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Brigadier General Donald S Wenke (Retired)

Wenke

BRIGADIER GENERAL DONALD S. WENKE

Commander, 176th Wing

Brigadier General Donald S. Wenke is Commander, 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The 176th Wing provides Air Force capabilities of Global Reach and Vigilance through the combined operations of Airlift, Combat Search and Rescue, and Air Sovereignty missions. He assists in the oversight of recruiting, retention, and training of over 1,400 Air Guard members, as well as operational and maintenance control of twelve airlift C-130H, four rescue HC-130(H)N, and six rescue HH-60G airframes for in-state and worldwide deployment. The unit maintains a constant watch and commitment for Pacific Air Forces, Air Combat Command, Northern Command, and Alaska North American Aerospace Defense Command Region.

General Wenke enlisted in the Nebraska Air National Guard in July 1987 and received his commission upon graduation from the Academy of Military Science at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Knoxville, Tennessee. Upon completion of undergraduate pilot training in December 1988, General Wenke returned to the 172nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he served as an RF-4C pilot. In July 1991, he joined the Idaho Air National Guard as an RF-4C Instructor Pilot with the 189th Reconnaissance Training Unit in Boise, Idaho. General Wenke served three combat tours as an F-4G Flight Lead, in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and NORTHERN WATCH. In 1996, he transitioned to the A/OA-10 and continued service in the Idaho Air National Guard as an Instructor/Evaluator Pilot, Chief of Safety, and Chief of Standardization and Evaluation. After attending the United States Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in June 1998, he served in combat as Lead Weapons Officer for the 131st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Trappani, Italy, in support of Operation ALLIED FORCE and again in 2000 for the 190th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. In February 2002, General Wenke joined the 168th Air Refueling Wing as a KC-135R Pilot. While assigned to the 168th Refueling Wing, he served in Southwest Asia as Commander, 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron and Director, Joint Operations Center, 384th Air Expeditionary Wing, in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. Prior to his current assignment, General Wenke served as Vice Commander, 176th Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He was appointed to his current position on September 18, 2011.

EDUCATION:

1985 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Science, Prescott, Arizona
2003 Air War College, by correspondence
2005 Air National Guard Commanders Development Course, Alexandria, Virginia
2006 Director of Mobility Forces School, Fort Dix, New Jersey
2008 Joint Task Force Commander Training, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
2009 Advanced Joint Professional Military Education, Norfolk, Virginia
2011 Dual Status Commander Orientation, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado

ASSIGNMENTS:

1. November 1987 - December 1988, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, 99th Flying Training Squadron, Williams Air Force Base, Arizona
2. December 1988 - September 1989, RF-4C Student Pilot, 189th Tactical Reconnaissance Training Flight, Boise, Idaho
3. September 1989 - June 1991, RF-4C Pilot, 173rd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Lincoln, Nebraska
4. July 1991 - November 1993, RF-4C Instructor Pilot, 189th Fighter Flight, Boise, Idaho
5. December 1993 - June 1996, F-4G Pilot, 190th Fighter Squadron, Boise, Idaho
6. July 1996 - June 1997, A-10 Pilot, Wing Flight Safety Officer, 190th Fighter Wing, Boise, Idaho
7. July 1997 - April 1998, A-10 Safety Officer, 124th Wing, Boise Idaho
8. April 1998 - April 2001, Weapons Tactics Officer, 190th Fighter Squadron, Boise, Idaho
9. April 2001 - January 2002, Standardization and Evaluation Officer, 124th Operations Group, Boise, Idaho
10. February 2002 - September 2003, Flight Commander, 168th Air Refueling Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
11. October 2003 - June 2004, Maintenance Squadron Commander, 168th Maintenance Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
12. June 2004 - June 2007, Commander, 168th Operations Group, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
13. June 2007 - February 2008, Vice Commander, 168th Air Refueling Wing, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
14. February 2008 - March 2011, Commander, 168th Air Refueling Wing, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska
15. April 2011 - September 2011, Vice Commander, 176th Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
16. September 2011 - Present, Commander, 176th Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska

FLIGHT INFORMATION:

Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 4,700
Aircraft flown: A/OA-10, C-17, F-4E, F-4G, KC-135R, RF-4C
Pilot wings from: Williams Air Force Base, Arizona

AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:

Legion of Merit
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (with V Device and 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)
Combat Readiness Medal (with 1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster)
National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star)
Kosovo Campaign Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star)
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short Tour
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon (with Gold Frame and 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)
Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon (with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)
Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with Bronze Hourglass and M Device)
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Air Force Training Ribbon
North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS:

Distinguished Graduate, United States Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training
Commanders Cup, United States Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training
Top Weasel Pilot, F-4G Combat Pilot Training
Outstanding Contributor, Squadron Officer School
Distinguished Graduate, KC135R Aircraft Commander Initial Qualification

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:

Second Lieutenant 4 November 1987
First Lieutenant 1 December 1989
Captain 12 January 1992
Major 13 July 1996
Lieutenant Colonel 5 August 2000
Colonel 30 June 2005
Brigadier General 21 May 2013

(Current as of July 2013)