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Westover Leadership

Colonel Neil M. Hede


Col. Neil M. Hede is the 439th Operations Group commander, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. As the commander, he is responsible for aircrew training, standardization, and operational command and control of unit assigned C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft, an operational support squadron, an operational aeromedical evacuation squadron, and an airlift control flight. He was assigned to this position in January 2018.

Col. Hede is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he received his commission as an Air Force second lieutenant in 1989. He completed pilot training in 1991. He then spent eight years on active duty as both a force support officer and as a C-130E Hercules pilot and transitioned to the Air Force Reserve in 1999. Before becoming a squadron he commander, he filled a variety of squadron, group and wing level positions throughout his career. He has served as a force support officer, squadron section commander, flight safety officer, deployed chief of safety, aircraft commander, operations scheduler, instructor pilot, tactics officer, chief of training, deployment manager, operations planner, wing exercise evaluation chief, and director of inspections.

The colonel mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2003 to 2005 where he accumulated nine deployments within the Central Command area of responsibility. Two deployments to the Southern Command and one to the European Command brought his deployments to 12. Prior to his current assignment, Col. Hede commanded the 327th Airlift Squadron at, Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. He was responsible for the training, discipline, morale, welfare and budget of the Air Force Reserve Command’s only C-130J Super Hercules Total Force Integration association.


1989 Bachelor of Arts in Geography, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, N.C.
1991 Information Management Basic Officer Course, Keesler AFB, Miss.
1995 Master of Science in Aviation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
1995 Aircraft Mishap Investigation Course, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
1995 Air Combat Command Flight Safety Program Management Course, Dyess AFB, Texas
1997 Squadron Officer School (In-Residence), Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2002 NVG Initial Cadre Instructor Course, Luke AFB, Ariz.
2007 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 Contingency Wartime Planning Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Safety and Accident Investigation Board President Course, AFSEC, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
2013 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2014 Inspector General Training Course, Air Force Inspection Agency, Lansdowne, Va.
2014 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, FT McNair, Wash.
2015 Mobility Commander’s Tactics Course, Rosecrans ANGB, St. Joseph, Mo


1. May 1990-July 1991, Student Pilot, Columbus AFB, Miss.
2. July 1991– April 1994, Squadron Section Commander, Force Support Officer, 60th Logistics Group, Travis AFB, Calif.
3. April 1994– January 1997, C-130E Pilot, Flight Safety Officer, Deployed Chief of Safety, Scheduler, 41st AS, Pope AFB, N.C.
4. January 1997– June 1999, C-130E Aircraft Commander, Current Operations Scheduler, 43rd OSS, Pope AFB, North Carolina.
5. June 1999– May 2004, C-130H Instructor Pilot, Tactics Officer, Chief of Training, Deployment Manager, 758th AS, Pittsburg ARS, Penn.
6. May 2004– January 2012, Operations Planner, Wing Exercise Evaluation Chief, C-130H Instructor Pilot, 911th OSS, Pittsburg ARS, Penn.
7. January 2012– October 2013, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, C-130 Formal Training Unit, C-130H Evaluator, 22nd AF Det. 1, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
8. October 2013–February 2015, Director of Inspections, Inspector General’s Office, 913th AG, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
9. February 2015–January 2017, Commander, 327th Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
10. January 2018–present, Commander, 439th Operations Group, Westover ARB, Mass.
Rating: Command Pilot
Total Flight hours: More than 4,900
Combat hours: Over 450
Aircraft flown: T-38A, C-130E/H, KC-135R, C-5A


Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold boader
Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal


Second Lieutenant Dec. 15, 1989
First Lieutenant Dec. 15, 1991
Captain Dec. 15, 1993
Major Oct. 1, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 1, 2008
Colonel Nov. 1, 2017

(Current as of January 2018)

AF Senior LEadership

Secretary of the Air Force:
John P. Roth

Air Force Chief of Staff:
Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force:
Chief Master Sgt. Joanne S. Bass