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Colonel Jeffrey J. Downs is Commander, 940th Air Refueling Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California. He is responsible for eight unit equipped KC-135R Stratotankers and the organization, training, and equipping of approximately 1200 reserve personnel for worldwide deployment in support of national security objectives. The wing performs in-flight air refueling, cargo and passenger airlift, aeromedical evacuation and humanitarian support during peacetime or in support of contingency operations 

Colonel Downs was commissioned in May 1998 as a graduate of Indiana University. He has served in many unique opportunities throughout his career. Col. Downs was a C-130 pilot in the beginning of his career in a variety of positions ranging from instructor pilot to chief of wing plans. In 2008, he went to Fairchild AFB to fly KC-135s and assumed the role of acting Director of Operations. During this time, Col. Downs also deployed to OEF as a combat Director of Operations.  In 2010, he served as an Air Force Fellow in the Foreign Policy Advisor Program office, working with the Department of State on national security concerns and building international partnerships.  He then served at the State Department in the office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers providing policy guidance to our nation’s senior leaders on Political-Military issues in the Middle East.  In 2013, Col Downs served as the squadron commander of world’s largest tanker squadron, responsible for over 70% of the fuel to the Central Command area of responsibility. In 2014, Col Downs attended the Eisenhower School, National Defense University. In 2015, he was the Director of Strategic Communication on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, and in 2017 he became the Director of Strategic Communication. Prior to his current assignment Colonel Downs served as Operations Group Commander for the 940th ARW. 


1998     Bachelor of Liberal Studies, Indiana University (with distinction)

2004     Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL

2006     Masters of Organizational Leadership, Capella University

2006   Contingency/Wartime Planning Course, Maxwell AFB, AL

2007   Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL

2009   Executive Leadership Development Program, fellowship for SecDef

2009   Congressional Operations Seminar, Washington DC

2010   Georgetown University Security Studies fellow, Washington DC

2010   NATO Orientation course, NDU, Washington DC

2010   Air War College, by correspondence

2011   Foreign Service Institute Political-Military course, Washington DC

2015   Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Washington DC


1.  July 1998 – May 1999, assistant regional director of admissions, Columbia, SC

2.  May 1999 – February 2000, student, pilot training, Corpus Christi NAS, TX

3.  February 2000 – April 2004, Instructor pilot / Operations Group Exec, C-130E, Pope AFB, NC

4.  January 2005 – April 2006, mobility flight commander, Yokota AB, Japan

5.  April 2006 – July 2007, chief standards and evaluation/C-130 Evaluator pilot, Yokota AB, Japan

6.  July 2007 – July 2008, chief wing plans and programs, Yokota AB, Japan

7.  July 2008 – June 2010, asst director of operation/KC-135 Instructor pilot, Fairchild AFB, WA

8. September 2009 – June 2010, Executive Leadership Development Program, fellowship for the SecDef

9. July 2010 – April 2011, Foreign Policy Fellow, Office of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Pentagon

10. April 2011 – June 2013, Senior Political-Military advisor for the Middle East, State Dept, DC

11. June 2013 – May 2014, Commander, 340 EARS, Al Udeid, Qatar

12. June 2014 – June 2015, Student, Eisenhower School, National Defense University

13. June 2015 – April 2017, Director of Strategic Communication, Joint Staff J4, Pentagon

14. April 2017 – June 2018 Director of Strategic Communication, Air Staff, Pentagon

15. July 2018- Jan 2020, Commander, 940th Operations Group, Beale AFB, California

16. Jan 2020 – Present, Commander, 940th Air Refueling Wing, Beale AFB, CA



Rating:  Senior Pilot

Flight Hours:  More than 3,000 hours 

Aircraft Flown:  C-130, KC-135




Bronze Star

Joint Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster

Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster

Superior Honor Award (Department of State)

Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Commendation Medal

Army Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster



Second Lieutenant         May 1998

First Lieutenant              May 2000

Captain                           May 2002

Major                               Mar. 2008

Lieutenant Colonel          Dec. 2011

Colonel                            Apr. 2018

(Current as of Jan 2020)