Brigadier General John J. Nichols is the Commander, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. He is responsible for the combat readiness of the Air Force's only B-2 base, including development and employment of the B-2's combat capability as part of Air Force Global Strike Command. As Whiteman’s installation commander, he provides logistics support for the Air Force Reserve 442d Fighter Wing; Missouri Air National Guard 131st Bomb Wing; Air Combat Command 20th Attack Squadron; and the Missouri Army National Guard 1st Battalion, 135th Assault Helicopter Battalion. Additionally, he manages flying assets in excess of $46 billion and an annual operations and maintenance budget of $147 million.
General Nichols received his commission through the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1992. Following graduation, over the span of seven years and four assignments he served as an Intelligence Officer. General Nichols then attended Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, and served multiple flying assignments in the B-1. While serving as the 28th Operations Group Commander at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, General Nichols led the standup of the 432d Attack Squadron, the wing’s first and only MQ-9 unit. General Nichols also commanded the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus AFB, Mississippi.
Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Deputy Director, Operations, Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.
General Nichols is a command pilot with more than 2,270 flying hours.
1992 Bachelor of Science, Political Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1997 USAF Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
1998 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2004 Master of Arts, Military Science, American Military University, Manassas, Va.
2006 Master of Arts, Military Arts and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 Master of Science, National Security Strategy, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
2012 Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, N.C.
2016 Enterprise Leadership Seminar at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1. August 1992 - May 1993, Student, Intelligence Course, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas
2. May 1993 - May 1996, Chief, Operational Intelligence, 17th Air Force, Sembach Air Base, Germany
3. June 1996 - December 1997, Chief, Intelligence, 523rd Fighter Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.
4. December 1997 - July 1999, Chief, Intel Weapons & Tactics, 28th Operational Support Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
5. August 1999 - August 2000, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
6. November 2000 - July 2001, B-1 Student, 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
7. August 2001 - August 2005, B-1 Pilot, Aircraft Commander, Instructor Pilot, 9th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
8. August 2005 - June 2006, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. June 2008 - June 2010, Commander, 28th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
11. July 2010 - June 2011, Student, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. June 2011 - May 2013, Commander, 28th Operations Group, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
13. June 2013 - June 2014, Chief, Combat Plans Division, 609 Air Operations Center, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
14. July 2014 - July 2016, Commander, 14th Flying Training Wing, Columbus AFB, Miss.
15. July 2016 - June 2017, Deputy Director of Operations, Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale AFB, La.
16. June 2017 - Present, Commander, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2013 - June 2014, Chief, Combat Plans Division, 609 Air Operations Center, Al Udeid AB, Qatar
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,270 hours, including 662 combat hours
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, B-1, MQ-9, T-1, T-6, A-29, B-52, B-2
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award
AF Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device and four oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 27, 1992
First Lieutenant May 27, 1994
Captain May 27, 1996
Major December 1, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel December 1, 2006
Colonel September 1, 2011
Brigadier General August 11, 2017
(Current as of August 2017)