Colonel Thomas Palmer is the Chief of Staff, 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. He oversees the operations and mission of the Wing’s Air Staff Directorates and the Wing Special Staff. The 366th Fighter Wing’s Air Staff is the Air Force’s first and only Wing Level Air Staff and consists of the following Directorates: Manpower and Civilian Personnel (A1), Intelligence, Operations and Plans (A2/3/5), Maintenance and Logistics (A4), and Communications, Installation Management and Security (A6/7). The Wing Special Staff includes: Protocol, Community Partnerships, Community Support, Equal Opportunity, Violence Prevention, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, Legal, Drug Demand Reduction, Chapel, Public Affairs, Safety, Inspector General, Information Protection and the base Historian. The Air Staff Directorates and the Wing Special Staff provide expertise and support to the Wing’s more than 3,500 personnel and 18 squadrons.
Colonel Palmer was commissioned as a ROTC Distinguished Graduate from Washington State University in 1995, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. Following Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus AFB, Miss., he was assigned to the F-15E Strike Eagle at the 90th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. In 2000, he served as a US Army 2nd Infantry Division Air Liaison Officer at Camp Red Cloud, Republic of Korea. Then, from 2002-2008, he accomplished two flying assignments at Elmendorf AFB and Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., serving as an Instructor/Evaluator Pilot and multiple leadership roles at the Squadron, Group, and Wing level. In 2009, he completed the US Army’s Command and General Staff College, followed by a 2 year Joint Assignment at the US Forces Korea Headquarters located at US Army Garrison Yongsan, Seoul South Korea. While in Korea he served as an operations planner and as an Aide-de-Camp to the USFK Commander. From 2012-2015, he served both as the 334th Fighter Squadron Director of Operations, and then as the 333rd Fighter Squadron Commander at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. Upon graduating USAF Air War College in 2016, he then became the Chief of the 612th AOC Combat Ops Division. Prior to his current position, he served as 366th Operations Group Commander, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, overseeing the flying operations of three F-15E and F-15SG fighter squadrons, the 366th Operations Support Squadron, the 266th Range Squadron and the 390th Electronic Combat Squadron, consisting of Navy EA-18G Growlers.
Colonel Palmer is a command pilot with over 2,800 flight hours with his most recent deployment as Commander, 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group, in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. He has had numerous other deployments to PACOM and CENTCOM as a result of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.
1995 Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, Washington State University
2001 Squadron Officer School, in residence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2003 Masters of Aeronautical Science (Correspondence), Embry-Riddle University, Fla.
2006 Air Command and Staff College (Correspondence), Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 US Army Command and General Staff College, in residence, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
2012 Air War College, (Correspondence), Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2016 Air War College, in residence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. April 1996 - May 1997, Student Pilot, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
2. July 1997 - April 1998, Student Pilot, F-15E Basic Course, 333rd Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
3. April 1998 - October 2000, F-15E pilot, Flight Lead, Scheduler, Mobility Officer
4. December 2000 - November 2001, Flight Commander, 604th ASOS Air Liaison Officer, Camp Red Cloud, Republic of Korea
5. November 2001 - December 2001, Student, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
6. March 2002 - November 2004, Flight Commander, Instructor Pilot, Chief of Readiness, 90th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
7. November 2004 - December 2008, Instructor Pilot, Evaluator Pilot, 4OG Director of Staff, 4FW Director of Staff, 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
8. January 2009 - December 2009 - Student, US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
9. January 2010 - December 2010, Operational Planner, J-35, US Army Garrison Yongsan, Seoul, Republic of Korea
10. December 2010 - December 2011, Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/US Forces Korea, USAG Yongsan, Seoul, Republic of Korea
11. January 2012 - June 2012, F-15E transition course student/Instructor Pilot, 333rd Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
12. June 2012 - May 2013, Director of Operations, 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
13. May 2013 - June 2015, Commander, 333rd Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
14. July 2015 - May 2016 - Student, USAF Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
15. June 2016 - February 2017, Chief of Combat Operations Division, 612th Air Operations Center, Davis-Monthan AFB Ariz.
16. February 2017 - June 2017, Commander, 332d Expeditionary Operations Group, Undisclosed Location
17. June 2017 - May 2018, Commander, 366th Operations Group, 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
18. May 2018 – Present, Chief of Staff, 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: more than 2,880 total hours
Instructor Hours: 1001
Combat Hours: 445
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-15E
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 1995
First Lieutenant May 1997
Captain May 1999
Major Oct 2005
Lieutenant Colonel Aug 2010
Colonel Nov 2016
Current as of June 18