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Library > Biographies > COLONEL JOHN J. NICHOLS

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Col. John Nichols is the commander, 14th Flying Training Wing, Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The 14th FTW conducts Specialized Undergraduate Pilot training for U.S. Air Force and allied officers, as well as tactical training for Afghan pilots and aircraft maintainers in the A-29 Super Tucano at Moody AFB, Georgia. The wing at Columbus is composed of 234 aircraft that fly 54,000 sorties and over 75,000 hours per year to train over 400 pilots and combat system operators annually.

The 81st Fighter Squadron at Moody was activated in January, 2015 and will grow to 20     A-29 Super Tucano aircraft that will be used to train 30 Afghan pilots and 90 maintainers through 2018. They will support air-to-ground fires and aerial reconnaissance in support of Afghan National Security Force operations.

He is also responsible for the support and medical care for the nearly 3,000 military, civilian and contract Airmen. He also manages an operations and maintenance budget of $106 million with capital assets exceeding $1.3 billion.

Colonel Nichols graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in May 1992.  Following graduation, he entered intelligence training at Goodfellow AFB, Texas and was assigned to 17th Air Force, Sembach Air Base, Germany.

In June 1996, Colonel Nichols was assigned to the 523rd Fighter Squadron, Cannon AFB, N.M., as the Chief of Intelligence.  He was selected to attend the USAF Weapons School and was subsequently assigned to Ellsworth AFB, S.D.  As the 28th Bomb Wing Intelligence Weapons Officer, Colonel Nichols supported B-1 combat missions during Operation Allied Force.  Colonel Nichols was then selected for Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma.  Following pilot training, he attended B-1 initial qualification training at the 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas, with a subsequent assignment to the 9th Bomb Squadron.

In June 2005, Colonel Nichols attended Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Military Operational Arts and Science.  Following graduation, he was selected to return to flying at the 37th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, S.D. where he served as the squadron's Director of Operations supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In June 2008, Colonel Nichols was selected to command the 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas. Following squadron command, he attended the National War College at Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C. where he earned a Master's degree in Strategic Studies.  Colonel Nichols was next assigned to Ellsworth AFB as commander of the 28th Operations Group.

In June 2013, Colonel Nichols served as Chief of the Combat Plans Division, 609th Air Operations Center, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar in support of AFCENT and CENTCOM's combat operations and contingency planning.

Colonel Nichols assumed command of the 14th Flying Training Wing on July 11, 2014 and is the 24th commander of the 14th FTW. He is a senior pilot with more than 2,130 flight hours in the B-1, MQ-9 and T-1 including 662 combat hours.

1992 Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado
1997 USAF Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
1998 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 Master of Arts degree in Military Science, American Military University, Manassas, Va.
2006 Master of Arts in Military Arts and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 Masters in National Security Strategy, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
2012 Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, N.C.

1. August 1992 - May 1993, Student Intelligence Course, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
2. May 1993 - May 1996, Chief Operational Intelligence, 17th Air Force, Sembach AB, Germany
3. June 1996 - December 1997, Chief Intelligence, 523rd Fighter Squadron, Cannon AFB, N.M.
4. December 1997 - July 1999, Chief Intel Weapons and Tactics, 28th Operational Support Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
5. August 1999 - August 2000, Student Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
6. November 2000 - July 2001, B-1 Student, 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
7. August 2001 - August 2005, B-1 Pilot, Aircraft Commander, and Instructor Pilot, 9th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
8. August 2005 - June 2006, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. July 2006 - June 2008, Director of Operations and Director of Operations, 37th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
10. June 2008 - June 2010, Commander, 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
11. July 2010 - June 2011, Student National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. June 2011 - May 2013, Commander 28th Operations Group, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
13. June 2013 - June 2014, Chief, Combat Plans Division, 609 Air Operations Center, Al Udeid AB, Qatar
14. July 2014 - Present, Commander, 14th Flying Training Wing, Columbus AFB, Miss

Rating:  Senior Pilot
Flight hours:  2133 (662 combat hours)
Aircraft flown:  T-37, T-38, T-1, B-1, and MQ-9

Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award
AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and four oak leaf clusters

Second Lieutenant    May 27, 1992
First Lieutenant         May 27, 1994
Captain                     May 27, 1996
Major                         December 1, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel    December 1, 2006
Colonel                      September 1, 2011

(Current as of Jul 2015)

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