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Brig. Gen. Paul R. Birch, PHD

Brig. Gen. Paul R. Birch is the Commander, 36th Wing, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The Wing is comprised of five groups and eighteen squadrons executing Bomber Task Forces, Tanker Task Forces, Theater Security Packages, Contingency Response Operations and peacetime and combat operations in the Indo-Pacific. The Wing is also tasked to ensure the successful deployment, employment and integration of air and space forces from the most forward sovereign U.S. Air Force Base in the Indo-Pacific Region. As installation commander, General Birch is responsible for the well-being of more than 8,000 joint military and civilian personnel on Andersen AFB. Additionally, he supports Department of Defense installation management of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands as the Deputy Commander of Joint Region Marianas.
 

General Birch graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1996. After receiving a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998, he earned his navigator wings at NAS Pensacola, Florida in 1999 and completed F-15E weapons systems officer training at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina in 2001. General Birch earned his pilot wings at Sheppard AFB, Texas in 2004 and completed formal pilot training in the F-15E at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina in 2005. General Birch has commanded at the squadron, group, and wing levels. He holds a doctoral degree from Air University. Prior to his current position, he was the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Forces Central, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
 

General Birch is a Command Pilot with more than 2,100 flying hours in the T-34C, T-1, T-39, T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-15E, KC-10A, KC-135, U-2S, and E-3B/G. He has over 750 combat hours and has flown missions in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, INHERENT RESOLVE, and RESOLUTE SUPPORT.
 

EDUCATION

1994 Exchange Student, United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.

1996 Distinguished Graduate, Bachelor of Science, Engineering Mechanics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.

1998 Master of Science, Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 2002 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2002 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2006 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence

2009 Master of Airpower Art and Science, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2012 Outstanding Graduate, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence

2014 Doctorate of Philosophy, Military Strategy, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
 

ASSIGNMENTS

1. May 1996 – May 1998, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

2. June 1998 – April 2000, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. 

3. May 2000 – January 2001, Student, F-15E Weapons Systems Officer Formal Training, 333rd Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.

4. February 2001 – May 2002, F-15E Weapons Systems Officer and Scheduling Officer, 90th Fighter Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska

5. June 2002 – June 2003, Air Force Intern, Office of the Secretary of Defense and later, Office of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.

6. July 2003 – January 2005, Student, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training and Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Sheppard AFB, Texas

7. February 2005 – October 2005, Student, F-15E Pilot Formal Training, 334th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.

8. November 2005 – June 2008, F-15E Instructor Pilot and Assistant Director of Operations, 335th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.

9. July 2008 – August 2009, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

10. September 2009 – September 2010, Strategist, Combined Air Power Transition Force and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan

11. October 2010 – May 2011, Director of Operations, 335th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.  

12. June 2011 – June 2013, Commander, 4th Operations Support Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.  

13. July 2013 – August 2013, Student, Joint Professional Military Education Phase II, NAS Norfolk, Va.

14. September 2013 – August 2014, Air University Doctoral Candidate and Lorenz Fellow, with primary research at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

15. September 2014 – May 2016, Chief, Fighter Branch, and later, Chief, Foreign Military Sales Policy and International Training Division, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, Washington D.C.

16. June 2016 – June 2017, Commander, 380th Expeditionary Operations Group, Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE

17. July 2017 – May 2018, Special Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.

18. May 2018 – June 2020, Commander, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing, Moody AFB, Ga.  

19. June 2020 – July 2021, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Forces Central, Al Udeid AB, Qatar

20. July 2021 – June 2022, Chief, Strategic Planning Integration Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.

21. June 2022 – Present, Commander, 36th Wing, Andersen AFB, Guam 
 

SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
September 2009 – September 2010, Strategist, Combined Air Power Transition Force and 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan as a major and lieutenant colonel


FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 2,100 with more than 750 combat hours
Aircraft flown: T-34C, T-1, T-39, T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-15E, KC-10A, KC-135, U-2S, and E-3B/G


MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
 

PUBLICATIONS
“An Experimental Investigation of Fretting Fatigue with Spherical Contact in 7075-T6 Aluminum Alloy,” American Society for Testing and Materials, 1999
“An apparatus for Quantitative Fretting Fatigue Testing,” Fatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials and Structures,
October 2001
“Purple Reign: Ascent and Decline of Joint Behavior in the U.S. Military,” Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., 2014

Last Updated: 10 August 2022

 
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