Col. Brett R. Paola is the Commander, 477th Fighter Group, Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson, Alaska. He oversees Alaska’s only Air Force Reserve unit, responsible for a combat- ready force of more than 300 Airmen under the Total Force Integration concept of Air Force Reserve Command’s first F-22 associate unit.
Colonel Paola was commissioned in 1993 and has served in the Air National Guard and United States Air Force Reserve for 25 years in a variety of rescue, special operations, and fighter assignments.
Prior to his present assignment, Colonel Paola served as the 477th Fighter Group Deputy Commander, 302nd Fighter Squadron Commander, 477th Fighter Group Inspector General, the 477th Fighter Group Operational Support Commander, and the 302nd Fighter Squadron Chief of Weapons and Tactics. After serving as the first Traditional Reservist to fly as a USAF Aggressor Pilot, he was selected to the initial cadre Total Force Integration initiative as an F-22 instructor at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He has logged combat and combat support mission experience in support of Operations NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN WATCH, NOBLE EAGLE, ENDURING FREEDOM, ANDACONDA, BOA, PHANTOM FURY, IRAQI FREEDOM, and VIGILANT RESOLVE.
Rating: Senior Pilot Flight Hours: 2200+
Aircraft flown: HH-60, F-16, F-22A
1992 Bachelor of Science, Portland State University 2011 Air Command and Staff College by correspondence
1. Jan 1994 - Mar 1995, student, undergraduate pilot training, Vance AFB, Okla.
2. Apr 1995 - Aug 1995, student, joint helicopter transition UH1, Fort Rucker AAB, Ala.
3. Aug 1995 - Jan 1996, student, HH-60 transition, 304th Rescue Squadron, Portland IAP, Ore.
4. Jan 1996 - Jan 1998, HH-60 Assistant Chief of Weapons, 304th Rescue Squadron, Portland IAP, Ore.
5. Jan 1998 - Sep 1998, student, F-16 Fighter Training Unit, 64th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
6. Sep 1998 - Dec 2004, F-16 Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 183rd Fighter Wing, 170th Fighter Squadron, Springfield, Ill.
7. Dec 2004 - Oct 2006, Assistant Director of Operations, 170th Fighter Squadron, Springfield, Ill.
8. Oct 2006 - Mar 2007, F-16 Aggressor instructor pilot/Assistant Chief of Weapons and Tactics, Nellis AFB, Nev.
9. Mar 2007 - Sep 2007, student, F-22 Fighter Training Unit, 43rd Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
10. Sep 2007 - Jan 2012, F-22 Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 302nd Fighter Squadron, JBER, Alaska
11. Jan 2012 - Jan 2013, Commander, 477th Operational Support Flight, JBER, Alaska
12. Jan 2013 - Oct 2014, Commander, 302nd Fighter Squadron, JBER,Alaska
13. Oct 2014 - Jul 2016, Inspector General, 477th Fighter Group, JBER,Alaska
14. Jul 2016 – Jan 2019: Deputy Commander, 477th Fighter Group, JBER, Alaska
15. Jan 2019 – Present: Commander, 477th Fighter Group, JBER, Alaska
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with one device Air Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one device Combat Readiness Medal with five devices
Air Force Achievement Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border with two devices Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon
(Current as of January 2019)