Brigadier General Kenneth P. Ekman is the Vice Commander, 1st Air Force and Air Forces Northern Command, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. He is the principal advisor to the 1st Air Force Commander and assists in organizing, equipping and operating air defense forces for aerospace warning and control in support of the Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command. As the Deputy Combined Forces Air Component Commander for U.S. Northern Command, he ensures operational readiness of assigned, aligned, or gained forces for homeland defense, defense support to civil authorities, and theater security cooperation missions in North America.
General Ekman was commissioned in 1991 upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned his wings at Sheppard AFB, Texas. His assignments include U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School sailplane instructor, squadron and wing F-16 weapons officer, air component strategist, fighter squadron commander, analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and wing commander. General Ekman is also a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Air Command and Staff College and the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. Prior to assuming his present duties, he served as Chief, Office of Defense Representative Pakistan.
General Ekman is a command pilot with 3,000 flying hours in the F-16 and F-22, including 600 combat hours.
1991 Bachelor of Science (Distinguished Graduate), Aeronautical Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1994 Master of Science (with Distinction), Mechanical Engineering, California State University, Fresno, Calif.
1998 Squadron Officer School (Distinguished Graduate), Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 Air Command and Staff College (Distinguished Graduate), Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Air War College, by correspondence
2012 Joint & Combined Warfighting School, Norfolk, Va.
2012 Center for Creative Leadership, Goldsboro, N.C.
2013 Federal Executive Fellowship, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
1. August 1991 - September 1992, student, Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. October 1992 - December 1994, curriculum engineer and sailplane instructor, USAF Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, Calif.
3. January 1995 - February 1996, student, F-16 Replacement Training Unit, Luke AFB, Ariz.
4. March 1996 - June 1998, Electronic Combat Pilot, Chief of Scheduling and instructor pilot, 522nd Fighter Squadron, Cannon AFB, N.M.
5. July 1998 - June 2000, Chief of Scheduling, Flight Commander, Assistant Operations Officer, 36th Fighter Squadron, Osan Air Base, South Korea
6. July 2000 - December, student, F-16 Weapons Instructor Course, USAF Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
7. January 2001 - June 2003, Chief, 14th Fighter Squadron and 35th OSS Weapons and Tactics, Misawa AB, Japan
8. July 2003 - June 2004, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. July 2004 - June 2005, student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. July 2005 - July 2006, Chief of Campaign Strategy, 609th Combat Plans Squadron, 9th Air Force/U.S. Central Air Forces, Shaw AFB, S.C.
11. August 2006 - August 2007, Director of Operations, F-16 instructor pilot, 55th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
12. September 2007 - May 2008, Chief of Safety, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Balad AB, Iraq
13. July 2008 - October 2009, Commander, 79th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
14. October 2009 - February 2010, Commander, 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Bagram AB, Afghanistan
15. February 2010 - June 2010, Deputy Commander, 20th Mission Support Group, Shaw AFB, S.C.
16. July 2010 - May 2012, TACAIR Analyst, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
17. June 2012 - July 2013, Vice Commander, 49th Wing, Holloman AFB, N.M.
18. July 2013 - April 2014, Federal Executive Fellow, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
19. May 2014 - May 2015, Commander, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, South Korea
20. May 2015 - July 2016, Vice Director of Operations; Deputy Chief of Staff, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
21. August 2016 - December 2017, Vice Chief then Chief, Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan, U.S. Embassy, Islamabad, Pakistan
22. January 2018 - present, Vice Commander, 1st Air Force and Air Forces Northern Command, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2010 - May 2012, TACAIR Analyst, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a colonel
2. May 2015 - July 2016, Vice Director of Operations; Deputy Chief of Staff, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, Peterson AFB, Colo., as a colonel
3. August 2016 – December 2017, Chief, Office of the Defense Representative-Pakistan, U.S. Embassy, Islamabad, Pakistan, as a brigadier general
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: 3,000, including 600 combat hours
Aircraft flown: F-16, F-22, T-38, T-37, sailplanes
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Samil Medal (South Korea)
1991 Outstanding Cadet in Soaring, U.S. Air Force Academy
1992 Air Training Command Commander’s Trophy, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training
1995 Distinguished Graduate, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals
1996 Top Graduate, F-16 FTU Class 95-HBLG, Luke AFB, Ariz.
2000 Distinguished Graduate and Flying Award, F-16 Weapons Instructor Course 00B, Nellis AFB, Nev.
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 29,1991
First Lieutenant May 29,1993
Captain May 29,1995
Major Feb. 1, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2006
Colonel Aug. 1, 2011
Brigadier General Aug. 22, 2016
(Current as of January 2018)