Home Inbound Students Curriculum Leadership and Faculty National Security Forum History Research Outreach
Brig. Gen. Michael T. Rawls is the Commandant, Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The Air War College is the Air Force’s senior professional military education institution, providing post-graduate senior leader development programs focused on joint, multinational, multi-agency warfighting and international security operations, air, space and cyberspace force strategy development and national security planning.
Brig. Gen. Rawls entered the Air Force in 1992 as a distinguished graduate of the University of Kentucky, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He holds Master’s degrees from The George Washington University, Air University, U.S. Army War College and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Brig. Gen. Rawls has served in staff positions as the Junior Military Aide to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Chief Air Planner, United States Military Delegation to the NATO Military Committee, Brussels Belgium and Senior Service Lead for F-35 development, Arlington, Virginia. He has been a Squadron Commander, Vice-Wing Commander, 435th Air Expeditionary Wing and 435th Air Ground Operations Wings Commander and is a four time member of the U.S. Military Pentathlon Team. As an operational pilot, Brig. Gen. Rawls flew the A-10A/C and F-15C with combat missions in Iraq supporting Operation Southern Watch. As a Test Pilot, he had assignments in the A-10C, F-15C, F-16 and numerous classified platforms conducting advanced weapons development. Prior to his current assignment, Brig. Gen. Rawls served as the Deputy Commander, NATO Mission Iraq, Baghdad.
Brig. Gen. Rawls is a command pilot and has accumulated more than 2,100 hours in 30 different aircraft.
Col Steve Gregg, Vice Commandant
Colonel Steve Gregg, USAF, was commissioned in 1993 he served five years as an Army Officer culminating in AH-64 Maintenance Company Command. During three AFSOC tours he served as an Instructor Pilot and as Director, MH-53M Weapons Instructor Course (WIC). After ACSC/SAASS he served as the Deputy Chief, Strategy Division in the Korea Air Operations Center. In Air Force Rescue he commanded a squadron at RAF Lakenheath, two deployed squadrons, a Rescue Group, and two Air Expeditionary Groups during their initial stand-ups. He has served in leadership roles in combat operations in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Iraq, and the Libya Campaign. He led the Security Assistance Team at US Embassy-Iraq, at the outset of Operation Inherent Resolve, rebuilding and reequipping the Iraqi Army, Air Force, Navy, and Counterterrorism Forces. He previously served as the Deputy A3 at Air Combat Command overseeing 34 Wings and 83,000 personnel and as the Deputy Chair, CAF Developmental Team guiding its 9,300 officers. He is an Auburn graduate as well as an Air Command and Staff College Distinguished Graduate and School of Advanced Air and Space Studies graduate. His War College experience was as a Member of the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in London, England and he maintains those relations with senior leaders from 42 nations as a Political Affairs Specialist.
Col Robert J. Rowell, Dean of Students
Colonel Robert J. Rowell is assigned to the Air War College as the Dean of Students. He graduated from Auburn University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Central Missouri State University in 1995 with a Master of Arts degree in History, Air University in 2006 with a Master of Science degree in Military Arts and Science, and National Defense University (Eisenhower School) in 2013 with a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy. He is a career Space and Missile Operations officer with experience in ICBM ops, Space Control and Missile Warning Ops. He has commanded at the squadron level and served as Deputy Group Commander of the 321st Expeditionary Mission Support Advisory Group in Tikrit, Iraq. In addition, he has served in key staff positions at Headquarters Air Force Space Command, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Headquarters North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command.
Dr. Christopher Hemmer, Dean of the Air War College
Christopher Hemmer is a Professor of International Security Studies and the Dean of the Air War College. Before joining the War College he taught at Cornell University and Colgate University. He received his Ph.D. in 1998 from the Department of Government at Cornell University with a specialty in international relations. He received his BA from the State University of New York at Albany, where he majored in political science and minored in psychology. His principal teaching and research interests are American foreign policy, political psychology, and Middle East politics. He is the author of Which Lessons Matter? American Foreign Policy Decision Making in the Middle East, 1979-1987 (State University of New York Press, 2000) and his most recent book is entitled American Pendulum: Recurring Debates in U.S. Grand Strategy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015).
Col Ken Callahan, Associate Dean
Colonel Ken Callahan is the Air War College Associate Dean of Resident Students at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours in the C-141, C-5, T-37, and MQ-1B and has deployed numerous times in support of combat operations. He entered the Air Force in 1992 as a distinguished military graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. Throughout Colonel Callahan’s career, he has assessed, recommended, and integrated new technologies for combat operations in the Air Force. At U.S. Transportation Command, he formed and led an office responsible for assessing new asset in-transit visibility technology and, while on the Air Staff, he worked in the A2 Innovations office assessing the utility and viability of defense contractor research projects. He also served as the Director for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Capabilities, Headquarters Air Staff, the Pentagon, Washington D.C., where he advised the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance on current and future remotely piloted aircraft capabilities and policies. Colonel Callahan has a Doctorate of Management focusing on organizational leadership and the integration of disruptive technologies and a Ph.D. in History specializing in twentieth century American history, U.S. political history and the history of technology.
Dr. Elizabeth D. Woodworth, Director of Research and Electives, Center for Writing Excellence
Dr. Elizabeth D. Woodworth is an Associate Professor of Strategic Communication in the at the Air War College. She is the Director of Research and Electives and the Center for Writing Excellence. She was a visiting professor and project director for the Center for Writing Excellence for many years, co-developing the center in 2011. She teaches workshops for individuals and seminars on academic writing and strategic communication. Prior to her appointment at the AWC, she was an Honors Associate Professor of English at Auburn University at Montgomery and held a post-doctoral lectureship in writing at Texas Christian University. She earned her PhD in English at Texas Christian University with specialties in rhetoric and British literature; her MA in English Composition is from California State University at San Bernardino; her BA in English is from Boise State University. Dr. Woodworth has published scholarship in Victorian Poetry, EDUCAUSE Quarterly, The JUMP (and was an editorial board member from 2008-2017), Browning Society Notes, The Journal of Basic Writing, The Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning, The Ben Jonson Journal with a forthcoming essay in Studies in Browning and His Circle. She’s also published three creative nonfiction essays in the National Honors Collegiate Institute book, Memories and Monuments: Ground Zero and Lower Manhattan. One of her creative nonfiction texts appears as a chapter in the Parlor Press book: Invasion of the MOOCs: The Promises and Perils of Massive Open Online Courses. Recently, she co-authored a chapter in the book, Transforming Organizations: Narrative and Story-Based Approaches. Her specialties include: strategic communication, digital rhetoric, storytelling, higher education, creative thinking, creative nonfiction, literary studies, Victorian poetry, and the 19th c. British novel.
The Department of International Security Studies develops senior leaders who can evaluate today's complex, interdependent, and dynamic international system; develop and assess competing strategies for securing national objectives that integrate joint military, multinational, and multi-agency instruments of power; assess the context and content of the processes used in planning US national security policies; and be prepared to work effectively in the national security decision making arena. Our curriculum consists of three courses: National Security and Decision Making (NSDM), Regional Security Studies (RSS), and Global Security (GS).
COL. Dewey Mosley, Department Chair, USA AU Army Advisor
COL Dewey A. Mosley, U.S. Army, is an instructor in the Air War College’s Department of International Security Studies. He commanded 2d Battalion, 11 Field Artillery Regiment, 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and also served as the deputy commander for 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment within 613th Air & Space Operations Center (AOC), 13th Air Force. He recently served as an Army Planner in the Office of Joint and Defense Affairs for the Chief of Staff, Army. He also served as the Chief of the Military Coordination Cell (MCC) in Mogadishu, Somalia. His deployments include Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom Sentinel. He is a United States Military Academy graduate with a degree in Computer Science Engineering, as well as holding a Masters in Strategic Studies from the Air War College.
