Colonel Aaron D. Walenga 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 Walenga received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 2000. He began his career flying combat missions in the C-17A Globemaster III during Operations IRAQI AND ENDURING FREEDOM. He then attended Air Command Staff College at Maxwell AFB, AL followed by two years in the USTRANSCOM/J3 directorate as a joint logistics planner and one year as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commander USTRANSCOM. Col Walenga then cross-trained into the KC-135R/T Stratotanker, flew air refueling missions in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM’s SENTINAL, and served as the Operations Officer for the 384th Air Refueling Squadron. He then commanded the 22d Operations Support Squadron, McConnell AFB, KS where he led support operations for over 500 aircrew and mission support personnel. After Command, Colonel Walenga served as a National Defense Fellow at the Congressional Research Service, followed by the Chief of Engagements, Secretary of the Air Force Office of Legislative Liaison, the Pentagon, VA where he advised the Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Chief of Space Operations on Congressional engagements and hearing preparation. Prior to his current assignment, he led the air mobility requirements and capability development division for the Air Force Futures directorate, Headquarters Air Force. Colonel Walenga is a Command Pilot with 3,500 hours in airlift and tanker aircraft, to include over 900 combat hours.
2000 Bachelor of Science in Human Factors, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. 2007 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2008 Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University 2012 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2012 Master of Military Operational Art and Sciences, Air University, Ala.
1. August 2000–April 2001, Executive Officer, 17th Airlift Squadron, Charleston Air Force Base (AFB), S.C.
2. April 2001–June 2002, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
3. June 2002–September 2002, Student, C-17A Initial Co-Pilot Qualification, Altus AFB, Okla.
4. September 2002–January 2005, C-17A Aircraft Commander and Wing Flight Safety Officer, 15th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.
5. January 2005–August 2006, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander and Deputy Chief Flight Safety, 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, S.C.
6. August 2006–February 2007, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander and Chief Flight Safety, 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB, Calif.
7. February 2007–August 2007, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander and Flight Commander, 21st Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
8. August 2007–November 2008, C-17A Evaluator Aircraft Commander and Executive Officer, 60th Operations Group, Travis AFB, Calif.
9. November 2008–August 2009, C-17A Evaluator Aircraft Commander and Deputy Chief Standardization and Evaluation, 60th Operations Group, Travis AFB, Calif.
10. August 2009–December 2009, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander and Flight Commander, 535th Airlift Squadron, Hickam AFB, Hawaii.
11. December 2009–August 2011, C-17A Instructor Aircraft Commander and Executive Officer, 15th Wing, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
12. August 2011–June 2012, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
13. June 2012–June 2014, Joint Mobility Operations Officer, USTRANSCOM/J3, Scott AFB, Ill.
14. June 2014–April 2015, Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, USTRANSCOM, Scott AFB, Ill.
15. April 2015–August 2015, Student, KC-135 R/T Initial Mission Pilot Qualification, Altus AFB, Okla.
16. August 2015–June 2016, Operations Officer, 384th Air Refueling Squadron, McConnell AFB, Kan.
17. June 2016–June 2018, Commander, 22d Operations Support Squadron, McConnell AFB, Kan.
18. June 2018–June 2019, National Defense Fellow, Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, Washington D.C.
19. June 2019-June 2021, Chief of Engagements, Secretary of the Air Force Office of the Legislative Liaison, the
Pentagon, Arlington, Virg.
20. June 2021-June 2022, Division Chief, Mobility Functional Integration Team, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategy, Integration and Requirements, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virg.
21. June 2022-Present, Vice Commander, 621st Contingency Response Wing, JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,500
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-1, C-17A, KC-135R/T
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal Air Force Achievement Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal
2007 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School 2012 Distinguished Graduate, Air Command Staff College
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant 31 May, 2000
First Lieutenant 31 May, 2002
Captain 31 May, 2004
Major February 1, 2010
Lieutenant Colonel 1 July, 2015
Colonel 1 April, 2021 (Current as of July 2022)