Brigadier General STEPHEN J. NESTER

Brig. Gen. Stephen J. Nester is the Commander, 442nd Fighter Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit with headquarters at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. He is responsible for the combat readiness of approximately 1,300 Air Force reservists and 24 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft at Whiteman AFB and a geographically separated unit, the 476th Fighter Group at Moody AFB, Georgia.

The general received his commission from Officer Candidate School in February 1992 and entered the Air Force Reserve subsequently at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana. He has served in various operations capacities at the squadron, group, and Headquarters Air Force levels, has flown combat missions in Operation Deny Flight, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Northern Watch, Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, to name a few and has deployed to a variety of other combat operations in support of national objectives.

Brig. Gen. Nester is a command pilot with more than 3000 hours in the A-10C Thunderbolt II. He is also employed by a major airline as a Boeing 777 first officer. Prior to his role as 442nd FW Commander, Brig. Gen. Nester was Mobilization Assistant to the A3/A6 Pacific Air Forces Director. In this capacity, he advised and coordinated with numbered air forces and various wings to facilitate all air, cyber and space operations in the Indo-Pacific Command theater.

1991 Bachelor of Science, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
1999 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., by correspondence
2002 Air to Ground Operations School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2010 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2015 Master of Strategic Studies, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., by correspondence
2023 Combined Forces Air Component Command School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2024 Air Force Continuous Improvement Course, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

1. February 1992–February 1993, Student Pilot, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Reese Air Force Base, Texas
2. May 1993–August 1993, A-10 Student Pilot, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
3. August 1993–August 1994, A-10 Pilot, 45th Fighter Squadron, Grissom AFB, Ind. (Operation Deny Flight July 1994, Aviano Air Base, Italy)
4. August 1994–August 2001, A-10 Pilot, Aircrew Flight Equipment Officer, 303rd FS, Whiteman AFB, Mo. (Operation Deny Flight, April 1995 and December 1996–January1997, Aviano AB, Italy; Operation Southern Watch, October 1998, Al Jaber, Kuwait; Operation Northern Watch, January 2000, Incirlik AB, Turkey)
5. August 2001–August 2008, A-10 Flight Commander, 303rd FS, Whiteman AFB, Mo. (Operation Iraqi Freedom, February 2003–February 2004, Tallil AB, Iraq and May 2006–June 2006, Kirkuk AB, Iraq; Operation Enduring Freedom, May 2008–June 2008 and December 2011–March 2012, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan)
6. August 2008–September 2011, A-10 Assistant Deputy of Operations, 303rd FS, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
7. August 2011–September 2013, Commander, 303rd FS, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
8. September 2013–September 2016, Deputy Group Commander, 442nd Operations Group, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
9. September 2016–September 2018, J7 and J35 Senior Joint Operations Officer, Suffolk, Va.
10. September 2018–December 2020, Vice Wing Commander, 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
11. January 2021–November 2021, Mobilization Assistant to Pacific Air Forces A3, Joint Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
12. December 2021–November 2023, Commander, 442nd FW, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
13. November 2023–present, Mobilization Assistant to 1st AF/CC, Tyndall AFB, Fla.

Rating:  command pilot
Flight hours:  more than 3,000
Aircraft flown:  T-38, A-10 and OA-10

Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with silver and four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air and Space Commendation Medal
Combat Action Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award
Combat Readiness Medal

(Current as of June 2024)