Col. Thomas Skrocki, Deputy Department Chair
Colonel Thomas J. Skrocki, USAF, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of International Security Studies. Past assignments include: Deputy Chief of Staff, US Pacific Command and Division Chief for Logistics Readiness and Operations, US Pacific Command, HI; Vice Commander, 515 Air Mobility Operations Wing, HI; Deputy Director, CAPSTONE, National Defense University; Deputy Commander, 379 Expeditionary Operations Group, Qatar; and Commander, 817 Global Mobility Squadron, NJ. He is a master navigator with more than 2,900 flight hours in the KC-135A/R and C-130E/H, including combat and combat support missions beginning with Operation Desert Storm and concluding with Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Colonel Skrocki was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at Texas A & M University. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Texas A & M University and Master Degrees in Aeronautical Science, Military Operational Art and Science, and National Resource Strategy. He is a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University; Air Command and Staff College, Air University; and Squadron Officer School, Air University.
Dr. Anna Batta
Dr. Anna Batta is an Assistant Professor of International Security Studies at Air War College. She has been a faculty member at Air War College since 2015 and is currently working on a book project - The Russian Minority in the former Soviet States: Integration and the Role of the Homeland, which assesses ethnic relations and security after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. She has published in journals such as Ethnopolitics, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Civil Wars, and Party Politics. Dr. Batta holds a Doctorate from the University of North Texas in Conflict Studies. She grew up in Hungary during the Cold War and attended the National University of Public Service in Budapest.
Dr. Sean Braniff
Dr. Sean Braniff is an Assistant Professor at the U.S. Air War College’s Department of International Security Studies. He teaches National Security Decision Making, Global Security, and Regional Security Studies (Middle East) and has previously taught courses on irregular warfare and the causes of war. Dr. Braniff’s research sits at the intersection of politics and psychology in the domain of international security. His current book project traces the origins of maximalist territorial claims and broader implications for the concept of issue indivisibility. His other areas of research include risk-propensity of declining states and American perceptions of foreign threats. Dr. Braniff has previously held positions at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, the Defense Language Institute, and the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (International Relations) from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and a B.A. in History from Brigham Young University – Idaho.
Dr. Stephen F. Burgess
Stephen F. Burgess has been Professor of International Security Studies, US Air War College since June 1999. He has published books and numerous articles, book chapters and monographs on Asian and African security issues, Peace and Stability Operations, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. His books include The United Nations under Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 1992-97 and South Africa’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. His recent journal articles include “International Assistance Efforts at State-Building in Africa: Are There Alternatives?” Comparative Strategy, 36: 2 (June 2017); “Rising Bipolarity in the South China Sea: The Impact of the US Rebalance to Asia on China’s Expansion,” Contemporary Security Policy (37: 1 (April 2016); and “The US Pivot to Asia and Renewal of the US-India Strategic Partnership,” Comparative Strategy, 34: 4 (July 2015). He holds a doctorate from Michigan State University (1992) and has been on the faculty at the University of Zambia, University of Zimbabwe, Vanderbilt University, and Hofstra University.
CAPT Bill Cox, USN
CAPT Bill Cox is an instructor in the Department of International Security Studies. He is a naval aviator with over 5000 flight hours in the P-3C, T-44A and T-34C aircraft. During his most recent tour he served as Commander, Task Group 1010.8 and Commanding Officer, Naval Satellite Operations Center under U.S. TENTH FLEET. He has completed seven operational deployments in his career, including four to the Middle East since 2002. Aviation assignments include four squadron tours with Patrol Squadrons (VP) 26, 30, and 47 and as Commanding Officer of Training Squadron (VT) 28. He has also had two afloat tours aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) as Navigator. He has completed staff tours as aide to Commander, Naval Education and Training Command and as strategic analyst and branch head at NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, where he coordinated NATO’s futures studies program. Captain Cox graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1992 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. He has an M.S. in International Relations from Troy University and an MBA from Mississippi State University, in addition to being a graduate of the Naval War College and Joint Forces Staff College. Captain Cox is a Joint Qualified Officer and a member of the Navy Space Cadre.
Dr. Amit Gupta
Dr. Amit Gupta works on the politics of globalization, Indian and Australian politics, popular culture and politics.
Col Shelley Kavlick, Air Force Reserve Advisor
Colonel Shelley B. Kavlick is the Reserve Advisor to the Commandant, Air War College. Her responsibilities include Reserve faculty and student management for Officer Professional Military Education resident and distance learning programs, curriculum development, adjunct faculty instruction and the execution of an over $2M annual MPA program. Colonel Kavlick graduated from the University of California at Davis in 1994 and was commissioned a Distinguished Graduate from the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1995. She completed graduate studies in the United Kingdom at the Royal Military College of Science, Cranfield University in 2004. Colonel Kavlick is an Aircraft Maintainer with Financial Analysis and Planning and Programming experience. She is a veteran of Operations ALLIED FORCE, INHERENT RESOLVE/FREEDOM’S SENTINEL and has served as the senior USAF Maintenance Officer for the 425th Fighter Squadron (PEACE CARVIN II) Foreign Military Sales program between the Unites States and Royal Singaporean Air Forces. Colonel Kavlick has also previously served as the Assistant Executive Officer to the Chief of Air Force Reserve in the Pentagon and Vice Commandant, Air Force Officer Training School. She recently served as Director of Staff, 379 AEW, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
Dr. Carrie Lee
Dr. Carrie A Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of International Security Studies, where she studies how democratic political institutions affect inter-state conflict and foreign policy decision-making. Her work evaluates how elections alter the incentives of democratic leaders during conflict, resulting in changes to battlefield strategies in the month leading up to an election as politicians attempt to win public support. She has also done work on counterinsurgency strategy, humanitarian crises and intervention, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University in 2015, and a S.B. from MIT in 2010. Dr. Lee has previously held fellowships at the Notre Dame International Security Center and the RAND Corporation. Her work has been supported by the U.S. Air Force, the Stanton Foundation, LBJ Foundation, Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, and Stanford University, and has been included on syllabi at Yale, MIT, Stanford, and other major universities. Her PhD dissertation was awarded first runner-up for the 2015 Kenneth Waltz Prize from the American Political Science Association, an award that recognizes the best dissertation written in security studies in a calendar year. Her work has been published in professional journals such as Armed Forces & Society, Orbis, and the RAND Corporation, as well as popular outlets such as the Washington Post and War on the Rocks.
Mr. Kevin Madden
Mr. Kevin Madden is the Defense Intelligence Advisor to Air University. He is responsible for representing the Agency and instructing and researching across the University’s institutions on relevant security issues. Mr. Madden previously served as the Deputy Director for Strategic Assessments, Target Intelligence, Plans and Exercise in U.S. Forces Korea. In this capacity he authored the “Threat Assessment of Korea” and played key roles in the development of critical intelligence assessments, operational and targeting plans, and exercise scenarios. Prior, Mr. Madden served more than 29 years as a U.S. Army Armor/Cavalry and Northeast Asia Foreign Area Officer, retiring as a colonel in 2011. He served as the Defense and Army Attaché to the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea during a volatile period which included North Korea’s attack on the Republic of Korea Navy Ship Cheonan and shelling of Yeongpyeong Island. Previously he served as the 55th Chief of JUSMAG-K, managing more than US$12 billion in Foreign Military Sales programs while supporting over US$12 billion in Direct Commercial Sales. During this period Mr. Madden was responsible for drafting and advocating for the eventual passage of H.R. 7177-4 which gave the Republic of Korea equal status to NATO members for defense acquisition. Mr. Madden also served as the Secretary, UNCMAC in Panmunjom and Seoul where he negotiated with North Korea’s military and managed the Demilitarized Zone. A specialist in Northeast Asia and Korea affairs and the US-ROK security alliance. Mr. Madden lived and worked in South Korea for over nineteen years and traveled extensively throughout Asia, including China and North Korea. As the Senior Country Director for Korea and Japan, he served as the primary advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Korea and Japan affairs, and played an active role in the interagency policy process. He also served as the Executive Officer to the Vice Director for Strategic Plans and Policy on the Joint Staff where he assisted on global joint strategic planning, military strategy, politico-military matters, security assistance and policy, maritime affairs, arms control, disarmament, integration of all-source intelligence, international drug interdiction and international negotiations during initial operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Madden lectured and wrote on North Korea’s military, Northeast Asian security affairs, and joint operational warfare at the US Army’s Command and General Staff College, earning Instructor-of-the-Year honors. Mr. Madden is a Senior Service College Graduate and completed numerous other military courses including the Australian Command and Staff College and U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare Course. He served Senior Fellowships at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and Korea Institute for Defense Analysis. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Canberra and University of Washington. Mr. Madden served as the editor of the KIDA Papers and is published in the Far Eastern Economic Review and Korean-American Historical Society Occasional Papers. Mr. Madden is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation, Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award and the only foreigner to have been twice decorated by the President of the Republic of Korea with the Order of National Security Merit.
