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Colonel Thomas O. Pemberton is commander of the 434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana. He commands the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The 434th ARW is manned by nearly 1,900 military, civilian and contractor personnel and equipped with two flying squadrons operating 16 aircraft. The 434th ARW also has a unique role supporting both the Single Integrated Operational Plan and conventional tanker missions. 


Colonel Pemberton was commissioned through the United States Air Force Officer Training School and entered active duty in 1985. He completed Undergraduate Navigator Training at Mather AFB, Calif., and KC-135 Combat Crew Training at Castle AFB, Calif. Following navigator training, he completed assignments at KI Sawyer AFB, Mich. and, Castle AFB, Calif. He also deployed and flew in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Colonel Pemberton was selected to serve as Offensive Systems Officer in the B-1B in 1991 and subsequently transferred to Dyess AFB, Texas.
Colonel Pemberton left active duty and joined the Air Force Reserve in 1993 and completed Undergraduate Pilot Training in February 1999. While serving as a traditional reservist, he was employed by US Airways Express in Dayton, Ohio serving as Director of Systems Control. He has been mobilized and deployed numerous times in support of Operations Northern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Additionally, he has deployed for multiple other contingencies in various worldwide locations.

1985 Bachelor of Science in Communication & Computer Science, Manchester College, North
Manchester, IN
1990 Squadron Officers School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2002 Masters of Aviation Science, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL
2003 Air Command and Staff School, by correspondence 2007 Air War College via correspondence
2008 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington D.C.
2011 Advanced Joint PME, Joint Forces College, Norfolk, VA

  1. 1. Jan 1986 – Aug 1986, student, undergraduate navigator training, Mather AFB, California
    2. Sep 1986 – Jan 1987, student, KC-135 Combat Crew Training School, Castle AFB, California
    3. Feb 1987 – Aug 1990, navigator and instructor navigator, 307th Air Refueling Squadron, K I
    Sawyer AFB, Michigan
    4. Sep 1990 – Feb 1992, instructor and evaluator navigator, 924th Air Refueling Squadron, Castle
    AFB, California
    5. Mar 1992 – Sep 1992, student, B-1B offensive systems officer, Dyess AFB, Texas
    6. Sep 1992 – Dec 1992, KC-135 evaluator navigator, 305th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom AFB, Indiana
    7. Jan 1993 – Dec 1997, instructor navigator, 74th Air Refueling Squadron, Grissom ARB, Indiana
    8. Jan 1998 – Feb 1999, student, undergraduate pilot training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
    9. Mar 1999 – Jun 1999, student, KC-135 Combat Crew Training School, Altus AFB, Oklahoma
    10. Jul 1999 – Oct 2002, wing plans officer, 434th Operations Support Squadron, Grissom ARB, Indiana
    11. Nov 2002 – Feb 2004, Chief of Tactics, 434th Operations Support Squadron, Grissom ARB, Indiana
    12. Mar 2004 – Dec 2004, Chief, Mission Development, 434 Operations Support Squadron, Grissom
    ARB, Indiana
    13. Jan 2005 – Nov 2005, Commander, 434th Operations Support Squadron, Grissom ARB, Indiana
    14. Dec 2005 – Feb 2009, Director of Operations, 72nd Air Refueling Squadron, Grissom ARB, Indiana
    15. Mar 2009 – Apr 2010, Deputy Commander, 434th Operations Group, Grissom ARB, Indiana
    16. May 2010 – Apr 2013, Commander, 927th Operations Group, MacDill AFB, Florida
    17. Apr 2013 – Sep 2014, Program Manager, RMG Det. 2, Scott AFB, Illinois
    18. Oct 2014 – Nov 2015, Commander, RIO Det. 4, Scott AFB, Illinois
    19. Nov 2015 – Jul 2018, Commander, 459th Operations Group, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland
    20. Jul 2018 – Mar 2021, Commander, 514th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New
    21. Mar 2021-present, Commander, 434th Air Refueling Wing, Grissom ARB, Indiana

    Ratings: Senior Navigator, Command Pilot
    Flight Hours: More than 5,800
    Aircraft flown: T-43, T-37, T-1A, KC-135, B-1B, C-17, KC-10

    Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
    Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
    Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
    Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
    Meritorious Unit Award
    Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters and Valor device
    Combat Readiness Medal with nine oak leaf clusters
    National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze star
    Southwest Asia Service Medal with two bronze stars
    Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
    Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
    Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal
    Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border and two oak leaf clusters
    Air Force Longevity Service with two oak leaf clusters
    Armed Forces Reserve Medal with one "M" device and hourglass device
    Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with bronze star
    Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait

    Second Lieutenant 17 December 1985
    First Lieutenant 17 December 1987
    Captain 17 December 1989
    Major 6 March 1997
    Lieutenant Colonel 6 October 2003
    (Current as of March 2021)

    (Current as of March 2021)