Colonel Frank “Les” Bradfield III is the Commander, 919th Special Operations Wing, United States Air Force Reserve, Duke Field, Fla. The 919th SOW provides 1,300 Citizen Air Commandos trained to perform the Air Force’s Expeditionary Combat Support mission as well as its Combat Aviation Advisor and Non-Standard Aviation programs utilizing C-145A and C-146A aircraft. Airmen assigned to Duke Field conduct flight instruction and deploy as required in the U-28, AC-130U, C-145A and C-146A aircraft. The wing also employs the MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft in support of combatant commanders worldwide.
Colonel Bradfield is a Distinguished Naval Graduate from The Citadel where he received his commission as a naval officer in 1992. He completed flight training and was designated a naval aviator in 1995. Serving in the United States Navy for nearly 11 years, he had various CONUS and overseas assignments. Colonel Bradfield served as division officer, detachment assistant officer in charge, search and rescue officer, damage control officer, functional check pilot, Undergraduate Pilot Training flight instructor, flight commander and aide to a naval flag officer. His naval deployments included more than 20 months at sea in three different ships while deployed in the Western Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.
Colonel Bradfield transitioned to the United States Air Force Reserve as a traditional reservist in 2003 where he became an A-10 fighter pilot. He became an air reserve technician in 2005 and has since served as chief of training, chief of plans, assistant operations officer, operations officer, flight instructor, MAJCOM branch chief and operations group commander.
The colonel has deployed for contingency operations four times and amassed over 500 combat hours in the A-10 and U-28. Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Bradfield was the Commander, 439th Operations Group, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.
1992 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.
1994 Mine Countermeasures Planning & Ops, Fleet & Mine Warfare Training Center, Charleston, S.C.
1995 Division Officer’s Navy Leadership Course, San Diego.
1998 Search and Rescue (SAR) Officer’s Course, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
2002 Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
2005 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2011 Operations Officer Course, PDC, Robins AFB, Warner Robins, Ga.
2012 Leadership Today and Tomorrow, Washington
2012 Air War College, by correspondence
2012 Leadership Challenge Program II, PDC, Robins AFB, Warner Robins, Ga.
2013 Joint Air and Space Operations Senior Staff Course (JSSC), Hurlburt Field, Fla.
2013 Operational Support/Strategy and War, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
2014 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington
2015 NATO Senior Reserve Officers Course, NATO School Oberammergau, Germany
2015 Wing and Group Commander's Course, PDC, Robins AFB, Warner Robins, Ga.
2016 NATO Senior Officer Policy Course, NATO School Oberammergau, Germany
1. May 1992 - December 1992, Assistant Naval Science Instructor, Tulane University, New Orleans, La.
2. December 1992 – February 1995, Student Naval Aviator, API, Undergraduate Pilot Training with VT-3 and HT-18, Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla.
3. March 1995 – March 1996, H-46D Student Pilot HC-3, Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
4. March 1996 – March 1999, H-46D Pilot HC-5, Anderson Air Force Base, Guam
5. April 1999 – April 2002, T-34C Instructor Pilot; Flt Commander: Scheduler; VT-6, NAS Whiting Field, Fla.
6. April 2002 – February 2003, Flag Aide, Chief of Naval Education and Training, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
7. February – September 2003, T-38 Fixed Wing Qualification Course, 25th Flying Training Squadron, Vance AFB, Okla.
8. October 2003 – December 2003, Introduction to Fundamentals of Fighters (IFF), 49th Fighter Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga.
9. January 2004 – July 2004, A-10 Initial Qualification, 47th Fighter Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.
10. June 2004 – June 2006, A-10 Pilot, Chief of Training, 706th Fighter Squadron, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, New Orleans, La.
11. June 2006 – October 2009, A-10 Pilot, Chief of Plans, 442nd FW, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
12. October 2009 – December 2013, U-28 FTU Instructor Pilot; Operations Officer, 5th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
13. December 2013 – July 2015, Branch Chief Current Operations, A3OO, HQ Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
14. July 2015 – July 2017, Commander, 439th Operations Group, Westover ARB, Mass.
15. August 2017 – present Commander, 919th Special Operations Wing, Duke Field, Fla.
Rating: Command Pilot
Total Flight hours: Over 4,400 Combat hours: Over 500
Aircraft flown: C-5A/B/M, C-208, U-28A, PC-12, A-10A, T-38A/C, T-34C, H-46D, TH-57B/C
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Navy Commendation Medal
Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze star
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Ensign May 27,1992 (USN)
Lieutenant Junior Grade May 27, 1994
Lieutenant June 1, 1996
Lieutenant Commander July 1, 2002
Major February 2, 2003 (USAF)
Lieutenant Colonel July 1, 2009
Colonel May 8, 2015
(Current as of October 2017)