General James B. Hecker is Commander, Allied Air Command headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and Director, Joint Air Power Competence Centre at Kalkar, Germany.
In his capacity as Commander, Allied Air Command, General Hecker is responsible to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe for the Air and Missile Defence of NATO Alliance member nations during peacetime operations. His command ensures the preservation of Alliance territorial integrity from Northern Norway to Southern Italy and from the Azores to Eastern Türkiye, including every European NATO nation. Furthermore, in the event of a joint NATO operation he is the responsible commander of the Air Component.
General Hecker is also Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa. In this capacity, he commands U.S. airpower across more than 19 million square miles. This area also includes 104 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the Arctic, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, possesses more than a quarter of the world's population, and generates more than a quarter of the world's gross domestic product.
General Hecker was commissioned in the Air Force in 1989 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was both a graduate and instructor at the U.S. Air Force Weapons Instructor Course. He has commanded at the squadron, group, wing and numbered Air Force levels. The general served as Vice Director of Operations, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia.
General Hecker is a command pilot with more than 3,600 hours flying various aircraft including the F-15C Eagle, F-22 Raptor, MQ-1B Predator, HH-60 Pave Hawk, C-208 Caravan and the T-38C Talon. He has flown combat missions in operations Southern Watch, Allied Force, Resolute Support and Freedom's Sentinel. Prior to his current assignment, General James B. Hecker was Commander and President, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
1. October 1989 ‒ November 1990, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
2. November 1990 ‒ March 1991, Student, AT-38 Lead-in Fighter Training, Holloman AFB, N.M.
3. March 1991 ‒ August 1991, Student, F-15 Replacement Training, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
4. August 1991 ‒ May 1992, F-15C Pilot, 8th and 9th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, Holloman AFB, N.M.
5. June 1992 ‒ December 1995, Instructor Pilot, Flight Examiner and Chief, F-15C Standard Evaluation, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
6. January 1996 ‒ June 1996, Student, F-15C Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
7. July 1996 ‒ August 1998, Weapons Officer, 44th Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan
8. September 1998 ‒ July 2000, Instructor Pilot, F-15C Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
9. August 2000 ‒ September 2001, Senate Liaison Officer, Office of Legislative Liaison, Secretary of the Air Force, Arlington, Va.
10. October 2001 ‒ October 2002, Capitol Hill Fellowship Program, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
11. November 2002 ‒ June 2003, Assistant Director of Operations, 94th Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB, Va.
12. July 2003 ‒ September 2004, Director of Operations, 27th Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB, Va.
13. October 2004 ‒ May 2006, Commander, 27th Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB, Va.
14. July 2006 ‒ June 2007, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
15. July 2007 ‒ July 2009, Commander, 3rd Operations Group, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
16. July 2009 ‒ May 2011, Director of Operations, Operations Directorate, U.S. Forces Japan, Yokota AB, Japan
17. June 2011 ‒ May 2013, Commander, 432nd Wing, 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Creech AFB, Nev.
18. May 2013 ‒ April 2015, Commander, 18th Wing, Kadena AB, Japan
19. April 2015 ‒ June 2015, Director of Plans, Programs and Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley Eustis, Va.
20. June 2015 ‒ March 2017, Commander, 19th Air Force, JB San Antonio-Randolph, Texas
21. April 2017 ‒ May 2018, Commander, 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Afghanistan, and Commander, NATO Air Command-Afghanistan; Director, Air Forces Central Air Component Coordination Element for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and NATO's Operation Resolute Support and Deputy Commander-Air for U.S. Forces Afghanistan
22. July 2018 ‒ November 2019, Vice Director of Operations, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
23. November 2019 ‒ June 2022, Commander and President, Air University, Air Education and Training Command, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
24. June 2022 – present, Commander, Allied Air Command, Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Africa; headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany; and Director, Joint Air Power Competency Centre, Kalkar, Germany.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2009 ‒ May 2011, Director of Operations, Operations Directorate, U.S. Forces Japan, Yokota Air Base, Japan, as a colonel
2. April 2017 ‒ May 2018, Commander, 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Afghanistan; Commander, NATO Air Command-Afghanistan; Director, U.S. Air Forces Central Command Air Component Coordination Element for U.S. Forces Afghanistan and NATO's Operation Resolute Support; and Deputy Commander-Air for U.S. Forces Afghanistan, as a major general
3. July 2018 ‒ November 2019, Vice Director of Operations, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., as a major general
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters and combat "C" device
Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
May 31, 1989 - Second Lieutenant
May 31, 1991 - First Lieutenant
May 31, 1993 - Captain
July 1, 1999 - Major
March 1, 2002 - Lieutenant Colonel
Jan. 1, 2007 - Colonel
Aug. 2, 2013 - Brigadier General
May 3, 2016 - Major General
Nov. 22, 2019 – Lieutenant General
(Biography current as of June 2022)