Colonel Kristopher W. Struve is the Commander of the 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan. He commands a combat-ready F-16CM fighter wing composed of 3,100 personnel and sustains forces and facilities worth over two billion dollars. Colonel Struve oversees an 11,400-person installation which supports eight associate units representing three U.S. military services (Air Force, Army and Navy) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
Col. Struve was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1999 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program while a student at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He attended pilot training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas and F-16 training at Luke AFB, Arizona. Col. Struve has served operationally at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, twice previously at Misawa AB, Japan, and both attended and taught at the U.S. Air Force’s Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
Col. Struve also commanded the 13th Fighter Squadron and led them in the opening days of operations reentering Iraq and into Syria as part of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE. In 2007, he was awarded the National Aeronautic Association’s Clarence Mackay trophy for the most meritorious flight of the year as part of a 12-hour, four-ship strike mission into Afghanistan. Col. Struve is a command pilot with over 2,500 flying hours in the F-16, T-38, and T-37, including 450 combat hours. Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Struve was the 8th Operations Group Commander at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea.
1999 Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Cal-Poly Pomona, Calif.
2004 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2010 Master of Science, Aero Science Technology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
2012 Master of Science, Defense Analysis Irregular Warfare, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
2017 Master of Science, National Security Strategy, National War College, Washington, D.C.
October 1999 – October 2001, Student, EURO-NATO Joint Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, Texas
April 2001 – October 2001, Student Pilot, F-16 Replacement Training Unit, Luke AFB, Ariz.
November 2001 – October 2004, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Cannon AFB, N.M.
October 2004 – July 2005, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
July 2005 – December 2005, Student Pilot, United States Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
January 2006 – September 2007, Weapons Officer, 13th Fighter Squadron, and Wing Weapons Officer, Misawa AB, Japan
September 2007 – July 2011, Air-to-Air Supremacy Flight Commander and Chief of Weapons School Integration, USAF Weapons School, USAF Warfare Center Advanced Programs and Integration Office, Nellis AFB, Nev.
July 2011 – January 2013, Student, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
February 2013 – December 2013, Director of Operations, 14th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
January 2014 – March 2015, Commander, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
June 2015 – July 2016, Executive Officer to the Commander, United States Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force
August 2016 – June 2017, Student, National War College, Washington D.C.
July 2017 – June 2018, Commander, 8th Operations Group, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
July 2018 – present, Commander, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa AB, Japan
Rating: Command Pilot
Combat Hours: 452
Flight hours: 2,500
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, F-16
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
2007 National Aeronautical Association Mackay Trophy
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant July 12, 1999
First Lieutenant July 12, 2001
Captain July 12, 2003
Major June 1, 2009
Lieutenant Colonel Nov. 1, 2012
Colonel May 1, 2017
(Current as of July 2018)