Col Heather Fox is the Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California. She is responsible for approximately 7,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel, and the entire Air Force high-altitude reconnaissance fleet of U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft. The 9th Reconnaissance Wing is comprised of four groups and four overseas operating locations, executing worldwide missions in support of all six geographic combatant commanders. Colonel Fox is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, and started her career as a T-38 instructor pilot before transitioning to the U-2 program as a mission pilot.
Col Fox’s staff duties include exchange officer service in the UK Royal Air Force Strategy Division, the Joint Staff J3 Reconnaissance Division, and as a strategist and speech writer for the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She earned three Master's Degrees from the American Public University, King’s College London, and the National Defense University. Her combat experience includes missions over Iraq and Afghanistan during Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM, and she commanded EQ-4, RQ-4, and U-2 combat missions for Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM’S SENTINAL, as well as Sensitive Reconnaissance Operations in the Arabian Gulf.
Colonel Fox is a command pilot with over 2,400 hours in the U-2, E/RQ-4, and T-38A. She flew 69 combat missions in the U-2 and has over 650 hours of combat time. Prior to her current position, she was the 9th Operations Group Commander.
2000 Bachelor of Science, Basic Sciences, US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2007 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2010 Master of Arts, Strategic Intelligence, American Public University, Manassas, Va.
2012 Advanced Command and Staff Course, Shrivenham, United Kingdom
2012 Master of Arts, Defense Studies, King’s College, London, United Kingdom
2017 MIT Fellow, Seminar XXI – National Security and Foreign Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
2019 Master of Arts, Strategic Resource Management, National Defense University, Washington D.C.
1. August 2000 – December 2001, Student Pilot, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. January 2002 – May 2005, T-38 Instructor Pilot, Sheppard AFB, Texas
3. June 2005 – November 2005, U-2 Student Pilot, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale AFB, Calif.
4. November 2005 – September 2007, U-2 Mission Pilot, 99th Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale AFB, Calif.
5. October 2007 – October 2008, Executive Officer, 9th Operations Group, Beale AFB, Calif.
6. November 2008 – November 2010, Wing Tactics and T-38 Companion Trainer Program Chief, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale AFB, Calif.
7. November 2010 – June 2011, Director of Operations, 9th Physiological Support Squadron, Beale AFB, Calif.
8. July 2011 – July 2012, Student, Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, United Kingdom
9. August 2012 – August 2014, Deputy Head, Strategy Division, Joint Force Air Component Headquarters, Royal Air Force High Wycombe, United Kingdom
10. September 2014 – May 2016, Operations Officer, Joint Staff J3/Recce Ops, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
11. May 2016 – May 2017, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Speech Writing/Strategy, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
12. May 2017 – July 2018, Commander, 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE
13. August 2018 – July 2019, Student, Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, Washington, D.C.
14. August 2019 – June 2020, Commander, 9th Operations Group, Beale AFB, Calif.
15. June 2020 – Present, Commander, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale AFB, Calif.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 2,400
Aircraft flown: T-38A, U-2S, TU-2S, RQ-4, and T-37B
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
“China: An Unlikely Economic Hegemon,” Strategic Studies Quarterly 8, no.1 (Spring 2014): 88-113,
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 31, 2000
First Lieutenant June 1, 2002
Captain June 1, 2004
Major January 1, 2010
Lieutenant Colonel January 1, 2015
Colonel March 1, 2019
(Current as of Nov. 1, 2021)