Colonel Jesse J. Friedel is the Vice Commander, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. He assists the Wing Command in leading more than 5,500 personnel in the Air Force’s most forward, permanently based fighter wing. Comprised of an F-16 fighter squadron and an A-10 fighter squadron, the 51st Fighter Wing wields combat ready, close air support, counter-air, interdiction, air base defense, and communications in defense of the Republic of Korea. He is the chairman of nine wing committees and councils and is responsible for the management of wing staff and civilian employee cost management. Colonel Friedel assists in administering more than $2 billion in assets and an installation budget of more than $150 million to support 130 units and 15 commands.
Colonel Friedel received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in May 1996. He earned his pilot wings from Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas in 1998. Following his transition to the F-16, he served in multiple operational squadrons as an F-16 Mission Commander, Instructor Pilot, Weapons Instructor Pilot, and Flight Evaluator. He was also an Operational Test & Evaluation Instructor Pilot in the 422nd and 59th Test and Evaluation Squadrons. He served as the Air & Sea Branch Chief in the Force Application Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff J8 and the Operations and Training Branch Chief for United States Air Forces Europe. During his European staff tour, he was selected to be a part of the Air Component Coordination Element as the Combat Air Forces Liaison Officer working with the Joint Task Force for Operation Odyssey Dawn.
Colonel Friedel completed his squadron command tour as the 451st Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron commander at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. His squadron was responsible for providing combat operations support to ten combat squadrons within an Air Expeditionary Wing at a Joint/NATO airfield in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Colonel Friedel is a graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School and command pilot with more than 2,500 flying hours, including over 400 combat hours. He has flown in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Northern Watch, Noble Eagle and Republic of Korea defense obligations.
1996 Bachelor of Science in General Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2003 United States Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, F-16 Division, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2003 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence
2008 Master of Business Administration and Management in Finance, Touro University International, Correspondence
2010 Master of Science in Operational Analysis, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2012 Air War College, Correspondence
2017 Phase II, Joint Professional Military Education, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
2018 National Defense Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.
1. January 1997 - February 1998, Student Pilot, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, 80 FTW, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. February 1998 - May 1998, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, 49 Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, Miss.
3. May 1998 - November 1998, F-16 Student pilot, F-16 Initial Qualification Training, 308 FS, Luke AFB, Ariz.
4. November 1998 - January 1999, F-16 Student, NVG/MANTIRN Course, 310 FS, Luke AFB, Ariz.
5. January 1999 - January 2000, F-16CG Wingmen, Assistant Weapons Officer, 36 FS, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
6. January 2000 - January 2001, F-16CG Wingmen, Assistant Standardization and Evaluation Officer, 421 FS, Hill AFB, Utah
7. January 2001 - October 2001, F-16CG Flight Lead, Mission Commander, Wing Air/Ground Weapons Officer, 388 OSS, Hill AFB, Utah
8. October 2001 - December 2002, F-16CG Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, NOBLE EAGLE Detachment CC, 421 FS, Hill AFB, Utah
9. January 2003 - July 2003, Student, United States Air Force Weapons School, 16 WS, Nellis AFB, Nev.
10. July 2003 - May 2006, F-16CJ Chief of Weapons, Flight Evaluator, Flight Commander, 23 FS, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
11. May 2006 - April 2007, F-16CJ Chief of Weapons, Assistant Director of Operations, 389 FS, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
12. April 2007 - December 2007, F-16 Operational Test Instructor Pilot, 422 Test & Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
13. December 2007 - May 2009, F-16 Operational Test Instructor Pilot, Division Commander, 59 Test & Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
14. May 2009 - July 2010, Student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
15. July 2010 - August 2012, Chief, HQ USAFE Operations and Training Branch, Ramstein AB, Germany
16. September 2012 - April 2013, F-16CJ Instructor Pilot, Chief of Safety, Shaw AFB, S.C.
17. April 2013 - January 2014, 451 EOSS Commander, Kandahar AB, Afghanistan
18. January 2014 - April 2014, AFCENT/A3 (Forward) Deputy Director of Operations, Al Udeid AB, Qatar
19. August 2014 - June 2017, Chief, Air & Sea Branch, J-8, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
20. June 2017 - July 2018, National Defense Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.
21. July 2018 - Present, Vice Commander, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
August 2014 - June 2017 Chief, Air & Sea Branch, J-8, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. as a Lieutenant Colonel
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: more than 2,500
Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-16 Blk 25/30/40/42/50/52
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
DATES OF PROMOTIONS
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major April 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel June 1, 2011
Colonel August 1, 2017
(Current as of July 2018)