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Col. Howard T. Clark III is the vice commander of the Air Force Reserve’s 439th Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. The wing reports to the 4th Air Force at March ARB, Calif., and supports Air Mobility Command’s worldwide airlift mission. The 439th AW is transitioning to eight C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft. The first is expected to be operational at Westover in June 2017. Col. Clark assists the wing commander in training and equipping more than 3,000 personnel, including civilians, ARTs, and traditional reservists.
The colonel entered the Air Force as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Academy in 1990. He began his career as a Draper Fellow studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology researching computer techniques for large space structures. After earning a master’s degree, he attended pilot training serving as class commander for the first Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training class. He was then assigned to Dover Air Force Base, Del., where he flew C-5s for more than five years.
While at Dover, Col. Clark served as small computer section chief; director of airlift operations at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras; and as wing executive officer and flight commander. In 1998 he was selected for Air Force Test Pilot School and Air Mobility Command Airlift-Tanker Crossflow. In February 1999, he reported to the 2nd Air Refueling Squadron where he served as an instructor aircraft commander, readiness flight commander and deputy chief, wing command post. The colonel left active duty in January 2003 to join the 76th Air Refueling Squadron, serving as Flight Commander, Assistant Director of Operations, and finally as commander. Before joining the 439th AW, he served as Military Deputy Director for Current Operations, Directorate of Current Operations, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington D.C
A command pilot with over 3,800 hours in the KC-10 and C-5, Col. Clark has flown global airlift and air refueling missions including combat and combat support during Operation Southern Watch, Allied Force, and Restore Hope, and has deployed over ten times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. In his civilian job, Col. Clark is a pilot with a major US carrier where he serves as a MD-11 first officer with over 2,000 hours.
Col. Clark assumed the vice wing commander position at Westover in February 2017.
1990 Bachelor of Science, Astronautical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1992 Master of Science, Astronautical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
1996 Squadron Officer School, Distinguished Graduate, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2013 Air War College, by correspondence
2016 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
1. June 1990 - May 1992, AFIT Civilian Programs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
2. June 1992 – August 1993, student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Reese AFB, Texas
3. September 1993 - April 1995, C-5 co-pilot, safety officer, and computer section chief, Dover AFB, Del.
4. May 1995 – September 1995, director of airlift operations, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras
5. October 1995 – October 1996, C-5 aircraft commander and current operations mission planner, Dover AFB, Del.
6. November 1996 - December 1996, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
7. January 1997 – January 1999, C-5 instructor pilot, wing executive officer, flight commander, Dover AFB, Del.
8. February 1999 – May 2000, KC-10 aircraft commander, McGuire AFB, N.J.
9. May 2000 – April 2001, KC-10 instructor pilot and readiness flight commander, McGuire AFB, N.J.
10. May 2001 – December 2002, KC-10 instructor pilot, assistant chief, wing command post, McGuire AFB, N.J.
11. January 2003 – January 2007, KC-10 instructor pilot, McGuire AFB, N.J.
12. February 2007 – May 2008, KC-10 instructor pilot, assistant flight commander, McGuire AFB, N.J.
13. June 2008 – May 2012, KC-10 instructor Pilot, flight commander, McGuire AFB, N.J.
14. May 2012 – June 2013, KC-10 instructor pilot, assistant operations officer, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
15. June 2013 – August 2015, commander, 76th Air Refueling Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
16. August 2015 – February 2017, Director, AF Crisis Action Team and AF Service Watch, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
17. February 2017-present, vice commander, 439th Airlift Wing, Westover ARB, Mass.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flying Hours: More than 3,800
Aircraft Flown: C-5A/B/C, T-38, KC-10
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with five oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 30, 1990
First Lieutenant May 30, 1992
Captain May 30, 1994
Major June 1. 2001
Lieutenant Colonel June 1, 2008
Colonel July 10, 2015
(Current as of April 2017)
Air Force Chief of Staff:
Gen. David Goldfein
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force:
Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth Wright
Secretary of the Air Force: