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Colonel Jon S. Wheeler, Jr. is the Commander, 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He leads the F-35A Lightning II flying program and hosts the F-35 A/B/C maintenance training for the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and eight international partners. The wing is also responsible for U.S. Air Force and international air battle manager training at Tyndall AFB, Fla., and intelligence formal training at Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field, Fla. Eglin AFB is home to 46 F-35s assigned to two flying squadrons; the 58th Fighter Squadron and USN VFA-101. The unique nature of this fighter wing accommodates service-specific requirements in a non-traditional Air Force fighter wing structure.
Colonel Wheeler received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996. He attended undergraduate pilot training at Vance AFB, Okla. and went on to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Colonel Wheeler is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and was one of ten fighter pilots Air Force-wide chosen to serve as the initial F-35 instructor pilot cadre at Eglin AFB. The colonel was selected for and attended the École de Guerre, the French Armed Forces and Defense Services War College, in Paris, France.
Prior to holding his current position, Colonel Wheeler was the Vice Commander, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. The colonel previously commanded the 310th Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, Ariz. and has held staff positions at Pacific Air Forces and the Office of the Secretary of Defense in addition to deploying to U.S. Central Command. He is a command pilot with more than 2,100 hours of flying time in the T-37, T-38, F-16 and F-35A. The colonel has flown and led combat missions in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
1996 Bachelor of Science, Management, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
1997 Master of Business Administration, University of Florida
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2004 U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2010 Master of Military Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2012 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2016 École de Guerre, Paris, France
1. June 1996 - June 1997, Student, University of Florida
2. July 1997 - August 1998, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
3. September 1998 - November 1998, Student Pilot, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Columbus AFB, Miss.
4. December 1998 - September 1999, Student Pilot, F-16, 63d Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
5. October 1999 - October 2000, F-16 Pilot, 36th FS, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea
6. November 2000 - December 2003, Flight Commander, 421st FS, Hill AFB, Utah
7. January 2004 - July 2004, F-16 Instructor Pilot, 63d FS, Luke AFB, Ariz.
8. July 2004 - December 2004, Student, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
9. January 2005 - March 2007, Wing Weapons Officer, 56th FW, Luke AFB, Ariz.
10. April 2007 - July 2008, Advanced Programs Branch, Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
11. July 2008 - June 2009, Chief, Weapons and Tactics, PACAF, JBPHH, Hawaii
12. July 2009 - June 2010, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
13. July 2010 - June 2012, F-35 Initial Cadre, Chief of Safety, 33d FW, Eglin AFB, Fla.
14. June 2012 - April 2014, Commander, 310th FS, Luke AFB, Ariz.
15. April 2014 - December 2014, Student, Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, Calif.
16. January 2015 - June 2016, Student, École de Guerre (French War College), Paris, France
17. June 2016 - June 2018, Senior Military Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
18. July 2018 - June 2019, Vice Commander, 8th FW, Kunsan AB, ROK
19. June 2019 - Present, Commander, 33d FW, Eglin AFB, Fla.
Rating:  Command pilot
Flight Hours: More than 2,100
Aircraft Flown:  T-37, T-38, F-16, F-35A
Legion of Merit Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
“Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance as the Killbox Coordinator,” Weapons Review, Summer 2005
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major April 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 1, 2010
Colonel May 1, 2017
(Current as of June 2019)