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Colonel William D. Betts is Commander, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. As commander, he is responsible for ensuring the wing is ready to defend Osan Air Base, execute combat operations, and sustain follow-on forces. He is entrusted with the operational readiness, training, morale, and welfare, installation support, and quality of life of more than 5,500 personnel assigned to the 51 FW, Headquarters Seventh Air Force, and other U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps units. Additionally, Colonel Betts serves as the United States Forces Korea Area Five Commander.


Colonel Betts received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in May 1995. He has served as an F-35 and F-16 Instructor Pilot and an F-16 Weapons Officer. He has operational experience in Southwest Asia and Far East Asia as well as combat tours in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and NORTHERN WATCH. He has served as Deputy Chief, Joint Doctrine Division on the Joint Staff and as the Senior Air Defense Officer in the U.K.’s Joint Force Air Component Headquarters. Colonel Betts also served as the Commander, 33rd Operation Support Squadron, Eglin AFB, Florida. Prior to his current position, Colonel Betts served as the 8th Operations Group Commander at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Colonel Betts is a Command Pilot with over 2,400 flying hours, the majority of which are in the F-16.



1995, Bachelor of Science, Engineering Science, United States Air Force Academy

2001, Squadron Officer School (Residence)

2009, Advanced Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, U.K. (Residence)

2009, Masters, Political Science, Kings College, London

2014, Air War College (Residence)



1. Nov 95 - Mar 97, Student, undergraduate pilot training, Vance AFB, OK.

2. Mar 97 - Dec 97, Student, F-16 Formal Training Unit, 308th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, AZ

3. Jan 98 - Oct 00, Electronic Combat Pilot, 77th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, SC

4. Oct 00 - Jul 02, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 36th Fighter Squadron, Osan AB, ROK

5. Jul 02 - Dec 02, Student, Weapons Instructor Course, 16th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV

6. Dec 02 - Dec 04, Chief, Weapons and Tactics, 524th Fighter Weapons Squadron, Cannon AFB, NM

7. Jan 05 - Jul 08, Director of Operations, 16th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV

8. Jul 08 - Jul 09, Student, Advanced Command and Staff College, Shrivenham U.K

9. Jul 09 - Jul 10, Senior Air Defense Officer, Joint Force Air Component Headquarters, RAF High Wycombe, UK

10. Jul 10 - May 13, F-35 Initial Cadre, Chief of Safety, 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, FL

11. May 11 - May 13, Commander, 33rd Operational Support Squadron, Eglin AFB, FL

12. May 13 - April 14, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, FL

13. May 14 - Jul 16, Deputy Chief, Joint Doctrine Division, Joint Staff, Pentagon

14. Jul 16 - Jul 17, Present, Commander, 8th Operations Group, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea

15. Jul 17 - Present, Commander, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan AB, Republic of Korea



Rating: Command Pilot

Flight Hours: 2,400 hours

Aircraft Flown: T-41, T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-16, F-18, and F-35



Legion of Merit

Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster

Army Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster

National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Korean Defense Service Medal



Second Lieutenant: 31 May 1995

First Lieutenant: 31 May 1997

Captain: 31 May 1999

Major: 1 July 2005

Lieutenant Colonel: 1 June 2010

Colonel: 1 May 2016


(Current as of April 2018)