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Library > Biographies > COLONEL ROBERT T. SWANSON, JR.

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Col. Robert "Rob" Swanson is Chief Pacific Air Forces Weather Operations Branch, and is PACAF's senior weather officer. He interfaces with PACOM, four component commands and three numbered Air Forces to develop and implement plans. As the functional leader for the weather career field in PACAF he establishes weather policy, oversees standardization and evaluation of 27 units and over 400 personnel, and is responsible for a $33 million annual POM and budget execution to ensure the readiness of PACAF weather units and personnel to support the U.S. Pacific Command combatant commander.

Colonel Swanson earned his commission through the Airman Education and Commissioning Program graduating Summa Cum Laude from Texas A&M University. He enjoys a diverse background that includes prior enlisted time, two Air Force Institute of Technology tours culminating in MS and PhD degrees, joint, coalition and special operations assignments, and a series of rigorous leadership, scientific, teaching and staff positions.

While deployed to Afghanistan as the Chief Meteorological Officer for the International Security Assistance Force, Colonel Swanson led 170 international troops across 58 locations delivering expert weather support enabling over 42,000 sorties, 700 ground ops and 1,000 troops in contact events in support of Operation HAMKARI - the largest/most decisive surge to date. While there, he was hand-picked to lead the Secretary of Defense's $850M Persistent Surveillance Systems Operation Enduring Freedom deployment.

Previously, as the Commander of the 607th Weather Squadron in the Republic of Korea, he led combined weather operations during north Korea nuclear and missile tests/crises. As executive officer to the PACAF Director of Operations, he led support for tsunami-ravaged Indonesia and south Asia.

Finally, as Director of Operations for the 17th Operational Weather Squadron he led the unit to full operational capability while supporting vital Operations Iragi and Enduring Freedom missions, presidential and secretary of defense support, typhoon evacuation, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission support across the entire Pacific Command.

1990: Bachelor's degree in meteorology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
1991: Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1995: Master's degree in meteorology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
1998: Doctorate degree in physical meteorology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
2000: Squadron Officers School (Correspondence)
2003: Air Command and Staff College (Correspondence)
2007: Air War College (Correspondence)

1991 - 1993, Special Operations Weather Team Officer-in-Charge, 1st Special Forces Group, Airborne, Ft. Lewis, Wash.
1993 - 1998, Meteorology Graduate Student, Air Force Institute of Technology, University of Utah, Utah
1998 - 2000, Advanced Meteorologist/Numerical Weather Models, Air Force Weather Agency, Offutt AFB, Neb.
2000 - 2001, Chief, Technology Transition Team, Air Force Weather Agency, Offutt AFB, Neb.
2001 - 2004, Director of Operations, 17th Operational Weather Squadron, Hickam AFB, Hawaii and Staff Weather Officer to commanding general, U.S. Army Pacific, Ft. Shafter, Hawaii
2004 - 2005, Executive Officer to Director of Operations, Headquarters Pacific Command, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
2005 - 2007, Director of and Assistant Professor, Meteorology, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2007 - 2009, Commander, 607th Weather Squadron, U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan, Republic of Korea
2009 - 2011, Deputy Director, Army Policy, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
2011 - Present, Chief Pacific Air Forces Weather Operations Branch, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
AF Good Conduct Medal with two oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with one device
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal with one device
NATO Medal with International Security Assistance Force cluster

Second Lieutenant June 5, 1991
First Lieutenant June 5, 1993
Captain June 5, 1995
Major May 1, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel April 1, 2007
Colonel December 1, 2012

(Current as of December 2012)

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