Brigadier General Steven L. Kwast
Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs for Europe, NATO and Russia, J5
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Brig. Gen. Steven L. Kwast is the Commander, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He commands a composite wing that includes air mobility; close air support; combat search and rescue; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; electronic attack; aeromedical evacuation; and command and control assets which support the International Security Assistance Force and Operation Enduring Freedom.
General Kwast was commissioned upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1986. After completing a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, he was assigned to undergraduate pilot training where he earned his pilot wings in June 1989.
General Kwast has served as military aide to the Vice President and completed a National Defense Fellowship with the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology, and Policy at Boston University, Mass. The general has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels, including the 47th Operations Group at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C. He also served as the Deputy Director for Colonel Matters, Air Force Senior Leader Management Office, Washington, D.C. Prior to his current assignment, General Kwast was the Deputy Director of Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va. He has more than 3,000 flying hours, including more than 350 combat hours during operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Allied Force and Enduring Freedom.
1986 Bachelor's degree in astronautical engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1988 Master's degree in public policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
1993 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1994 USAF Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
1997 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1999 Air War College, by correspondence
2003 National Defense Fellowship, Boston University, Mass.
2006 Seminar XXI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2008 Air Force Enterprise Leadership Seminar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1. August 1986 - June 1988, student, Air Force Institute of Technology, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
2. June 1988 - June 1989, student, undergraduate pilot training, Williams AFB, Ariz.
3. June 1989 - May 1990, student, F-15E Fighter Training Unit, Luke AFB, Ariz.
4. May 1990 - August 1996, war plans officer, weapons officer, and Chief of Weapons, 336th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
5. August 1996 - June 1997, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
6. June 1997 - August 1999, military aide to the Vice President of the United States, the White House, Washington, D.C.
7. August 1999 - June 2002, assistant operations officer, Director of Operations, and Commander, 492nd Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England
8. June 2002 - June 2003, National Defense Fellow, Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy, Boston University, Mass.
9. September 2003 - February 2005, Commander, 47th Operations Group, Laughlin AFB, Texas
10. February 2005 - September 2006, Deputy Director for Colonel Matters, Air Force Senior Leader Management Office, Washington, D.C.
11. September 2006 - September 2008, Commander, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
12. September 2008 - April 2009, Deputy Director of Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
13. April 2009 - present, Commander, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 1997 - August 1999, military aide to the Vice President of the United States, the White House, Washington, D.C., as a major
2. April 2009 - present, Commander, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, as a brigadier general
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,000, including over 350 combat hours
Aircraft: flown: F-15E, T-6, T-37 and T-38
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
1989 Commander's Trophy, Air Training Command
1994 Outstanding Graduate, USAF Fighter Weapons School
1995 Robbie Risner Award
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 28, 1986
First Lieutenant May 28, 1988
Captain May 28, 1990
Major August 1, 1996
Lieutenant Colonel July 1, 1999
Colonel August 1, 2003
Brigadier General July 31, 2009