Maj. Gen. Derek C. France is Commander, Third Air Force, Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Third Air Force issues directives to subordinate commands and takes action on behalf of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa Commander as directed. Third Air Force exercises delegated authorities over assigned forces that include personnel management, General Courts Martial Convening Authority, and advising subordinate commands on requirements, programs, and budget. Third Air Force also works with its subordinate commands to ensure implementation and compliance with relevant policies and directives of the Department of Defense, Headquarters Air Force, and USAFE-AFAFRICA. Additionally, Third Air Force facilitates coordination between its subordinate commands and USAFE-AFAFRICA, U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, Defense Department agencies, and other field activities.
Maj. Gen. France was commissioned at the United States Air Force Academy in May 1992. He is a Command Pilot with more than 2,900 hours in the F-15, F-22 and F-16 aircraft. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Weapons School in 1998 and later returned as a Weapons School Instructor and Operations Officer. He subsequently served as Deputy Detachment Commander and Instructor Pilot in the Royal Saudi Air Force Fighter Weapons School in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Since transitioning to the F-22 in 2008, he has commanded the 43rd Fighter Squadron, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, the 3rd Operations Group, Joint Base Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida and the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates. He has also served as a National Defense Fellow at the Department of State, the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, J3, United States Forces Korea, and as the Senior Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Prior to assuming his current assignment, Maj. Gen. France was the Director of Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration for Headquarters USAFE-AFAFRICA, Ramstein AB, Germany.
1992 Bachelor of Science, Engineering Sciences, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1999 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2003 Air Command and Staff Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2006 Naval Command and Staff College, Newport, R.I.
2006 Master of Science, National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
2007 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2011 National Defense Fellowship, U.S. Department of State Senior Seminar, Washington, D.C.
1. October 1992–October 1993, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
2. April 1994–November 1994, Student, F-15C Basic Course, 95th Fighter Squadron, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
3. December 1994–December 1997, Pilot, Instructor Pilot, and Flight Examiner, 54th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
4. January 1998–June 1998, Student, U.S. Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
5. July 1998–June 2000, Instructor Pilot and Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 71st Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Va.
6. July 2000–July 2004, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander and Operations Officer, F-15C Division/433rd Weapons Squadron, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nev.
7. August 2004–June 2005, Instructor Pilot and Detachment Commander, Dhahran Detachment, United States Military Training Mission, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
8. July 2005–June 2006, Student, Naval Command and Staff College, Newport, R.I.
9. July 2006–May 2008, Aide-de-Camp to the AETC Commander, Randolph AFB, Texas
10. June 2008–June 2010, Commander, 43rd Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
11. July 2010–July 2011, Student, National Defense Fellow, U.S. Department of State Senior Seminar, Washington, D.C.
12. July 2011–June 2013, Commander, 3rd Operations Group, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska
13. June 2013–July 2014, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, J3, United States Forces Korea, United States Army Garrison Yongsan, South Korea
14. July 2014–July 2016, Commander, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
15. July 2016–July 2017, Senior Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
16. July 2017–July 2018, Commander, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates
17. July 2018–June 2020, Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, Fla.
18. June 2020–June 2022, Director of Operations, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration for Headquarters U.S Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
19. June 2022–present, Commander, Third Air Force, Ramstein AB, Germany
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: more than 2,900
Aircraft Flown: F-15A-D, F-22A and F-16C
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters and C device
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
(Current as of June 2022)