Colonel Thomas P. Jackson is Commander, 126th Air Refueling Wing, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. As Wing Commander, he serves as the senior commanding officer responsible for an Illinois Air National Guard wing of 8 primary assigned KC-135R aircraft with over 900 personnel assigned with an annual budget of 32 million dollars. The wing executes global mobility operations, including both air refueling and airlift, supporting a wide range of conventional and nuclear operational plans.
Colonel Jackson attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and then completed a Master of Science degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 2013. He began his military career as a KC-135 Crew Chief in the 126th Air Refueling Wing, O’Hare Air Reserve Force Facility. He graduated from the Academy of Military Science where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in February 1994. Upon receiving his commission, Colonel Jackson attended undergraduate pilot training. His initial flying assignment was to the 108th Air Refueling Squadron in September 1995 as a KC-135E pilot for the 126th Air Refueling Wing.
Colonel Jackson has served in many positions in the 126th Operations Group including Chief of Scheduling, Director of Training, Director of Operations and 108th Air Refueling Squadron commander. He has also served in Wing staff positions including Wing Plans Officer and Inspector General. Prior to his current position, Colonel Jackson was the Commander, 126th Operations Group, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
Colonel Jackson is a command pilot who has logged more than 7,000 hours in the KC-135R/E, T-37, T-38, B-727, and MD-80. He has accumulated nearly 400 hours of combat and combat support time in numerous operations including DESERT FOX, ALLIED FORCE, NOBLE EAGLE, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM and UNIFIED PROTECTOR.
1991 Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ill.
1999 Squadron Officer School, Correspondence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1997 KC-135 Aircraft Commander Course, McClellan AFB, Calif.
2000 KC-135 Central Flight Instructor Course, Altus AFB, Okla.
2002 Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Air War College, Correspondence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2012 Air National Guard Intermediate Development Course, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
2013 Master of Science, University of Illinois
2016 Air National Guard Commanders Development Course, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
2019 Director of Mobility Forces Course, Hurlburt AFB, Fla.
2019 Joint Task Force Commander Course, Peterson AFB, Colo.
2019 Dual-Status Commander Course, Peterson AFB, Colo.
1. April 1994 – May 1995, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
2. May 1995 – September 1995, KC-135 Initial Crew Training, Altus AFB, Okla.
3. October 1995 – December 1997, KC-135E Copilot, 126th Air Refueling Wing, O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Ill.
4. January 1998 - June 1999, Pilot Scheduler, 126th Air Refueling Wing, O'Hare IAP, Chicago, Ill.
5. July 1999 –February 2001, Chief of Aircrew Scheduling, Scott AFB, Ill
6. February 2001– August 2003, B-727 Flight Engineer/MD-80 First Officer, American Airlines, O'Hare IAP, Chicago, Ill.
7. August 2003 - July 2005, Executive Officer, 618 TACC Current Operations, Scott AFB, Ill.
8. August 2005 – January 2009, Training Flight Instructor Pilot, 108th Air Refueling Squadron, Scott AFB, Ill.
9. January 2009 – August 2011, Wing Plans Officer, 126th Air Refueling Wing, Scott AFB, Ill.
10. August 2011 – December 2012, Director of Training, 126th Operations Group, Scott AFB, Ill.
11. December 2012 – April 2013, Operations Officer, 108th Air Refueling Squadron, Scott AFB, Ill.
12. April 2013 – April 2014, Commander, 108th Air Refueling Squadron, Scott AFB, Ill.
13. April 2014 – June 2016, Inspector General, 126th Air Refueling Wing, Scott AFB, Ill.
14. June 2016 – March 2020, Commander, 126th Operations Group, Scott AFB, Ill.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with eight oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal with service star
Air & Space Campaign Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with three devices
Air Force Longevity Service with seven oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with silver hourglass and two “M” devices
Illinois Long and Honorable Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Illinois Military Attendance Ribbon with numeral 15
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
First Lieutenant, March 02, 1996
Captain, March 02, 1998
Major, April 13, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel, January 15, 2009
Colonel, October 13, 2016