga.
15. July 2017 – April 2019, Chief, Air Force Legislative Liaison to U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Arlington, Va.
16. April 2019 – present, Deputy Director for Operations, Operations Team Five, National Joint Operations and Intelligence Center, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2012 – July 2013, Commander, 609th Air and Space Operations Center, Al Udeid AB, Qatar as a colonel
2. July 2013 – July 2015, Vice Director then Director, Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va. as a colonel
3. April 2019 – present, Deputy Director for Operations (J3), Operations Team Five, National Joint Operations and Intelligence Center, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a brigadier general
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor
Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with silver and three oak leaf clusters
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant July 22, 1994
First Lieutenant July 22, 1996
Captain July 22, 1998
Major Jan. 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel June 1, 2008
Colonel July 1, 2012
Brigadier General Sept. 7, 2018
(Current as of May 2019)