kadena air base Key Leadership

Brig. Gen. 
Case A. Cunningham
Vice Commander
Col. Richard C. Tanner
Command CMSgt
CMSgt Michael R. Ditore 

Team Kadena Group Commanders:

Col. Britt K. Hurst - 18th Operations Group
Col. Paul M. Oldham - 18th Mission Support Group
Col. Tony S. Lombardo  - 18th Maintenance Group
Col. Theresa B. Goodman - 18th Medical Group
Col. Robert S. Grainger - 18th Civil Engineer Group

Col. Jason T. Kirby - 353rd Special Operations Group



Colonel Britt Hurst is the commander of the 18th Operations Group, 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan. He commands nearly 900 people in nine squadrons and 80 F-15, KC-135, HH-60, and E-3 aircraft valued at more than $4 billion. The 18th Operations Group performs all 18th Wing flying, as well as aeromedical and combat rescue missions, in support of U.S. and allied interests. As the commander of the 18th Expeditionary Operations Group, Col. Hurst commands more than 300 people in three squadrons and four aircraft which perform daily Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance missions.

Colonel Hurst is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, F-15C Initial Qualification Course, and Air Force Institute of Technology Intermediate Developmental Education. He is a graduate of the USAF Weapons Instructor Course, and has had operational assignments as an F-15C instructor pilot in the Pacific, Europe, and CONUS. In addition to serving on the United States Forces Korea and Pacific Air Forces staffs, Colonel Hurst served as a squadron commander and deputy group commander. A graduate of National War College, Colonel Hurst is a command pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours, including over 300 combat hours from Operations Northern and Southern Watch. 

1994 Bachelor of Science, General Engineering, US Air Force Academy, Distinguished Graduate
2000 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL, Distinguished Graduate
2001 F-15C Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, NV
2007 Master of Science, Management, AF Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
2007 Intermediate Developmental Education, AF Institute of Technology, WPAFB, OH, Distinguished Graduate
2014 Master of Science, National Security Strategy, National War College, Washington, DC
2014 National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, DC

1. August 1994 – September 1995, student pilot, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, TX
2. January 1996 – July 1996, student pilot, F-15C Training, 2 FS, Tyndall AFB, FL
3. August 1996 – May 1998, Flight Lead/Electronic Combat Pilot, 67 FS, Kadena AB, Japan
4. May 1998 – January 2001, Instructor Pilot/Mission Commander, 94 FS, Langley AFB, VA
5. January 2001 – June 2001, student pilot, USAF Weapons School, Nellis AFB, NV
6. June 2001 – January 2004, Weapons Officer/Flight Commander, 12 FS, Elmendorf AFB, AK
7. January 2004 – May 2006, OT&E Instructor Pilot/Division Commander, 422 TES, Nellis AFB, NV
8. May 2006 – June 2007, IDE student, AF Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
9. June 2007 – June 2009, Chief of Advanced Programs, HQ PACAF, Hickam AFB, HI
10. June 2009 – June 2012, Director of Operations and Commander, 83 FWS, Tyndall AFB, FL
11. June 2012 – July 2013, Deputy Commander, 48 OG, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom
12. July 2013 – June 2014, SDE student, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, DC
13. June 2014 – June 2016, Executive Officer to Deputy Commander, UNC/USFK, USAG-Yongsan, South Korea
14. June 2016 – present, Commander, 18th Operations Group, Kadena AB, Japan

1.June 2014 – June 2016, Executive Officer to the Deputy Commander, UNC/USFK, USAG-Yongsan, South Korea, as a Colonel

Rating: Command Pilot
Total flight hours: More than 2,500
Aircraft flown: F-15C/D

Defense Superior Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korea Defense Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal

Second Lieutenant June 1, 1994
First Lieutenant June 1, 1996
Captain June 1, 2000
Major July 1, 2004
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2009
Colonel June 1, 2015

(Current as of July 2016)