COL Michael McCullough
COL Michael S. McCullough U.S. Army- Foreign Area Officer, is an instructor at the Air War College Department of International Security Studies. COL McCullough’s leadership roles include serving as the Secretary of Defense appointed Senior Defense Official/Defense Attaché at the US Embassy in Ethiopia; AFRICOM J5 Division Chief for Sub Sahara Africa; Chief of Security Cooperation in the Democratic Republic of Congo/Republic of Congo and Armenia. He also served as the Deputy Commander of the US National Intelligence Center in Bosnia, the Deputy for the Counter Terrorism Division at RAF Molesworth and the Caucasus Intelligence Team Chief. Colonel McCullough also served as the Chief of Operation in the US Army Europe Multinational Training Division, G3. During 2010/11 COL McCullough served as the J9 for US Forces Afghanistan- South. Colonel McCullough holds a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs from the Naval Post Graduate School and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University.
Dr. Dawn Murphy
Dr. Dawn Murphy, Assistant Professor of International Security Studies, joined the Air War College faculty in 2015. She specializes in Chinese foreign policy and domestic politics, international relations, and comparative politics. Her current research analyzes China’s interests, identity and behavior as a rising global power towards the existing international order. Specifically, she examines China’s relations with the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa and is writing a book titled "Rising Revisionist? China’s Evolving Relations with the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa in the post-Cold War Era." The book project is based on field work conducted as a Visiting Scholar with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, China; a Visiting Research Fellow with the American University in Cairo, Egypt; and a Visiting Researcher at Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Chinese Studies in South Africa. Murphy holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and Ph.D. in Political Science from George Washington University. Her previous academic appointments include Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program at Princeton University and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University.
Col Paul Nelson, AF Surgeon General Chair
Colonel (Dr.) Paul H. Nelson, MD, MPH, is the Air Force Surgeon General's Chair to Air University. He is the bridge between the Air University and the Air Force Medical Service, and is a faculty instructor in the Department of International Security Studies at the Air War College. Board certified in aerospace medicine and family medicine, he is a chief flight surgeon with experience in multiple airframes and missions, including en-route casualty care and coordination, enabling joint combat operations. His interests include leadership, innovation, strategic messaging, en-route casualty care, and partnership development for regional resiliency.
Dr. David S. Sorenson
Dr. David S. Sorenson is Professor of International Security Studies. Dr. Sorenson received his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and his BA and MA from California State University at Long Beach. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Colorado at Denver, Denison University, and the Mershon Center at Ohio State University. He has published Syria in Ruins: The Dynamics of the Syrian Civil War (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publishers, 2016; Lebanon: Global Security Watch. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers (2010), Interpreting the Modern Middle East, (edited), (Westview Press, 2010), The Process and Politics of Defense Acquisition: A Reference Book (Praeger Publishers, 2008), An Introduction to the Modern Middle East (Westview Press, 2nd Edition 2013), Military Base Closure: A Reference Book (Praeger Publishers, 2007), Shutting Down the Cold War: The Politics of Military Base Closure (St. Martin's Press, 1998), and The Politics of Strategic Aircraft Modernization, (Praeger, 1995). He has also co-edited The Politics of International Aircraft Collaboration (London: Ashgate Publishers, 2000), and The Politics of Peacekeeping (Frank Cass Publishers, 2005), and numerous articles and book chapters on Middle East politics, defense budget politics, and national security affairs. Professor Sorenson was AWC Associate Dean for Academic Programs (2000-2003).
Col Van T. Thai
Colonel Van T. Thai, USAF, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of International Security Studies. Past assignments include: Military Professor, DKI Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, Fort Derussy, HI; Deputy Operations Group Commander, Kadena Air Base, Japan; and Commander, 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. He is an instructor mobility pilot with experience most recently in operations Inherent Resolve, Freedom Sentinel, and Enduring Freedom. Colonel Thai was commissioned through the Air Force Academy. He holds a M.A. in Economics from Oklahoma University and a M.S. in International Relations from Troy University. Furthermore, Colonel Thai is a Joint Qualified Officer and a North East Asia Foreign Area officer. He is a graduate of the Japanese Command and Staff College and the French War College.
Dr. Ashly Townsen
Dr. Ashly Townsen has been an Assistant Professor of International Security Studies, US Air War College since June 2018. He has published and presented numerous articles on Rebel Group Formation, African security issues, Peace and Stability Operations, using experiments in social science and Geo-Spatial Analysis. His principal teaching and research interests are American Foreign Policy, political psychology, African Politics, and insurgent group politics. His articles include “Hot Spot Peacekeeping” International Studies Review, 17: 1 (2015); "Where Do Peacekeepers Go When They Go?: Explaining the Spatial Heterogeneity of Peacekeeping Deployments". Journal of International Peacekeeping 18:1 (2015) . He holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois (2015) and was previously on faculty at Washington State University.
Col Jeremey Turner
Colonel Jeremey Turner is an instructor in the Department of International Security Studies where he teaches National Security Decision Making and Global Security. His previous assignments include Commander of the 449th Air Expeditionary Group and Commander of the 41st Rescue Squadron. Colonel Turner also has experience in the Office of the Secretary of Defense structure as a policy advisor and in the Force Integration Division of the U.S. Air Force Headquarters. He is a command pilot with HH-60G combat experience in multiple theaters. Colonel Turner received his PhD in Political Science from Texas A&M University. He also has Master Degrees in Strategic Studies and Military Arts and Sciences Theater Operations as well as a B.S. in Operations Research. Colonel Turner’s research interests include political psychology, decision making, and experimentation as a research method.
Col Theresa E. Weems, AU Mobility Air Forces Chair
Colonel Theresa E. Weems, USAF, is the AU Mobility Air Forces Chair and an instructor at the Air War College Department of International Security Studies. Her previous assignment was as the Commander, 60th Operations Group, Travis AFB, CA, where she led five squadrons providing global reach through airlift and aerial refueling with C-5, C-17, and KC-10A aircraft. She was commissioned in 1995 through Officer Training School as a Supply and Fuels officer, before being accepted into pilot training and accumulating over 3,600 hours in the KC-10A Extender. Other assignments include Political-Military Affairs specialist, Chief of Safety, and Inspector General, and SECAF/CSAF Commanders Action Group. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University, a M.S. in International Affairs from Troy University, and a M.S. in Military Operational Art and Science from Air University. She completed SDE as an Air Force Fellow at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. She has deployed in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM, deployed to Colombia and Ecuador, and interned with the State Department in Chile.
The Department of Leadership and Warfighting teaching three core courses: 1) Strategic Leadership and the Profession of Arms; 2) Airpower (Air, Space, & Cyber), Innovation & the Future; and 3) Theater Strategy and Campaigning. In the Strategic Leadership course, students analyze fundamental concepts, logic, and analytical frameworks used in the development and application of leadership at the senior level in a joint environment. Next, in the Airpower course, students examine how joint airpower, as a part of a joint, multi-domain, and multinational force, intends to innovate to prepare for the challenges of conflict in the future across the range of military operations -- to include special emphasis on the employment and sustainment of Air, Space and Cyberspace forces. Finally, in the Theater Strategy and Campaigning course students synthesize Campaign Design, Theater Campaign Plans, and the Joint Operational Planning Process through which combatant commanders set the military conditions for attaining national and coalition objectives as both a supported and supporting instrument of power.
