Colonel Joseph Kunkel is the Wing Commander, 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. He serves a diverse operational fighter wing equipped with F-15E and F-15SG fighter aircraft. The wing is comprised of 4,200 military and civilian members that support 20 squadrons, including a Republic of Singapore squadron. It hosts the 726th Air Control Squadron – one of only three active-duty Air Force control reporting centers in the U.S. – and the Idaho Air National Guard 266th Range Squadron. The wing operates, maintains and develops the Mountain Home Range Complex comprised of 9,016 square miles of associated airspace and 122,000 acres of land space used for two air-to-ground training ranges, five no-drop target complexes and 30 multi-size electronic combat sites. The command also includes the 390th Electronic Combat Squadron, which flies U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
Colonel Kunkel was commissioned at the United States Air Force Academy in June of 1994. Following Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance AFB, OK, he was assigned to the F-15E Strike Eagle. He transitioned to the F-22 Raptor as part of Pacific Air Forces’ F-22 initial cadre where he served as the Director of Operations for the 525th Fighter Squadron and then the Commander of the 90th Fighter Squadron. His combat experience includes numerous deployments in support of combat operations in the Persian Gulf and Baltic Regions. Before assuming his current position, he was the Vice Commander, 325th Fighter Wing, Air Combat Command, Tyndall AFB, Fla. Colonel Kunkel is a command pilot with over 2,300 flying hours.
1994 Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Engineering, USAF Academy
2002 Master of Arts, Organizational Management, The George Washington University
2013 Master of Arts, Strategic Studies, Air University
2014 National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Cohort XI, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government
1. February 1995 - February 1996, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
2. February 1996 - December 1996, Student, F-15E Replacement Training Unit, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
3. December 1996 - December 1999, Flight Lead, 494th Fighter Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, U.K.
4. January 2000 - June 2001, Instructor Pilot, 89th Flying Training Squadron, Sheppard AFB, Texas
5. June 2001 - June 2002, Student, Air Force Intern Program, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
6. June 2002 - November 2004, Instructor Pilot, 90th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
7. November 2004 - July 2007, Executive Officer to the Air Force A3/5, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
8. August 2007 - June 2010, Director of Operations, 525th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
9. June 2010 - May 2012, Commander, 90th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska
10. June 2012 - June 2013, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
11. July 2013 - June 2015, Director of Operations Alaskan Command, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska
12. June 2015 - September 2017, Vice Commander, 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
13. September 2017 - Present, Commander, 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: 2,366
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, F-15E, F-15SG, F-22
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross with V device
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 1, 1994
First Lieutenant June 1, 1996
Captain June 1, 1998
Major August 1, 2004
Lieutenant Colonel June 1, 2008
Colonel October 11, 2013
(Current as of June 2018)