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Library > Biographies > COLONEL PATRICK J. RHATIGAN

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Patrick J. Rhatigan is the Commander, 19th Airlift Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. As the installation commander, Col. Rhatigan leads the "Home of C-130 Combat Airlift." He works in concert with the 314th Airlift Wing (AETC), 189th Airlift Wing (ANG), 22nd Air Force Detachment 1 (AFRC) and the United States Air Force Weapons School (ACC) in all aspects of C-130 training. As commander, Colonel Rhatigan is responsible for organizing, training and equipping the personnel who operate, maintain and sustain more than 65 C-130 aircraft. The wing provides combat ready forces to meet combatant commanders' requirements globally. He ensures support for combat, contingency, and humanitarian requirements while providing for the health and welfare of more than 10,000 personnel and families at Little Rock AFB.

Col. Rhatigan graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1991 with a degree in English Literature and earned his pilot wings at Williams AFB, Arizona in 1992. He has commanded an air refueling squadron in combat and flown numerous types of airlift missions, including VIP transport, medical evacuation, nuclear logistics, strategic resupply and combat airlift. As Chief of the Prime Nuclear Airlift Force at McChord AFB, he was responsible for the worldwide logistical movement of nuclear weapons. He has held a variety of staff positions, including Speechwriter to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of the CSAF/SECAF Executive Action Group's Communication team at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Pentagon. Recently, Col. Rhatigan was the Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, serving in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon.

Prior to his current assignment, he was assigned as the Commander, 379th Expeditionary Operations Group, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia. He is a command pilot with more than 5,000 hours in the KC-135, C-12, C-21, C-141, C-17, B-1, and C-130J.

1991 Bachelor of Science degree in English Literature, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
1997 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. (Distinguished Graduate)
2004 Air Command and Staff College, Master of Military Operational Art & Science, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL. (Distinguished Graduate)
2006 Air War College, Correspondence.
2010 National War College, Master of Science in National Security Strategy, Ft. McNair, Washington D.C.

1. August 1991 - August 1992, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.
2. September 1992 - August 1993, C-12F Pilot and Squadron Executive Officer, 13th Airlift Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan.
3. September 1993 - October 1995, C-21A Aircraft Commander and Pilot Scheduler, 459th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
4. November 1995 - November 1997, C-141B Aircraft Commander and Nuclear Courier Officer, 20th Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, Cali.
5. November 1997 - February 2001, C-141B Instructor Pilot, Wing Executive Officer, and Chief, Prime Nuclear Airlift Force, 4th Airlift Squadron and 62d Airlift Wing, McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
6. February 2001 - July 2003, C-17A Aircraft Commander and Instrument Refresher Course Instructor, 728th Airlift Squadron, McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
7. July 2003 - June 2004, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
8. July 2004 - Oct 2005, Chief, Mobility Programs Integration Branch, Global Mobility Panel, Headquarters Air Force, Directorate of Plans and Programs, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
9. October 2005 - January 2007, Speechwriter to the Secretary of the Air Force, and Chief, Communications Team, SECAF/CSAF Executive Action Group, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
10. January 2007 - March 2008, Chief of Safety, 92d Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild AFB, Wash.
11. March 2008 - June 2009, Commander, 93d Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash. (January - June 2009, Commander, 22d Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Manas Air Base, Kyrgyz Republic).
12. July 2009 - June 2010, Student, National War College, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C.
13. June 2010 - May 2012, Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Legislative Affairs; Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
14. May 2012 - May 2013, Commander, 379th Expeditionary Operations Group, Southwest Asia.
15. July 2013- Present, Commander, 19th Airlift Wing, Little Rock AFB, Ark.

Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 5,000
Aircraft flown: C-12, C-21, C-141, C-17, KC-135, B-1, C-130J

Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze Star
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters National Defense Service Medal with one service star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one service star Kosovo Campaign Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one service star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal

Second Lieutenant May 29, 1991
First Lieutenant May 29, 1993
Captain May 29, 1995
Major May 6, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel December 1, 2006
Colonel September 1, 2011

(Current as of Feb 2014)

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