Col James David Bottomlee – Department Chair
Colonel J. David Bottomlee is the Chair of the Department of Leadership and Warfighting. His recent assignments include: AFIT Ph.D. graduate student at Auburn University; Director of Air Operations NATO headquarters in Afghanistan; and Commander of the 3rd Fighter Training Squadron. He is a command pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours in the F-16 and AT-38 including 250 combat hours on multiple combat deployments. Colonel Bottomlee has a B.S. in Political Science from the United States Air Force Academy. Later, he completed a M.B.A. at California State University, a M.A. in Psychology/Leadership Development from the University of Colorado, and a M.A. in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. Recently, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Leadership and Political Science from Auburn University. His research interests include: leadership, moral courage, professionalism, ethics, moral injury, organizational culture, and combat airpower.
Col James Rodriguez, Deputy Department Chair, USSOCOM Chair
Colonel James “Jim” Rodriguez, USAF, an instructor in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting, was most recently the Chief, Europe and Africa Support Group, HQ Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. His responsibilities included leading two branches with 15 joint and civilian staff officers. He provided regional expertise to support the planning, coordination, synchronization, and oversight of U.S. and partner SOF operations and activities within the EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility. Col Rodriguez graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1989, and immediately cross commissioned into the Air Force. After completing Undergraduate Navigator Training at Mather AFB, CA, he was selected for his first operational assignment in E-3B/C AWACS. During his five year assignment within the AWACS community he participated in Operation Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, and Southern Watch among others. In 1995 he transitioned to Special Operations and helped stand up the new AC-130U AFSOC squadron, the 4 Special Operations Squadron (SOS). Over the next five years he served as a Special Mission Planner, Flight Commander and Wing Commander’s Executive Officer. In addition he deployed on the first AC-130U contingency deployment, in support of Operations in Bosnia. From 2000-2003 he served on the 3rd Air Force Staff in Mildenhall, United Kingdom as a Branch Chief as well as deployed to Kyrgyzstan to stand up Manas Air Base for initial operations into Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. He returned to AFSOC to assume duties as the Operations Officer and Commander of the 4 SOS and subsequently commanded his squadron while conducting continuous combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. After command and Air War College, he was assigned to US Forces Korea in Seoul as the Chief of Policy Division.
Lt Col John Binder, USMC
Lt Col John Binder, United States Marine Corps, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting. He is an Armor Officer, Foreign Security Force (FSF) Advisor and Security Cooperation Officer (SCO). He has commanded at the Platoon, Company and Battalion levels. In addition to combat deployments, he served as the Deputy Commander, Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Field Team deployed to Iraq. Other previous assignments include serving two tours in Saudi Arabia as a SCO and FSF Advisor attached to the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and one tour as a SCO and FSF Advisor attached to the U.S. Consulate in Dubai. He has also recently served as the N5 (Future Plans) Officer for the U.S. Third Fleets Expeditionary Strike Group – Three. Lt Col Binder earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Kansas and commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He received a Master of Arts Degree in Military Studies from the Marine Corps University. His interests include leadership, joint planning, Middle Eastern history and culture, and Arctic maritime strategy.
Col Ron Carson, USMC
Colonel Ronnie A. Carson, USMC, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting. He is a Marine Aviator and CH-53E pilot with combat deployments to Albania, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. As a Marine Aviator, he has served in a variety of both tactical and support units holding all major Department Head positions to include Commanding Officer of HMH-462 where the squadron deployed to Iraq. During this deployment, the squadron transitioned the heavy lift community out of Iraq and into Afghanistan. Contingency, combat, and humanitarian assistance assignments include Operations: JOINT ENDEAVOR, SILVER WAKE, GUARDIAN RETRIEVAL, NOBLE ANVIL, JTF SHINING HOPE, ALLIED FORCES, ALLIED HARBOUR, AVID RESPONSE, JOINT GUARDIAN, UNIFIED ASSISTANCE, OIF, and OEF. Key Staff assignments include: Director of Operations/Strike Advisor for the J317 Airborne Command Post at USSTRATCOM and served on the faculty at Joint Forces Staff College. Col Carson is a graduate of the Air War College (2011). He has accumulated over 3,500 hours as a Marine Corps pilot.
Lt Col Kathleen Crimmins
Lt Col Kathleen Crimmins is the Director, Executive Leader Feedback Program (ELFP), Air War College (AWC), Maxwell Air Force base, Alabama. The ELFP includes an in-depth 360 degree leadership assessment, self-awareness scale, mentoring program, and a peer-to-peer survey for the in-residence Senior Developmental Education (SDE) programs at the AWC. She earned her BA from Auburn University and a MS in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Alabama. She received her Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi following an internship at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX. Additional noteworthy professional accomplishments are she developed three manualized suicide prevention trainings for the Air Force in 2014 and she co-edited the Air Force Guide to Suicide Assessment, Management and Treatment in 2013. She deployed to Sather Air Base, Iraq for 194 days in 2006 – 2007.
CAPT Steve Dradzynski, USN Advisor
CAPT Steve Dradzynski, U.S. Navy, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting, and serves as the U.S. Navy Advisor to Air University. Previously, he served as Naval Forces Chief of Staff and Liaison Officer to U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida. He was the N3, Operations Officer, for Strategic Communications Wing 1 from 2009-2012. Other previous assignments include command of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 7 (VQ-7), duty as Airborne Command Post Communications Officer for U.S. Strategic Command and various other sea and staff assignments. Captain Dradzynski earned his Bachelor of Science in Quantitative Methods in Management from Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan in 1987. He was commissioned from Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1989. Captain Dradzynski completed a Master of Arts in National Security from the Naval War College and earned a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the National War College.
CAPT Stephen Flaherty, USN
CAPT Stephen Flaherty, US Navy, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting. He is a Naval Flight Officer and EA-6B Prowler Electronics Countermeasures Officer (ECMO) and has completed eight operational deployments to Europe, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific Region. Previously he served as the Director of Brigade Operations as well as taught Ethics and Moral Reasoning at the United States Naval Academy. Other previous assignments include command of Electronic Attack Squadron ONE THREE ONE (VAQ-131), Operations Officer onboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74), Director of Operations for Joint CREW Composite Squadron ONE (JCCS-1), and various other sea and staff assignments. CAPT Flaherty earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern European History from Harvard and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officers Corps at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Warfare. He has accumulated over 3,000 hours and 875 carrier arrested landings as a Naval Flight Officer. Interests include Air Warfare, Naval Warfare, Electronic Warfare, and Ethics and Moral Reasoning.
Dr. John P. Geis II, Colonel, USAF (ret.)
Dr. John P. Geis II is currently the Director, Airpower Research Task Force, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Dr. Geis was the Chief Meteorologist of WISC-TV prior to entering active duty in 1983. His Air Force career spanned training and combat operations flying T-37, AT-38B, T-43, two variants of the F-111 and the AC-130H special operations gunship. A distinguished graduate and the Commandant’s Award Winner at Air Command and Staff College, Colonel Geis co-authored the Alternate Futures monograph for the Air Force 2025 Study. He has been involved in budgeting and planning, and for two years directed all modernization efforts for all U.S. Air Force Special Forces. A graduate of the Air War Class of 2001, Dr. Geis served as the Director, U.S. Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology for a total of eight years during which time he and his team created what is now known as the Blue Horizons Research Program which examines the strategic implications of emerging technology. Dr. Geis retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Air Force in 2011. Dr. Geis holds a Bachelors Degree in Meteorology and a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Masters Degree in Political Science from Auburn University, and a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from Air University, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin.
Mr. William Lewis
William Lewis is the course director of the Airpower course in the Leadership and Warfighting Department at the Air War College. He joined the AWC faculty in the summer of 2016 after more than 28 years of service in the United States Air Force. Commissioned after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy in 1988, Mr. Lewis was a career fighter pilot with over 3,500 flying hours, including over 2000 in the F-15 with 250 hours in combat. He commanded the 44th Fighter Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, was a Division Chief on the Joint Staff, served as the 48th Fighter Wing Vice Commander at RAF Lakenheath and completed his career as Chief of Staff at the Headquarters, United States Air Force in Europe and Africa. Mr. Lewis is a graduate of the National War College and the USAF’s School for Advanced Air and Space Studies.
