COLONEL BENJAMIN W. SPENCER
Colonel Benjamin W. Spencer is the Commander, 319th Air Base Wing, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. As commander, he serves as the senior officer responsible for providing base operating and direct operations support to wing personnel, 2 tenant units and 11 geographically separated units. The wing trains, deploys and redeploys over 1,400 Airmen in support of Air Expeditionary Force and combatant commander requirements. It also provides facilities and equipment support for the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection. The wing is also only one of two locations worldwide operating the High Frequency Global Communications System, providing operational support of senior leader communications for all Department of Defense agencies, including the President of the United States. In addition, the wing provides logistics, civil engineer, contracting, communications, medical, security and force support functions as well as facilities and equipment valued at $2.2 billion and executes a budget of $48 million.
Colonel Spencer earned his commission through Officer Training School in March 1995. He is a career aircraft maintenance officer who also completed a 3-year tour in acquisitions as part of the Acquisitions & Logistics Experience Exchange Tour. Colonel Spencer has served as a maintenance operations officer, squadron commander, and group commander. He was also the Executive Officer to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Installations, Environment and Logistics. Additionally, Colonel Spencer spent a year as the Execution Team Chief on the SecAF-CSAF Executive Action Group (HAF/CX). Colonel Spencer’s most recent assignment was the Commander, 355th Maintenance Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.
In 1997, Colonel Spencer deployed as the Squadron Maintenance Officer for the 4407th Reconnaissance Squadron (Provisional) to Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. In 1999 and 2001 he deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in support of Operation NORTHERN WATCH as the Squadron Maintenance Officer for the 77th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. Additionally, Colonel Spencer deployed to Iraq as the Commander, 1st Expeditionary Special Operations Maintenance Squadron in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from May–September 2007. Finally, he deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from July 2013- June 2014 as Commander, 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group.
1993 Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Dayton, Ohio
1998 Master of Arts in Economics, University of Oklahoma, Okla.
1999 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 Air Command and Staff College (correspondence)
2009 Masters in Military Studies, Marine Corps Command & Staff College, Quantico, Va.
2013 Master of Arts in National and Strategic Studies, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
2016 Depot and Arsenal Executive Leadership Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1. March 1995–July 1995, Student, Aircraft Maintenance Officers Course, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. August 1995–November 1996, Fabrication Flight Commander, 55th Maintenance Sq, Offutt AFB, Neb.
3. November 1996–October 1997, Sortie Generation Flight Commander, 7th Airborne Command Control Sq, Offutt AFB, Neb.
4. October 1997–September 1998, Sortie Generation Flt Commander, 38th Reconnaissance Sq, Offutt AFB, Neb.
5. October 1998–April 1999, Propulsion Flight Commander, 20th Component Repair Sq, Shaw AFB, S.C.
6. May 1999–April 2002, Sortie Generation Flight Commander, 77th Fighter Sq, Shaw AFB, S.C.
7. April 2002–July 2003, C-17 Propulsion Integration/APU Program Manager, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
8. July 2003–April 2004, Chief, Director’s Action Group, C-17 System Program Office, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
9. April 2004–April 2005, Executive Officer, C-17 System Program Office, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
10. April 2005–May 2006, Maintenance Operations Officer, 51st Aircraft Maintenance Sq, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
11. June 2006–June 2008, Commander, 1st Special Operations Equipment Maintenance Sq, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
12. June 2008–June 2009, Student, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, Va.
13. June 2009–June 2010, Chief, Studies and Analysis Branch, Weapons Systems Division, HAF, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
14. June 2010–June 2011, Executive Officer, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, SAF, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
15. June 2011–June 2012, Chief, Execution Team, SecAF-CSAF Executive Action Group, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
16. June 2012–June 2013, Student, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
17. July 2013–June 2014, Commander, 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Group, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
18. August 2014–June 2016, Deputy Commander for Maintenance, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, Tinker AFB, Okla.
19. June 2016–June 2017, Commander, 355th Maintenance Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
20. June 2017–Present, Wing Commander, 319th Air Base Wing, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze star device
Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze star device
Korean Defense Service Medal
Distinguished Graduate, Officer Training School (1995)
Distinguished Graduate, Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course (1995)
Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School (1999)
Airlift/Tanker Association Young Leadership Award (2005)
General Thomas P. Gerrity Award (2008)
Distinguished Graduate, Marine Corps Command and Staff College (2009)
Graduated with “Highest Distinction” (top 5%), Naval War College (2013)
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant March 17, 1995
First Lieutenant March 17, 1997
Captain March 17, 1999
Major June 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2009
Colonel October 1, 2013
(Current as of 01 Nov 17)