Brig. Gen. Richard R. Dickens is the Vice Commander, First Air Force, Air Forces Northern and Air Forces Space, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. He serves as the principal advisor to the First Air Force Commander. Additionally, he supports the deployment, sustainment, and redeployment of U.S. Air Forces in support of U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Space Command. He also oversees Defense Support to Civil Authorities, executing theater security cooperation with partner nations, and planning and executing contingency support operations for human space flight programs. He ensures Civil Air Patrol is organized, trained and equipped to fulfill Air Force assigned missions, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center executes inland search and rescue coordination, the Air Force National Security Emergency Preparedness directorate deploys and sustains Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers, and Detachment 3, Air Forces Space, effectively trains Department of Defense personnel for the rescue, recovery, retrieval and worldwide support of human space flight programs. As the Deputy Combined/Joint Forces Air Component Commander, he is responsible for planning and conducting air defense and air sovereignty operations in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Brig. Gen. Dickens received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994. He entered the Air Force through commission from Officer Training School in 1997 and is a graduate of both Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training in 1998 and Joint Undergraduate Pilot Training in 2002. Brig. Gen. Dickens is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College, the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies and National War College.
Brig. Gen. Dickens is a Command Pilot and previous Instructor Pilot with more than 2,650 hours and 688 combat hours in the F-15E. He has participated in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel. Prior to his current position, the general served as Chief of Futures and Concepts Division, Air Force Futures, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia.
1994 Bachelor of Arts, English Education, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
2004 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2008 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2010 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2010 Master of Science, Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2011 School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2012 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2016 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2020 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC Chapel Hill
1. April 1997–September 1998, Student Navigator, Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
2. September 1998–December 1999, F-15E Student Weapons System Officer, 333rd Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
3. December 1999–October 2001, Assistant Chief of Mission Planning and F-15E WSO, 336th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
4. October 2001–December 2002, Student Pilot, Joint Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
5. December 2002–April 2003, Student Pilot, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Moody AFB, Ga.
6. April 2003–February 2004, Student F-15E Pilot, 333rd Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
7. February 2004–September 2006, Flight Commander, Assistant Director of Operations, and F-15E Instructor Pilot and Flight Examiner, 494th Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, United Kingdom
8. September 2006–June 2007, Student Instructor Pilot, 333rd Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
9. June 2007–October 2008, Special Assistant to the Commander and Formal Training Unit Instructor Pilot, 333rd Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
10. October 2008–June 2009, Wing Director of Staff and FTU Instructor Pilot, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
11. July 2009–June 2010, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
12. June 2010–July 2011, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
13. July 2011–July 2012, Strategy Plans Team Chief, 607th Air Operations Center, South Korea
14. July 2012–September 2012, Student Pilot, F-15E Tx Course, 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
15. September 2012–May 2013, Director of Operations, 366th Operations Support Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
16. May 2013–May 2015, Commander, 391st Fighter Squadron, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
17. August 2015–June 2016, Student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
18. June 2016–May 2018, Commander, 4th Operations Group, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
19. May 2018–June 2019, Director of Operations, 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Afghanistan and NATO Air Command-Afghanistan, Headquarters Resolute Support, Kabul, Afghanistan
20. June 2019–July 2021, Commander, 505th Command and Control Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
21. July 2021–April 2022, Chief of Futures and Concepts Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Integration, and Requirements, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
22. May 2022–present, Vice Commander, 1st Air Force, Air Forces Northern and Air Forces Space, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: more than 2,860
Aircraft Flown: F-15E, T-34, T-1, T-39, T-37, T-38, AT-38 and C182T
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with one device
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four devices
Air Medal with four devices
Air Force Commendation Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with one device
AF Outstanding Unit Award with five devices
Combat Readiness Medal with one device
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one device
Iraq Campaign Medal with one device
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
AF Overseas Ribbon Short
AF Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and two devices
AF Longevity Service with five devices
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant April 18, 1997
First Lieutenant April 18, 1999
Captain April 18, 2001
Major Oct. 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 1, 2011
Colonel May 1, 2016
Brigadier General March 2, 2023
(Current as of May 2023)