Col Niki Lindhorst - Air Force Space Command Chair
Col Niki Lindhorst, U.S. Air Force, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting, and serves as the Air Force Space Command Chair to Air University. Previously, she served as Deputy Division Chief of Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Transport Division, Joint Staff J6. She was the commander of the Enterprise Operations Squadron at the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, VA from 2013-2015. Additional assignments include operations officer of the Enterprise Operations Squadron, Deputy Career Field Manager for the Space and Missile Operations career field (OEF 10-11), and various positions within Air Force Space Command and Air Education and Training Command. Col Lindhorst was commissioned from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Southern Illinois University in 1995 earning a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology. She attended graduate school at Trident University earning a master’s degree in Education Leadership. She earned a Master’s of Military Operational Arts and Sciences from the Air Force Command and Staff College in 2009 and completed Air War College in 2012. Her research interests are based in space operations, force management and career field management.
Col Gregory Lococo, USAFR
Colonel Greg Lococo is the Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Commandant, Air War College. He was previously assigned to the USEUCOM Joint Operations Center. During this period he served a progression of assignments as XO to Team Chief then Nuclear Advisor culminating as Battle Staff Commander on the E-6B Contingency Airborne Command Post. Prior to USEUCOM he was the primary 3rd Air Force Future Operations Planner. He was responsible for all contingency actions across the range of military operations and during this period deployed to Tbilisi after the Russian invasion as the AFFOR lead, served as a Space Shuttle Trans-Atlantic Landing Site Squadron Commander and planned-executed USAFRICOM’s first mission. Previous experience includes ANG War and Mobilization branch, Site R operations and 9-11 Battle Captain at JB-Andrews 113th Wing. A career Airman (both enlisted and officer), Col Lococo is a Joint Crisis Action Planner and Master Command and Control Officer with over 6000 hours in support of Integrated Air and Missile Defense Operations throughout Europe-Middle East-North Africa. Col Lococo is a former Natural Sciences Jr. Fellow at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and holds a B.S. from Salisbury University and Masters of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University.
COL Joseph Malizia, Jr, USA
Colonel Joseph Malizia, Jr, USA, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting. He currently serves as the Course Director for Strategic Leadership and the Profession of Arms (SLPOA), teaches SLPOA and Theater Strategy Campaigning, leads the Air War College Hap Arnold Outreach Program, and is responsible for AWC participation in the Jim Thorpe Sports Day competition at Carlisle Barracks, PA. His last operational assignment was as Battalion Commander, 82nd Civil Affairs Battalion at Fort Stewart, GA. Prior to that, COL Malizia served as the CJ-9 for the Combined Joint Task Force-10 in RC EAST; Assistant Chief of Staff, G9 for the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry); Plans Officer for the G-35, U.S. Army Special Operations Command; and various unit-level assignments as a Civil Affairs, Quartermaster, and Military Police Officer. He has extensive operational experience in Latin America and additional overseas deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. COL Malizia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Richmond, a Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and graduated with Honors from the Kansas University Interagency Studies Program with a Masters of Arts in Global and International Studies. His research interests include leadership, emotional intelligence, influence and negotiations, organizational climate and culture, and Latin American affairs.
Col Sean McCarthy
Colonel Sean McCarthy, USAF, is an instructor in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting. He was commissioned upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1993 and earned his aeronautical rating in Undergraduate Pilot Training in September 1994. He has held a variety of positions, serving twice as an Operations Officer, a Wing Director of Staff, a Commander at the Squadron and Group levels, a Director at the Center level, and a staff member for U.S. Central Command and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Prior to arriving at Maxwell AFB, Colonel McCarthy commanded the 332d Expeditionary Operations Group at Al Jaber AB, Kuwait and the 447th Air Expeditionary Group at Incirlik AB, Turkey. In this capacity he was responsible for commanding 550 Total Force Airmen who provided Precision Strike, Aerial Refueling, Combat Search and Rescue, and Personnel Recovery capabilities for US and coalition forces supporting Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. Colonel McCarthy is a Command Pilot with more than 3,360 flying hours, including 1,096 combat hours in the F-15E and A-10C supporting Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and INHERENT RESOLVE. He is a resident graduate of Air Command and Staff College as well as the Air War College where he was recognized with highest academic distinction honors.
Col Richard Mendez, Air Force Global Strike Chair
Col Richard “Rich” Mendez, U.S. Air Force, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting, and serves as the Air Force Global Strike Chair to Air University. Col Mendez enlisted in the Air Force in 1990 and was commissioned in 1996 through Officer Training School. He has served as a Minuteman combat crew commander, evaluator and instructor. He also has tours in Offensive Space Control Operations, Computer Network Attack Operations, Recruiting and staff tours at Air Force Space Command and the Air Force Technical Applications Center. His command tours include the 16th Expeditionary Space Control Squadron at Kadena AB Japan, the 332nd Recruiting Squadron in Nashville Tennessee and the 709th Support Group at Patrick AFB Florida. Col Mendez has 5 deployments in support of OPERATIONS SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. He has a B.S. in Education from Southern Illinois University and an M.S. in International Relations from Troy State University. His research interests include military history, international relations and combat power.
COL Jon “JP” Moore, USA
Colonel Jon “JP” Moore, USA, is a Field Artillery branch officer and an instructor in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting at the Air War College. He most recently served as the Director, Soldier and Support and Support Systems Evaluation directorate for the US Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. He commanded 1-37 Field Artillery, 3BCT/2d Infantry Division at Fort Lewis Washington and Diyala, Iraq. Other assignments include the 18th Fires Brigade Assistant S3 and Liaison Officer to the 82d Airborne Division Artillery and Headquarters and Service Battery Commander for 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Bragg. NC; 3rd Howitzer Battery Commander and Squadron Fire Support Officer for 3rd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (LI) at Fort Polk, LA; Fire Support and Firing Battery O/C & Senior Fire Support Analyst at the Combat Maneuver Training Center (now JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany; Infantry Brigade Combat Team Fire Support Coordinator for 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division and 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment Operations Officer and an Executive Officer at Fort Drum, NY; Instructor for the School of Command Preparation at Fort Leavenworth, KS; NATO’s Allied HQ Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) as an operational level planner, Deputy Director Joint Operations Center, and the Director for the JFCBS Afghanistan Desk / Director Afghanistan Fusion Cell. He has deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and NATO missions ISAF and Resolute Support on multiple occasions. COL Moore is a 1990 distinguished military graduate of the Valley Forge Military Academy and Junior College. He is a graduate of the Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College with a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies. COL Moore is currently pursuing the completion of his Master’s Degree in Adult and Continuing Education from Kansas State University.
COL Shanon Mosakowski, USA
COL Shanon Mosakowski is an instructor in the Joint Warriors Studies Seminar. His recent assignments include: J34 Chief of Lethal Fires/FSCOORD of the CJTF-OIR led by XVIII ABN Corp; Deputy Commander, 4-25th BCT (Airborne) at FT Richardson, AK; and Battalion Commander 3-320th Field Artillery, 3/101st Airborne Division, at FT Campbell, KY. He has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on multiple occasions and Operation Inherent Resolve. His research interests include: targeting, the application joint fires, and mission command. COL Mosakowski is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College at FT Leavenworth, KS and the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, AL. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University and a Master's Degree in Strategic Studies from the Air War College.
