Biography Display

COLONEL CHRISTOPHER T. LAY

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Col. Christopher T. Lay is the Commander, 913th Airlift Group, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. As the commander, Col. Lay is responsible for supporting the combatant commanders with the worldwide movement of high priority personnel and cargo. Missions range from local aircrew proficiency training, aeromedical evacuation and worldwide tactical airlift, to night vision goggle, low-level, short-field assault operations and formation airdrop. The Group is comprised of six squadrons and a group staff and has approximately 450 members. The 913th Airlift Group reports to 22nd Air Force, Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia, while working in concert with the 19th Airlift Wing (Air Mobility Command), 314th Airlift Wing (Air Education and Training Command) and 189th Airlift Wing (Arkansas Air National Guard).

Col. Lay graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Military History and a Russian minor. After spending seven years on active duty, Col. Lay entered the Air Force Reserve in 2003 and joined the 302nd Airlift Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Since then, he has completed a Masters of Arts in History from the University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Ark., graduated as an outstanding graduate from the United States Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, and attended the US Army War College as a Carlisle Scholar. He has performed duties as an instructor navigator, weapons officer, flight safety officer, deployed mission commander for aerial fire-fighting missions and as an operations support squadron commander. He also served as an Air Component Coordination Element and Air Force Liaison Officer directly supporting the commander of the United States and Republic of Korea Combined Forces Command's Air Component Command during Pacific Command exercise KEY RESOLVE 2013 and 2014.

Col. Lay is a master navigator with more than 3,000 flight hours. Prior to his current position, Col. Lay served as the Director, Headquarters Air Force, Executive Secretariat, Pentagon, Washington D.C.

EDUCATION
1996 Bachelor of Science, History, Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1997 Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas
1998 C-130 Navigator Qualification Training, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
2000 C-130 Instructor School, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
2001 Flight Safety Officer School, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
2001 Squadron Officer School, Air University correspondence program
2004 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Master of Arts, History, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, Ark.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, Air University correspondence program
2007 Weapons Instructor School, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
2013 Air War College, Air University correspondence program
2015 Master of Arts, US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Penn.
Presently, ABD PhD candidate, Diplomatic History, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.

ASSIGNMENTS
1. August 1996 – December 1997, Student, Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla., and Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas
2. December 1997 – May 1998, Student, C-130 Navigator, Qualification Training, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
3. May 1998 – June 2001, Wing Tactics Officer and Unit Deployment Monitor, 43rd Operations Support Squadron and 2nd Airlift Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C.
4. June 2001 – May 2003, C-130E Instructor Navigator, Class Commander and Squadron Flight Safety Officer, 62nd Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
5. May 2003 – June 2012, Weapons Officer, Flight Commander, and Mission Commander, 731st Airlift Squadron and 302nd Operations Support Squadron, Peterson AFB, Colo.
6. June 2012 – June 2014, Commander, 302nd Operations Support Squadron, Peterson AFB, Colo.
7. June 2014 – June 2015, Student, Carlisle Scholar Program, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Penn.
8. June 2015 – June 2017, Director, Headquarters Air Force, Executive Secretariat, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
9. June 2017 – Present, Commander, 913th Airlift Group, Little Rock, AFB, Ark.

FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Master Navigator
Flight hours: More than 3,000
Aircraft Flown: C-130E, C-130H

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one device
Kosovo Campaign Medal with two devices
Iraq Campaign Medal with one device

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS
1995 Research internship at Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington, D.C.
2000 Company Grade Officer of the Year, 2nd Airlift Squadron
2000 Instructor Navigator of the Year, 21st Air Force
2002 Language-Area Submersion and Immersion program, Saint Petersburg, Russia
2008-2009 Recipient of International Affairs teaching assistant position, University of Colorado, Boulder

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major March 31, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel March 31, 2012
Colonel May 1, 2017

(Current as of July 2017)