Colonel Kyle A. Benwitz is the Vice Commander, 621st Contingency Response Wing, headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, with additional forces stationed at Travis Air Force Base, California, and at twenty Army and Marine Corps installations worldwide. The wing consists of two contingency response groups and one air mobility advisory group which deploy Airmen to provide theater-wide air mobility command and control, airbase opening, airfield assessments, contingency load planning and air mobility liaison with joint partners, and air mobility advising with international partners. Every day, the wing's lean force of 1,500 Airmen deploy across the globe to advise, direct and project airpower from the ground up.
Colonel Benwitz commissioned in 1997 as a graduate with Military Distinction from the United States Air Force Academy. Prior to this assignment, he was Chief, Strategy Division, United States Transportation Command. He has commanded at the squadron level and has deployed in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, UNITED ASSISTANCE, and INHERENT RESOLVE. While assigned to the 621st Contingency Response Wing, Col Benwitz led contingency response forces supporting the fight against Ebola in Liberia and the Department of Defense’s advise and assist mission in Iraq supporting anti-ISIL forces. He has been an aircraft commander, instructor, and evaluator pilot in the C-17A and instructor electronic warfare officer in the B-52H. Col Benwitz is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours in the C-17A, B-52H, T-1A, T-37B, and T-34C.
1997 Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama
2006 Master of Science degree, with Distinction, in Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Charleston AFB, S.C.
2009 Master of Science degree in Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 Air and Space Operations Center Formal Training Unit, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
2012 Persian-Afghan (Dari) Language Training, Defense Language Institute, Washington DC
2012 Air War College, Non-Residence Program, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2018 Master of Arts degree in Strategic Studies, Advanced Strategic Leadership Studies Program, School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
1. May 1997 – Dec 1997, Assistant Chemistry Instructor, Department of Chemistry, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2. Dec 1997 – Mar 1999, student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training and Joint Aviation Electronic Warfare School, NAS Pensacola, Fla.
3. Mar 1999 – Aug 1999, student, B-52H Formal Training Unit, 11th Bomb Sqdn, Barksdale AFB, La.
4. Aug 1999 – Mar 2002, instructor and Mission Development Officer, 96th Bomb Sqdn, Barksdale AFB, La.
5. Mar 2002 – Sep 2003, student, Joint Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
6. Sep 2003 – Jun 2007, Flight CC, Assistant Director of Operations, 15th Airlift Sqdn, Charleston AFB, S.C.
7. Jun 2007 – Jul 2008, Deputy Director of the Wing Staff, 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, S.C.
8. Jul 2008 – Jun 2009, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. Jun 2009 – Apr 2011, Chief, Air Mobility Control Team and Deputy Chief, Air Mobility Division, 617th Air and Space Operations Center, Ramstein AB, Germany. (deployed June 2010 – December 2010, Deputy Commander, 449th Air Expeditionary Group, Camp Lemonier, Djibouti)
10. Apr 2011 – Aug 2011, Executive Officer to the Commander, 17th Air Force, Ramstein AB, Germany
11. Aug 2011 – Jul 2013, Afghanistan-Pakistan (AFPAK) Hand, Pakistan-Afghanistan Coordination Cell, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, Washington DC. (deployed March 2012 – March 2013, Operations Officer, COMISAF Advisory and Assistance Team, Headquarters International Security Assistance Force, Kabul, Afghanistan)
12. Jul 2013 – Jan 2015, Operations Officer, 817th Global Mobility Sqdn, JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
13. Jan 2015 – Jun 2016, Commander, 818th Global Mobility Readiness Sqdn and 321st Contingency Response Sqdn, JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
14. Jun 2016 – Jun 2017, Senior Executive Officer to the Commander, United States Air Force Expeditionary Center, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
15. Jun 2017 – Jun 2018, student, Advanced Strategic Leadership Studies Program (ASLSP), School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
16. Jun 2018 – Jun 2020, Chief, Strategy Division, United States Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
17. Jul 2020 – Pres, Vice Commander, 621st Contingency Response Wing, JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. Aug 2011 – Jul 2013, Afghanistan-Pakistan (AFPAK) Hand, Pakistan-Afghanistan Coordination Cell, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, Washington DC. (deployed March 2012 – March 2013, Operations Officer, COMISAF Advisory and Assistance Team, Headquarters International Security Assistance Force, Kabul, Afghanistan), as a Lieutenant Colonel
2. Jun 2018 – Jun 2020, Chief, Strategy Division, United States Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill., as a Colonel
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,000
Combat hours: 597
Aircraft flown: C-17A, B-52H, T-1A, T-37B, T-34C
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal with one bronze star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal with one bronze star
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Air and Space Campaign Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with “N” device
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 28, 1997
First Lieutenant May 28, 1999
Captain May 28, 2001
Major November 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2012
Colonel August 1, 2018
(Current as of July 2020)