Col Spencer Thomas is the Vice Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California. The 9th Reconnaissance Wing is responsible for the entire Air Force high-altitude reconnaissance fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft. As Vice Commander, Col Thomas oversees qualification and continuation training, and monitors the planning and execution of Joint Chiefs of Staff tasked reconnaissance missions around the globe. The 9th Reconnaissance Wing is comprised of four groups and four overseas operating locations which execute worldwide missions in support of all six geographic combatant commanders with an annual flying allocation of more than 22,000 hours.
Col Thomas entered active duty in 1985 as a Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Specialist and later received his commission at the 105th AFROTC Cadet Wing, University of Colorado. He is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours, including over 300 Combat Hours flown in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.
1992 Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Metropolitan State College, Denver, Colo.
2000 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Master of Science, Strategic Intelligence, National Defense Intelligence College,Washington DC
2013 Master of Arts, Strategic Studies, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. Oct 1985 - July 1988, A-10 Crew Chief, 355th Aircraft Generation Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
2. July 1988 – March 1991, A-7 Crew Chief, 140th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Buckley ANGB, Colo.
3. Aug 1989 – May 1992, Cadet, 105th Cadet Wing, USAF ROTC, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.
4. May 1993 – Aug 1994, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Reese AFB, Texas
5. Aug 1994 – July 1998, T-37 Instructor Pilot, 37th Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, Miss.
6. Aug 1998 – April 2000, C-130 Aircraft Commander, 40th Airlift Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
7. April 2000 – July 2004, T-38 / U-2 Instructor/Evaluator Pilot, Supervisor of Flying, Weapons and Tactics Flight Commander, Wing Chief of Standardizations and Evaluations, 99th Reconnaissance Squadron and 9th Operations Group, Beale AFB, Calif.
8. Jul 2004 – Jul 2005, Director of Operations, 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus 9. Jul 2005 – Jul 2006, IDE Graduate Student, National Military Intelligence College, Bolling AFB, DC
10. Jul 2006 – Jun 2009, Chief, CAF Training and Chief, Flight Management Branch, Directorate of Air and Space Operations, HQ USAF, Pentagon, Washington DC
11. Jun 2009 – Jun 2011, Commander, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea
12. Jun 2011 – Jul 2012, Deputy Commander, 9th Operations Group, Beale AFB, Calif.
13. Jul 2012 – Jul 2013, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
14. Jul 2013 – Aug 2015, Chief, Broader Middle East Division & Readiness Division, Operations Directorate, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington DC
15. Aug 2015 – April 2018, Liaison Officer, United States Strategic Command, Joint Functional Component Command for ISR, Offutt AFB, Neb.
16. April 2018 – Present, Wing Vice Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale AFB, Calif.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 3,500
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, C-130 E/H, (T)U-2S
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Defense Superior Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant 15 May 1992
First Lieutenant 08 Nov 1994
Captain 08 Nov 1996
Major 1 May 2003
Lieutenant Colonel 1 May 2008
Colonel 1 Aug 2014