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| Francis (Brett) Rurka
Francis (Brett) Rurka
- Class Year (or years attended)
- Military Service Branch
- US Air Force
- Years of Service
- Service Academy or ROTC Institution
- Air Force Academy, 1999 grad
- Highest Rank Attained
- Lt Colonel
- Type of Separation
- Still Active
- Awards and Decorations
- Bronze Star. 10x Air Medals with Combat Device, 2x Aerial Achievement medals, Iraq campaign Medal , Afghanistan Campaign Medal, 5x Meritorious Service Meds, 4x Air Force Commendation Medals, Global War on Terrorism Medal
- Major Duty Assignments, Military Units/Organizations/Ships, and Locations of Service?
- F-16 Pilot tours: Aviano Air Base, Italy ‘02-‘05, Osan Air Base, South Korea ‘05-‘08, Shaw AFB South Carolina ‘08-‘10, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea ‘10-‘12, Director of Operations: T-38C Undergraduate Pilot Training Squadron, 50th Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB ‘13–17 Squadron Commander/F-16 pilot: 455th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan (for both Bagram Air Base and Jalalabad Air Base) ‘17-‘18 Headquarters Air Combat Command, Deputy Division Chief of Airspace, Airfield Operations, Long Range Radar, and Air-to-Ground Ranges, Langley AFB, Va ‘18-‘19 8th Operations Group Deputy Group Commander/F-16 pilot: Kunsan Air Base, South Korea ‘19-‘20 ‘20- Current: F-35 Pilot, 388th Fighter Wing Chief of Plans, Hill AFB, Ut
- Most Memorable Military Experience or Accomplishment
- Definitely the combat missions in the F-16. Flew over 220 mission and and over 1,100 hours in the F-16 in five combat tours to: Iraq (Operation Southern Watch ‘02, 3x Operation Iraqi Freedom ‘03, ‘08, ‘10) and Afghanistan 2017-2018 for Operation Resolute Support and Operation Freedom Sentinel. The year commanding squadrons running the airfields (not the base but the airports) in Afghanistan was an incredible experience. It was especially humbling to fly the F-16 during that year in support of the Special operations forces and employing over 40 bombs/laser rockets, and 1,000x 20 millimeter bullets to destroy the Taliban and Isis fighters and ensure the friendly forces achieved mission success and made it back to camp.
- Share the in-service schools/training attended and your primary military specialty.
- Currently an F-35 pilot. Was an F-16 pilot from 2001-2013 and 2017-2020 with Instructor Pilot and Evaluator Pilot Qualification. Also was a T-38C instructor and Evaluator pilot from 2013-2017. I attended Undergraduate Pilot Training ‘01, F-16 Initial Training Course ‘02, Air Command and Staff College ‘13, F-35 Qualification Course ‘21 I was the Squadron Commander of the 455th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan 2017-2018 where I commanded operations of both Bagram Airfield and Jalalabad Airfield consisting of over 240 joint and coalition combat aircraft worth $5.5 Billion and two airfields that executed over 130,000 flight operations or year.
- If your service included combat or hostile action describe
- F-16 pilot, 510th Fighter Squadron: combat flight missions for Operation Southern Watch (Iraq) September- December 2002. Stage Location: Al Jaber Air Base, Kuwait. Employed 2,000lb and 500lb bombs on Iraqi Targets wile being engaged by anti-aircraft artillery. F-16 Pilot, 510th Fighter Squadron: combat flight missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom ‘03-‘04. Stage location: Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar 2x F-16 pilot, 77th Fighter Squadron: combat flight missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom May - September 2008 and January - May 2010. Stage location: Balad Air Base, Balad Iraq. Employed numerous 500lb bond supporting special operations raids. 100+ Combat F-16 missions in OIF Iraq Squadron Commander and F-16 pilot, 455th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, May 2017-May 2018: flew combat missions and Ran airfields/operations at Bagram Air Base and Jalalabad Air Base in Afghanistan. Supported Operation Resolute Support and Operation Freedoms Sentinel. Stage Location: Bagram Air Base. Dropped over 40 500lb bombs and laser rockets and over 1,000 rounds of 20 millimeter bullets. 100+ Combat F-16 missions in ORS/OFS Afghanistan
- Date of Death and Where They Were Laid to Rest
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- Website, Blog or Social Media Link
- Read Lt Col Rurka's Full Bio