COL Richard W. (Rick) Pelham, USA
Colonel Richard W. (Rick) Pelham, USA, is a Logistics branch officer and an instructor in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting at the Air War College. He most recently served as the expeditionary Sustainment Advisory Team (eSAT) Director for the Operational Sustainment Branch of the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A). Prior to this deployment, he served as the Director of Strategic Plans and Business Transformation (G5) for the Alabama National Guard. Other assignments include Commander, 46th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team; Operations Officer and Full-Time Administrative Officer (AGR), 111 Ordnance Group (EOD) Alabama ARNG; Operations Officer and Full-Time Administrative Officer (AGR), 200th Training Regiment (LDR), Alabama ARNG; J33 Current Operations Officer, Joint Task Force Civil Support; Support Operations Office, 1103rd CSSB; Battalion Operations Officer, 1103rd CSSB; Company Commander, 1670th Transportation Company (MED TRK) and 3203 Ordnance Company (MSL SPT). He has deployed in support of Operations Desert Storm/Shield, Operation Noble Eagle, and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and NATO Mission Resolute Support. COL Pelham is a 1991 graduate of Auburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Operations Management. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.
Col Chris Richie, USMC
Colonel Chris Richie, USMC, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting. He also serves as the Director of the "Hap" Arnold Executive Leadership Series. He is a career Aviation Command and Control (AC2) officer with further designations as a Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Joint Interface Control Officer (JICO) and Senior Air Director, with additional MOS’ of C4 Plans Officer and Joint Qualified Officer. He has served as XO and OPS O at the Squadron and Group level and has served as the Commanding Officer of a Tactical Air Operations Center; a Marine Air Control Squadron (MACS-2); a Marine Air Control Group (MACG-38); and a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF CONTINUING PROMISE) embarked on the USS IWO JIMA. He has served as the Director for I MEF Red Team; Director Marine Corps Installations-West G-7 (Government/External Affairs); MAWTS-1 C3 Department Head; MARDET OIC, Multi-TDL Joint Interoperability Division; and Director Marine Air Command and Control Squadron-X where he was responsible for Operational Development of the Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S). He is a resident graduate of JICO (1999); C2 Systems Course (2001); Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (2001); Air Command and Staff College (2005); Air War College (2012); and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (2014). Colonel Richie graduated from Auburn University (1992) via the ROTC scholarship program and also earned an MBA, with honors, from Regis University (2000). He has served in 19 countries including Europe, East Asia, South America, Central America, and the Middle East. Contingency assignments include Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ALLIED FORCE, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and CONTINUING PROMISE. His last joint assignment was as the Deputy U.S. Liaison office at the U.S. Embassy, United Arab Emirates responsible for foreign military sales, Theater Security Cooperation activities, and enabling Coalition operations. His areas of interest include: servant leadership, ethics, organizational culture, public speaking, and Joint AC2.
Lt Col Donald Sandberg
Lieutenant Colonel Donald J. Sandberg, USAF, is an instructor at the Air War College in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting. He received his commission through Air Force ROTC at Louisiana Tech University in 1998 and has since accumulated approximately 2,800 flight hours as an instructor weapon systems officer in the F-15E Strike Eagle. He has served in units responsible for combat operations, formal training, test and evaluation, international affairs, and acquisitions. Lt Col Sandberg is a graduate of the F-15E Weapons Instructor Course (2006), the Air Command and Staff College (2012), and the Naval War College (2019), with experience in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and INHERENT RESOLVE.
COL Glenn Schmick, USA
Colonel Glenn Schmick, US Army, is a Military Police branch officer and an instructor in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting at the Air War College. He most recently served as the Commander, 18th Military Police Brigade, Vilseck, Germany. COL Schmick previously served as the Senior Advisor to the Afghan Deputy Minister of Security, NATO, Kabul, Afghanistan and as the Executive Officer to the Deputy Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, Pentagon, Washington, DC. COL Schmick has commanded five times from company to brigade level, has five operational and combat deployments, and four assignments in Europe. He graduated as a Distinguished Military Graduate and Summa Cum Laude from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1994. He received his Military Operational Art and Science Masters Degree as a Distinguished Graduate from the Air Command and Staff College in 2009 and his Strategic Studies Masters Degree as a Distinguished Graduate from the Air War College in 2015. Research topics: effects of environment on toxicity; organizational impact of culture and climate; police in counter insurgency operations.
Dr. Daniel Strand
Daniel Strand, PhD, serves as Assistant Professor of Ethics in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting. At the Air War College he teaches courses on the Just War tradition and the ethics of warfare, political ethics, and ethics and leadership. Prior to his appointment he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Arizona State University (2015-19) in the History Department and the Program in Political History and Leadership where he taught courses on ancient Rome, history of Western political thought, and warfare and politics. Strand's research interests include the political and moral thought of Augustine of Hippo and the Augustinian tradition, the role of ethics and religion in foreign policy, the Just War tradition, bioethics, and political ethics. He is the author of the forthcoming Gods of the Nations (Cambridge University Press), a historical study of Augustine's political thought in City of God. He has published articles and book chapters on the history of the Just War tradition, Augustine of Hippo, Hannah Arendt, and the ethics of euthanasia. He is currently working on a book examining the role of national interest in the ethics of warfare. He received his BA in philosophy from the University of Minnesota, M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and PhD in Religion and Ethics from the University of Chicago.
CAPT Paul Varnadore, USN, CJCS Chair
Captain Paul Varnadore is a submarine warfare officer assigned to the Air War College as an instructor in the Department of Leadership and Warfighting and the CJCS Chair. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, he enlisted in the Navy in April, 1989. Following selection to the Nuclear Enlisted Commissioning Program, he attended Auburn University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. During his last sea tour, he served as Commanding Officer of USS Louisiana (SSBN 743)(Blue). Other sea tours included assignments as a division officer aboard USS Maine (SSBN 741)(Blue); Engineer Officer on USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723); and Executive Officer on USS Tennessee (SSBN 734)(Blue). Ashore, Captain Varnadore served on the staff of Commander, Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Command in Norfolk, Virginia; the staff of Commander, Australian Submarine Force in Perth, Western Australia as the Principal Staff Officer for Operational Preparedness; the Joint Staff Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5) as Chief, Strategic Deterrence & Nuclear Policy Division. He graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School with a Master of Science degree in Applied Physics and is a Joint Qualified Officer.
Mr. Christopher Wilbeck
Chris Wilbeck is a Professor of Joint Military Operations as a member of the Leadership and Warfighting Department at the Air War College. He joined the AWC faculty in the spring of 2018 after more than 28 years of service in the United States Army. Professor Wilbeck was commissioned a 2LT of Armor in 1989 and has served in operational and planning positions from the Squadron/Battalion to the Division and Joint Level. His most significant assignments include battalion commander of a combined arms battalion in the 1st Infantry Division, Division Operations Officer (G3) for the 4th Infantry Division, and Director of Operations (J3) for JTF-GTMO. Professor Wilbeck’s military education includes the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), and the Air War College. He has earned a BS in Business Administration, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), a Masters in Military History, a Masters in Theater Operations/Operational Planning, and a Masters in Strategic Studies. Professor Wilbeck is the author of Sledgehammers: Strengths and Flaws of Tiger Tank Battalions in World War II and has participated in a World War II historical documentary series sponsored by National Geographic-International and PBS.
The Department of Strategy recruits, retains, and develops quality faculty and staff to develop and deliver current and relevant graduate-level curriculum; to conduct and advise research and publications that are relevant to national security; and, to perform service and outreach that results in mission accomplishment and enhances strategic communications in order to educate and develop critical-thinking leaders to better serve our nation and our interests. The Department of Strategy (DES) teaches the longest of the core courses, Foundations of Strategy (FS). DES Faculty also develop and offer elective courses each year on topics such as command, ethics, leading change, civil military relations, coercive airpower, coalition warfare, irregular warfare, genocide, and military privatization.
Col Douglas Drake, Department Chair
Col. Douglas Drake, USAF, Ph.D., joined the Air War College faculty in 2015 and is the Chair of the Department of Strategy. He has previous served as the Director of Staff for the Dean and as the Dean of Students. Before completing his Doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado, during which he studied Educational Psychology with a focus on Cognition and Instruction, he was the Deputy Chief of the Training, Test, Exercises and Evaluation Division at Air Force Space Command Headquarters. Col Drake has held various staff positions at the squadron, group, wing and MAJCOM levels. In 2014, he deployed to Afghanistan to serve as the principal advisor to the Afghan Air Force Director of Plans and Programs in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Resolute Support. He holds a Master’s in Education from Montana State University as well as a Master’s in Joint Information Operations from Naval Postgraduate School. His areas of interest and expertise include leadership education and training, teaching pedagogy, teacher education and faculty development.
