Brigadier General James J. Fontanella is the Commander, Force Generation Center, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. The FGC is the single agency responsible for generating Air Force Reserve forces by leveraging AFR strategic capability to meet operational needs in support of global force management. The FGC performs all aspects of force generation to include oversight, visibility and accountability of all Air Force Reserve forces. His span of control extends from the individual Reservist to entire combat capable units, supporting a broad array of organizations from Air Force units to combatant commands, through all stages of activation from volunteerism up to and including full mobilization.
General Fontanella was commissioned as a Naval officer upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. in May 1988. Following training he was designated a Naval Aviator and earned qualification in the CH-53E helicopter and performed Combat Support, Heavy Lift and Carrier Vertical Onboard Delivery missions. He transitioned the MH-53E helicopter and deployed on numerous shipboard detachments in support of world-wide JCS-directed 72-hour rapid response Airborne Mine Countermeasures taskings. Gen. Fontanella completed an interservice transfer to the Air Force Reserve in January 2001. He completed mission qualification in the C-5 and was hired as a full-time Air Reserve Technician while performing duties as flight commander, assistant operations officer and operations and training officer. Gen. Fontanella next assumed duties as deputy operations group commander, and completed mission qualification in the KC-10. He was responsible for organizing, training and equipping seven units executing missions with C-17, C-5 and KC-10 aircraft. During this time, he was detailed as interim 349th Operations Group commander, and as the 349th Mission Support Group deputy commander for Transportation to provide leadership to three Aerial Port Squadrons. Gen. Fontanella’s next assignment was chief, Programs and Requirements Division, Office of Air Force Reserve where he was responsible for developing the Air Force Reserve's Program Objective Memorandum supporting 72,400 AFR personnel and 377 aircraft for nine major and five unified commands.
Prior to his current assignment, General Fontanella was Commander of the 315th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. He commanded over 2,300 reserve personnel who augmented the active-duty Air Force's C-17 strategic airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation forces in both peacetime and contingency operations.
1988 Bachelor of Science in General Engineering, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.
2005 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2008 Air War College, by correspondence
2008 Reserve Components National Security Course, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2011 Master of Science in National Resource Strategy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2012 Enterprise Perspective Seminar, Alan L. Freed Associates, Washington, D.C.
2013 USAF Senior Leaders’ Mission Generation Course, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2013 Director of Mobility Forces Course, USAF Expeditionary Center, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
2013 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Darden School of Business, Charlottesville, Va.
1. May 1988 - October 1989, Student, Primary and Intermediate Pilot Training, Training Squadron 27, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas
2. October 1989 - August 1990, Student, Advanced Helicopter Training, Helicopter Training Squadron 18, NAS Whiting Field, Fla.
3. September 1990 - July 1991, Student, Fleet Replacement Pilot Training, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 12, NAS Norfolk, Va.
4. August 1991 - October 1992, CH-53E Copilot, Aircraft Maintenance Division Officer, Helicopter Support Squadron 1, NAS North Island, Calif.
5. October 1992 - July 1993, Student, Fleet Replacement Pilot Training, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 12, NAS Norfolk, Va.
6. August 1993 - June 1996, MH-53E Mission Commander, NATOPS Officer, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15, NAS Alameda, Calif.
7. July 1996 - August 1999, Enlisted Programs Officer and Executive Officer, Navy Recruiting District San Francisco, Oakland, Calif.
8. January 2001 - April 2006, C-5 Instructor Pilot and Assistant Operations Officer, 301st Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
9. April 2006 - June 2007, C-5 Examiner Pilot and Operations & Training Officer, 312th AS, Travis AFB, Calif.
10. June 2007 - July 2010, KC-10 Pilot and Deputy Group Commander, 349th OG, Travis AFB, Calif.
11. July 2010 - June 2011, Student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C.
12. June 2010 - August 2012, Chief, Programs and Requirements Division, Office of the Air Force Reserve, The Pentagon, Washington D.C.
13. September 2012 - March 2015, Commander, 315th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
14. March 2015 - Present, Commander, Force Generation Center, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. April 2014 - October 2014, Chief, Current Operations Division, CENTCOM Deployment & Distribution Operations Center, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: Over 3,000 military flight hours, over 300 combat and combat support hours, and 500 civilian flight hours
Aircraft flown: T-34C, TH-57B/C, CH-53E, MH-53E, C-5A/B/C, KC-10, and C-17
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Navy Commendation Medal
Navy Achievement Medal with gold star
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device with seven oak leaf clusters
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with three bronze stars
Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with oak leaf cluster
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
AF Longevity Service with seven oak leaf clusters
Navy Recruiting Ribbon
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Hourglass Device and two 'M' Devices
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with bronze star
Navy Expert Rifle Medal
Navy Expert Pistol Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Ensign May 25, 1988
Lieutenant (Junior Grade) May 25, 1990
Lieutenant May 25, 1992
Lieutenant Commander November 1, 1998
Major January 10, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel November 1, 2005
Colonel June 15, 2011
Brigadier General July 31, 2016
(Current as of July 2016)