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Colonel John B. Creel


Colonel John B. Creel is the commander of the 39th Air Base Wing, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. As commander, Colonel Creel is responsible for approximately 3,500 U.S. military, civilian and contractor personnel and the combat readiness of U.S. Air Force units at Incirlik and five geographically-separated units in Turkey. He is also responsible for Base Operations Support Integrator (BOS-I) activities for Turkey-based joint and combined combat forces conducting Operations INHERENT RESOLVE, NOMAD SHADOW and ACTIVE FENCE.

Colonel Creel began his military career in August of 1985 as an enlisted Army helicopter mechanic. He then attended helicopter flight training and flew the UH-60 Black Hawk as a warrant officer. In 2000, he separated from the Army, enlisted in the Air Force and graduated from Officer Training School. Prior to his current assignment, he was the commander of the 347th Rescue Group, Moody AFB, Ga.

He has held positions at the squadron, wing, and deployed Joint Force Command levels including two tours in Afghanistan as an AFPAK Hand. Colonel Creel’s operational tours include Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, JOINT ENDEAVOR, JOINT GUARD, NORTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM. He holds an undergraduate degree in professional aeronautics and two graduate degrees in business aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.



1987       U.S. Army Warrant Officer Entry Course 1997 U.S. Army Warrant Officer Advanced Course

1999       Bachelors in Professional Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

2000       Master of Business Administration in Aviation, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

2000       USAF Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 2002 USAF Weapons School, Nellis AFB,  Nevada

2006       Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle  Aeronautical University 2008 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

2012       Strategic Policy Fellowship (IDE), Washington, DC 2012 Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.

2018       Marine Corps War College, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.



1. August 85 – July 87, Helicopter Mechanic, 2348th Trans Company, MS ARNG Meridian, Miss.

2. July 87 – May 89, UH-1H helicopter pilot, 2348th Trans Company, MS ARNG, Meridian, Miss.

3. May 89 – June 93, UH-60 Flight Lead / Unit Trainer, C/5-101st Aviation Regiment, Fort Campbell, Ky.

4. June 93 – November 94, UH-60 Instructor Pilot, 6-6th Cavalry, Illeshiem, Germany

5. November 94 – June 97, UH-60 Standardization Officer / Instrument Flight Examiner, A/1-158th Aviation Regiment, Wiesbaden, Germany

6. June 97 – June 98, Instructor, UH-60A Instructor Pilot Course, C/2-212th Aviation, Ft Rucker, Ala.

7. June 98 – July 00, UH-60 Standardization Officer, Aviation Training Brigade, Ft Rucker, Ala.

8. May 01 – June 02, Plans Officer, 41st Rescue Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga.

9. December 02 – June 05, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 41st Rescue Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga.

10. June 05 – April 10, Student Flight Commander, USAF Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nevada

11. April 10 – December 10, J3 Air, Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan

(CFSOCC-A) Kabul, Afghanistan

12. December 10 – May 11, Executive Officer to the Commanding General, Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan (CFSOCC-A) Kabul, Afghanistan

13. July 11 – June 12, Fellow, Air Force Strategic Policy, AETC, Washington, D.C.

14. June 12 – March 13, AFPAK Hand, Air Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

15. March 13 – June 13, Liaison Officer, Presidential Information Coordination Center, Presidential Palace and HQ ISAF, Kabul, Afghanistan.

16. July 13 – October 14, Director of Operations, 41st Rescue Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga.

17. October 14 – June 15, Director of Operations, 347th Operational Support Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga.

18. June 15 – July 17, Commander, 34th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada

19. July 17 – July 18, Student, Marine Corps War College, Quantico Va.

20. July 18 – June 20, Commander, 347th Rescue Group, Moody AFB, Ga.

21. July 20 – Present, Commander, 39 Air Base Wing, Incrilik AB, Turkey



Rating:              Command Pilot

Flight Hours:     More than 7,000 hours 

Aircraft Flown:  TH-55, UH-1H, UH-60A/L, and HH-60G



Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device with two oak leaf clusters

Bronze Star Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with eleven oak leaf clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal

Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Army Achievement Medal

Air Force Combat Action Medal

Mackay Trophy



Second Lieutenant      Sep 2000

First Lieutenant           Sep 2002

Captain                       Sep 2004

Major                           Aug 2010  

Lieutenant Colonel      Dec 2013 

Colonel                        May 2018

(Current as of June 2020)