Dr. Douglas C. Peifer, Deputy Department Chair
Dr. Douglas C. Peifer is a professor in the US Air War College’s Department of Strategy. He holds a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His primary field of concentration is modern diplomatic and military history, with a special interest in the nexus between strategy, history, international politics, and culture. He has published Choosing War (Oxford U Press, 2016), Genocide, Airpower and Intervention (Air U. Press, 2008), and The Three German Navies (U Florida Press, 2002), along with various book chapters, and articles in Orbis, The Journal of Military History, the Naval War College Review, War in History, War and Society, Contemporary European History, European Security, Strategic Studies Quarterly, and The German Studies Review. Peifer teaches the Foundations of Strategy, regional studies courses pertaining to North/Central & Western Europe, and a range of electives focusing on strategy, history, and great power interactions. His area of research and expertise centers on the coercive use of force; the interaction between history, culture, and foreign policy; and NATO and European security issues, particularly those related to Germany, Scandinavia, and Western Europe.
COL Patrick Budjenska, USA
Colonel Patrick Budjenska, United States Army, is a native Texan and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1991 through the Midwestern State University ROTC program, Wichita Falls, Texas. His Major assignments include G1, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Ft. Drum, New York. While assigned to 10th Mountain, he deployed to Afghanistan as the CJTF – 10 CJ1 for Regional Command – East, Bagram Airfield. Prior to 10th Mountain, he served as the Deputy J1 for United States Forces – Afghanistan, Kabul. Colonel Budjenska served in the G1 section and as the Inspector General for United States Army South, Fort Sam Houston. He was assigned twice to the Army Deputy Chief of Staff G1 at the Pentagon, and also served as the 75th Ranger Regiment S1 during which he also deployed to Afghanistan. As an Infantry officer, Colonel Budjenska served in the 1st Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany, and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. Colonel Budjenska’s military education includes Infantry Officer’s Basic and Advanced Courses, US Army Ranger School, Airborne School, Air Assault School, Pathfinder School, Intermediate Level Education (ILE) and the Air War College. He has earned a BA in History and a Master in Strategic Studies. Colonel Budjenska’s major deployments include: three to Afghanistan, Haiti following the earthquake of 2010, and the Balkans.
Dr. Ron Gurantz
Dr. Ron Gurantz is Assistant Professor in the Department of Strategy. He joined the Air War College faculty in 2016, having previously taught political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from UCLA, and a B.A. in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley. His areas of specialization include international relations theory, U.S. foreign policy, crisis diplomacy, deterrence, and airpower. He is currently researching how governments evaluate the credibility and effectiveness of threats in a study of the Operation Rolling Thunder bombing campaign during the Vietnam War. His previous research has examined the credibility of deterrent threats and the influence of domestic politics on the course of international crises.
Dr. Howard M. Hensel
Dr. Howard M. Hensel is Professor of Politico-Military Affairs at the Air War College; his areas of specialization include: international relations, comparative government, Russian / Soviet area studies, military history and strategy, political philosophy, and the law of armed conflict. He has served as a Professor at the Air War College on the faculty for over thirty years in a variety of roles. These include: the Director of Strategy (2006-2009; 1994-1995); Academic Director of the Air War College's Electives Program (1997-2001); Director of International Security Studies (1990-1992); and Director of Soviet Studies (1988-1990). He received his B.A. degree in History from Texas A&M University; his M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia; and his Ph.D. in Government from the University of Virginia. Before joining the faculty of the Air War College, Dr. Hensel served on the faculty of the Air Command and Staff College, the Monterey Institute of International Studies (now part of Middlebury College), the Naval Postgraduate School, the University of Virginia, and the Marine Command and Staff College. Dr. Hensel is the author and / or editor of a number of books. His most recent works, Maritime Security in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific: Heritage and Contemporary Challenges, and its companion volume, Naval Powers in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific, were published in late 2017 and mid-2018, respectively. His earlier works include: Global Media Perspectives on the Crisis in Panama: June, 1987 – January,1990 (2011); The Prism of Just War: Asian and Western Perspectives on the Legitimate Use of Military Force (2010); The Legitimate Use of Military Force: the Just War Tradition and the Customary Law of Armed Conflict (2008); The Law of Armed Conflict: Constraints on the Contemporary Use of Military Force (2005); Sovereignty and the Global Community (2004); and The United States and Europe: Policy Imperatives in Globalizing World (2002); The Sword of the Union: Federal Objectives and Strategies During the American Civil War (1989); The USSR and Outer Space: Soviet Media Images of Superpower Space Policy (1985); and The Anatomy of Failure (1985). In addition, he has published over 40 articles and book chapters focusing on various aspects of international relations, political philosophy, the law of armed conflict, Soviet foreign/military policy, military history, and strategy. Finally, Dr. Hensel is the Editor of the Series on Justice, International Law and Global Security, as well as the Military Strategy and Operational Art Series for Routledge Publishing Company. He has been the recipient of several research and curriculum development grants, including those from the U.S. Air Force Research Institute, U.S. Air Force Arms Control Research Institute, the Department of Defense, the DOD Office of Net Assessment, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dr. Roy F. Houchin II
Dr. Roy F. Houchin II joined the faculty of the Air War College Department of Warfighting in 2006 following his retirement from active duty with the Air Force. He has taught previously at the School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Air Command and Staff College and in the Department of History at the U.S. Air Force Academy. While on active duty, Houchin served as Director of Operations and Chief, Combat Operations, 607th Combat Operations Squadron, Osan, South Korea. He also held various air battle management assignments in the Tactical Air Command, Air Force Space Command, Air Combat Command and Headquarters USAF. He is the author of U.S. Hypersonic Research and Development: The Rise and Fall of Dyna-Soar, 1944-1963, Taylor and Francis Publishing, 2006, several chapters in edited works and numerous articles in professional journals. He is the Military Space editor for Quest: the History of Spaceflight Quarterly. Houchin holds a B.A. and M.A. from Western Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. from Auburn University. His areas of interest and expertise are history of technology and military history, particularly space and World War I, as well as airpower history, theory and doctrine.
Dr. Alexander N. Lassner
Dr. Alexander N. Lassner is a faculty member in the Department of Strategy and Academic Director for the Grand Strategy Program. He holds an MA and Ph.D. in history from The Ohio State University where he specialized in modern military and central European history. As a Fulbright scholar in Austria, and, thereafter, as a Presidential Fellow at OSU, Lassner's research focused on foreign affairs and international security policies in Europe during the Interwar Period from 1920 to 1938. Prior to coming to the Air War College, he worked as a consultant to the Mershon Center for International Security and Foreign Policy Studies, and as an Assistant Professor of Comparative Military Studies at the Air Command and Staff College. During this period he published numerous articles and essays on modern military history, co-edited a book on the Dollfuss and Schuschnigg era in Austria, and undertook various research projects. Lassner has lectured at major conferences in the United States, and by invitation in Italy and Austria. During summer of 2005, Lassner taught courses in modern military history while a Visiting Professor of History at the International Summer School in Innsbruck, Austria. He is currently revising his manuscript on European foreign and security policies in the 1930s for publication.
Dr. Brian McNeil
Brian McNeil is an assistant professor in the Department of Strategy at the U.S. Air War College. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, where he won the 2014-15 Barnes F. Lathrop Prize for the best dissertation written in the Department of History. Dr. McNeil’s research focuses on the United States and the world with an emphasis on the challenges that humanitarianism and decolonization posed for American foreign policy during the second half of the twentieth century. His topics of expertise include U.S. foreign relations and American society, humanitarianism, decolonization, and globalization.
