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Colonel James T. Vinson is the Commander, 51st Maintenance Group, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.  He commands over 1,400 personnel and directs maintenance operations for a fleet of A-10 and F-16 aircraft valued at over $1.1 billion. 

Colonel Vinson was commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in June of 1996.  His military education includes in-residence attendance at Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College.  A career aircraft maintenance officer, Colonel Vinson has served in a variety of positions at Wing, MAJCOM, Headquarters Air Force, and Office of the Secretary of Defense levels.  He has a broad experience base spanning both the Combat and Mobility Air Forces, and has served in PACAF, ACC, USAFE, and AMC.  He also led MQ-1 Predator maintenance operations in 2007 while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.  Prior to this assignment, Colonel Vinson served as the Military Deputy, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Supply Chain Integration. 


Colonel Vinson was the recipient of the 2009 Air Combat Command Lt Gen Leo Marquez Award (Field Grade Manager category), and the 2001 Air Force Lt Gen Leo Marquez Award (Company Grade Manager category).  While commanding the 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, his unit was the recipient of the 2009 Air Combat Command Maintenance Effectiveness Award. 



1996  Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

2002  Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL

2006  Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL

2008  Air Command & Staff College; Master of Military Operational Art & Science, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

2015  Air War College; Master of Strategic Studies, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL


1.  August 1996 – June 1999: C-17 Assistant Sortie Generation Flight Commander, 637th Aircraft Generation Squadron; and Maintenance Flight Commander, 437th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, Charleston AFB, SC

2.  July 1999 – June 2002:  Sortie Support Flight Commander, 492d Fighter Squadron; Propulsion Flight Commander, 48th Component Repair Squadron; and Sortie Generation Flight Commander, 493rd Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom

3.  July 2002 – June 2005:  Chief, Fighter Aircraft Section; Deputy Chief, Maintenance Policy and Requirements Branch, and Executive Officer, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Directorate of Logistics, Hickam AFB, HI

4.  July 2006 – July 2007:  Operations Officer, 57th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV

5.  Aug 2007 – June 2008:  Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL

6.  July 2008 – July 2010:  Commander, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, Shaw AFB, SC

7.  August 2010 – May 2012:  Chief, Maintenance Transformation, Logistics Plans and Integration Division; and Executive Officer to the Director of Logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C.

8.  June 2012 – July 2014:  Chief, Maintenance, Logistics, Civil Engineer, and Security Forces Colonels Assignments, AF/DPO Colonel Management Office, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C.

9.  July 2014 – June 2015:  Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL

10.  July 2015 – July 2016:  Deputy Commander, 8th Maintenance Group, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea

11.  July 2016 – July 2018:  Military Deputy, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Supply Chain Integration, Washington D.C

12.  July 2018 – present:   Commander, 51st Maintenance Group, Osan AB, Republic of Korea



Defense Superior Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster

Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Meritorious Unit Award

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters

Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

Air Force Recognition Ribbon

National Defense Service Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Afghanistan Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Korean Defense Service Medal

Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal

Air Force Overseas Ribbon – Long

Air Force Overseas Ribbon – Short

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border

Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with four oak leaf clusters

Air Force Training Ribbon

NATO Service Medal



Second Lieutenant:  15 June 1996

First Lieutenant:  10 July 1998

Captain:  10 July 2000

Major:  1 July 2006

Lieutenant Colonel:  1 November 2011

Colonel:  1 January 2018


(Current as of July 2018)