Colonel 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.
Col. 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 current 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, Nobel Eagle, Enduring Freedom, Anaconda, 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 - March 1995, student, undergraduate pilot training, Vance AFB, Okla.
2. April 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 - Sept. 1998, student, F-16 Fighter Training Unit, 64th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
6. Sept. 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 - March 2007, F-16 Aggressor instructor pilot/Assistant Chief of Weapons and Tactics, Nellis AFB, Nev.
9. March 2007 - Sept. 2007, student, F-22 Fighter Training Unit, 43rd Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
10. Sept. 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 - July 2016, Inspector General, 477th Fighter Group, JBER, Alaska
14. July 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
(Current as of January 2019)