Wing CC Richard Milburn, RAF Chair
Wing Commander Rich Milburn joined the RAF in 1998 as a fighter controller, and has deployed to the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to arriving in the US, he served with NATO at the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC) at Poggio Renatico in Italy. Following graduation from ACSC, he served in the Department of International Security for two years, before studying at SAASS in AY19. He is currently an instructor in the Strategy Department at AWC and is the author of “On Clausewitz: Reclaiming Clausewitz’s Theory of Victory” published in Parameters in 2018, and “Portal and Churchill: A Strategic Relationship” published in Finest Hour in 2019.
Dr. David Palkki
David Palkki is an Assistant Professor in the Air War College’s Department of Strategy. He has taught political science and international affairs at UCLA, Texas A&M University, Brigham Young University, and the University of California Washington Center. In addition to his teaching experience, Dr. Palkki has held positions with a variety of organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations, National Defense University, Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), Central Intelligence Agency, and House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee. He is co-editor of The Saddam Tapes: The Inner Workings of a Tyrant’s Regime, 1978-2001 (Cambridge University Press), for which he and his colleagues received IDA’s first Larry D. Welch Award for Best External Publication. He has published articles on Iraq in International Security and Diplomatic History and chapters on Libya, Iran, and Iraq by Cambridge University Press and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Dr. Palkki’s research and teaching interests focus on deterrence and coercive diplomacy, nuclear weapons, grand strategy, Middle Eastern security affairs, and U.S. national security policy. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA.
Lt Col (GS) Andreas Wachowitz, German Air Force Advisor
Lieutenant Colonel Andreas Wachowitz is the German Air Force Advisor to the Air University and serves as professor in the Department of Strategy at the Air War College. He served as a pilot and instructor on the Reconnaissance version of the TORNADO during ISAF and led the 511 Squadron of the Tactical Air Wing 51 “Immelmann” in Schleswig/Jagel AB, Germany, accumulating over 2500 flying hours. He has served in a variety of command and staff positions, most recently as Section Chief in the Strategic Reconnaissance Command and Desk Officer in the Strategy and Operations Department of the Federal Ministry of Defense. He graduated from the German Command and Staff College and the U.S. Air War College and holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the Air University.
Dr. Will Waddell
Dr. Will Waddell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Strategy. He holds a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in History from the Ohio State University. His main field of expertise is in modern military history, particularly the French military, its wars of decolonization in Indochina and Algeria, COIN and issues of strategy related to “irregular” conflict. Dr. Waddell’s dissertation, In the Year of the Tiger: the war for Cochinchina, 1945-1951, is currently under review for publication. His next project concerns French strategy, identity and civil-military conflict during the Indochina and Algerian wars.
Col Jeremy Weber
Colonel Weber joined the Air War College faculty in 2018 as the Director of Law Chair Programs for the Judge Advocate General’s School and Air University Professor of Law and Strategy. He is a judge advocate who has served as a three-time staff judge advocate at the wing and numbered air force levels in addition to numerous headquarters and operational assignments. From 2013 to 2015 he served as an appellate military judge on the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, where he was also appointed by the Secretary of Defense as an appellate military judge on the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review. Colonel Weber’s focus areas include military justice, international law, and law as an instrument of national power. He possesses a Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University. In 2016, he graduated with academic distinction from the Air War College’s Grand Strategy Seminar. His numerous published works include examinations of political speech by military members, court-martial procedure and review, and the concept of “good order and discipline.”
Dr. Corbin Williamson
Dr. Corbin Williamson is an Assistant Professor in the Air War College's Department of Strategy. He holds an M.A. in history from Texas Tech University and a Ph.D. in history from Ohio State University. He has taught in the College of Distance Education for the U.S. Naval War College and worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Historical Office. His primary field of expertise is modern U.S. military and diplomatic history, especially U.S. naval history. He has published articles in Diplomatic History, Joint Force Quarterly, and the International Journal of Naval History. He teaches the Foundations of Strategy course and electives on coalition warfare, the Korean War, and World War II. Dr. Williamson's research and teaching interests include coalition warfare, acquisition history, military-Congressional relations, nuclear weapons, British and Commonwealth history, and the DoD organization. His dissertation on U.S. Navy relations with the British, Canadian, and Australian navies in the early Cold War is under review for publication.
Dr. Xiaoming Zhang
Dr. Xiaoming Zhang is professor in the Department of Strategy at the Air War College, teaching strategy, and subjects on China and East Asia. He earned his Doctorate of Philosophy in history from The University of Iowa in 1994, and taught at Texas Tech University and Texas A&M International University prior to joining the Air War College. Dr. Zhang is the author of over twenty articles and chapters on Chinese military involvement in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and Sino-Soviet relations during these conflicts. His writings have appeared in China Quarterly, Journal of Cold War Studies, The Journal of Conflict Studies Security Studies, and The Journal of Military History. The Journal of Military History has twice selected him to receive the Moncado Prize for excellence in the writing of military history. His is also the author of Red Wings over the Yalu: China, the Soviet Union and the Air War in Korea (Texas A & M University Press), and Deng Xiaoping’s Long War: The Military Conflict between China and Vietnam, 1979-1991 (The University of North Carolina Press, 2015). His area of expertise includes Chinese military history, People's Liberation Army Air Force, the Korean War and air war especially, the Vietnam War, and China-U.S. and China-Soviet relations.
Mr Richard Samuels – Course Director
Mr Samuels joined the Air War College faculty in 2017, and he is the Director of the Grand Strategy Seminar. He retired from the USAF in May 2016 after 30 years of active duty service. Mr Samuels was a special operations aviator with over 3600 hours in several aircraft, and he served in multiple combat in operations from Just Cause to Iraqi Freedom. Mr Samuels commanded at the O4, O5 and O6 levels, and his staff tours included two Service major commands, a sub-unified command, and two tours on the Joint Staff. He holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and M.A. in Strategic Studies. His areas of expertise include command, command relations, National security decision making, strategy and operational design.
Col Christian Watt - Seminar Director for Grand Strategy at the Air War College
Col. Christian Watt, USAF, Ph.D., joined the Air War College faculty in 2014 and is the Seminar Director for Grand Strategy at the Air War College. He is a command navigator with more than 2,300 hours in the F-15E and accumulated 170 combat sorties and more than 600 combat hours in Operations Provide Comfort, Deny Flight, Southern Watch, and Iraqi Freedom. Before completing an Air Force Institute of Technology fellowship at the University of North Carolina, during which he studied Political Science with a focus on International Relations, he was the LeMay Center Director of Doctrine Development. He commanded the 321st Expeditionary Mission Support Advisory Group in Tikrit, Iraq, where he also served as the Senior Advisor to the Commandant of the Iraqi Air Force Officer's College, and commanded Detachment 15, ACC Training Support Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. He is a graduate of Command and General Staff College and Air War College. His areas of interest and expertise include airpower theory and doctrine, operations, postwar cooperation, alliances, strategic partnership, political unification, and reconciliation.
Prof. Gene Kamena – Course Director
Professor (Col. Ret.) Gene Kamena is the Director of the Joint Warrior Studies Seminar at the Air War College. He has published numerous articles in the area of leadership, ethics and mentoring. He previously served as the Chief of the Army Advisory Group and Senior Army Advisor to the Air University Commander. Kamena was commissioned a 2LT of Infantry in 1979 and has commanded from the platoon to the Brigade Combat Team level. His most significant assignments include Commander of the 2d Brigade Combat Team in Baumholder Germany, Director of Staff for U.S. Space Command at Peterson AFB, Chief of Staff for Northern Command at Peterson AFB, Chief of Staff for the 1st Infantry Division at Wurzburg Germany and Tikrit Iraq, Director of all Iraqi Security Forces, U.S. leader for an Iraqi Commando brigade, Chief of the Force Synchronization Division for ARCIC at Fort Monroe. The professor is a Graduate of Auburn University, the Army War College at Carlisle PA, Advanced Space Operations Course, and holds a Master of Military Arts and Science degree. His expertise are focused in the areas of senior leadership, ethics, Joint Warfighting, and Command and Control.