Colonel Erik L. Aufderheide is the Commander, 940th Air Refueling Wing, Beale AFB CA. The wing, composed of 4 groups and 9 squadrons is a modern Nuclear Force responsible to recruit, train and equip Conventional and Nuclear forces for the Theater or Joint Force Commander. He is responsible for eight unit equipped KC135R Stratotankers and the organization, training, and equipping of approximately 1,000 assigned military, civil service and contract personnel for worldwide deployment and sustained Nuclear Strike operations.

Col. Aufderheide began his operational career with Air Combat Command (ACC) and the 66th Rescue Squadron at Nellis AFB, NV. He deployed numerous times to Iraq in support of Operations NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN WATCH, and later Operation NEW DAWN. Col. Aufderheide later joined the 172nd Fighter Squadron, Michigan Air National Guard at Battle Creek until the unit closed in 2005. He then joined the Air Force Reserve at Grissom ARB Indiana where he became a Flight, Squadron, and Deputy Operations Group Commander.  While at Grissom ARB, Col. Aufderheide managed the daily operations and alert forces in support of STRATCOM OPLAN 8010 and DoD SPECAT missions (and) flew combat missions against the Islamic State (ISIL) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM over Afghanistan and Operation INHERENT RESOLVE over Iraq, and Syria. In June of 2017, Col. Aufderheide became the Vice Commander, 914th Air Refueling Wing, as well as the acting 914 ARW Operations Group Commander, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York. In Sept 2019, Col. Aufderheide was assigned as the Reserve Advisor to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations (AF/A3) Headquarters U.S. Air Force Pentagon. At the Pentagon, Col. Aufderheide advised/briefed the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations on all Air Force Reserve and Joint/Total Force matters of policy and oversight relating to air, space, cyber, and weather operations.  Col. Aufderheide is an instructor/evaluator pilot and a civilian trial attorney specializing in Business litigation.


1994  Bachelor of Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (Distinguished Graduate)

1999  Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL

2001  Masters of Science, Embry Riddle Aero University, Daytona Beach, FL  (Distinguished Graduate/4.0GPA)

2008  Doctor of Jurisprudence, Indiana University School of Law (Trial Competition Team Captain)

2010  Air Command and Staff College

2015  Air War College



1. June 1994- August 1995, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, OK

2. September 1995- May 1996, MH60 Pilot 512th FTU Special Operations Squadron Kirtland AFB, NM

3. May 1996- September 1998, HH60G Pilot. 66th Rescue Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV Standardization Officer

4. September 1999- June 2003, AETC Instructor

5. June 2003- June 2005, 172nd Fighter Squadron, pilot Michigan Air National Guard, Battle Creek MI

6. August 2005- June 2013, 72nd ARS, Flight Commander, 434th Operations Group, Grissom ARB IN

7. June 2013- July 2016, 72nd ARS, Squadron Commander, 434th Operations Group, Grissom ARB IN

8. July 2016- June 2017, Deputy Operations Group Commander, 434th Operations Group, Grissom ARB IN

9. June 2017- September 2019, Vice Commander 914th ARW and (acting) 914th OG Commander, Niagara Falls ARB

10.September 2019-June 2021, Reserve Advisor to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations (HAF/A3) Pentagon

11. June 2021-Present, Commander 940th Air Refueling Wing, Beale AFB CA.


Rating: Command Pilot

Flight Hours: 3000+ Military and 3,500+ total flying hours.

DAFSC history: 92T0, 11H3E, 81T0, 11F3B, 11M3F, C11M3F, P10C0W, 16G4, 10COW

Aircraft Flown: T-41, T-37, T-38, UH-1, HH/MH-60G, T-38C and KC-135R


MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:                                                           DEVICES

1.  Meritorious Service Medal


2.  Aerial Achievement Medal


3.  Air Force Commendation Medal


4.  AF Outstanding Unit Award


5.  Combat Readiness Medal


6.  National Defense Service Medal


7.  Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal


8.  Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal


9.  Global War on Terrorism Service Medal


10. Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal


11. Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border


12. AF Longevity Service


13. Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 2 'M' Devices


14. Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon


15. AF Training Ribbon



Second Lieutenant – June 01, 1994
First Lieutenant – June 01, 1996
Captain – June 01, 1998
Major – June 02, 2004
Lieutenant Colonel - October 01, 2011
Colonel – June 01, 2017

(Current as of Sept 2021)