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Library > Biographies > COLONEL ROBERT E WHEELER

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Col. Robert E. Wheeler is the commander of the 2d Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He is responsible for providing B-52 aircraft, aircrews and associated support personnel and resources to conduct global bomber operational taskings. Additionally, as the installation commander, he supports 34 tenants including Headquarters 8th Air Force and the 917th Wing and promotes the welfare of over 7,400 military and civilian personnel, 6,200 family members and 25,000 retirees.

Colonel Wheeler was the former commander of the 509th Operations Group, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. As commander, he was responsible for operations, and operational support of the Air Force's only wing of B-2 bombers.
He has served as the division chief for the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding European security issues and the Senior Military Adviser to the U.S. Mission for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe based in Vienna, Austria. In that capacity he provided recommendations and unfiltered political-military advice to the Chairman of the JCS and other Washington-based U.S. interagency representatives that relate to European security issues.

Colonel Wheeler has served as the commander of the 325th Bomb Squadron which opened the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. He has also served as operation officer of the 394th Combat Training Squadron directing B-2 and T-38 training for the 509th Bomb Wing. While at Whiteman AFB, Colonel Wheeler has also served as the 509th BW Chief of Safety, in charge of all flight, weapons and ground safety.

Colonel Wheeler has been a member of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force's Operations Group, Headquarters Air Force, Washington, D.C. In this position, he worked policy analysis and provided direct advice to Air Force senior leaders on the full range of operational, logistics, acquisition, personnel and budget issues. He also prepared congressional testimony, articles, briefings, messages and speeches for the Chief of Staff and Vice Chief of Staff.

Colonel Wheeler has served as an air campaign analyst and executive officer for the Operations Directorate, to Air Force Headquarters, Pentagon. He's the recipient of the Air Force Ira C. Eaker and 8th Air Force Kalberer awards. A command pilot with more than 4,800 hours, he was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in August in 1983 with a bachelor of science in engineering/operations research. He has a master's in both aerospace technology, and national security and strategic studies.


1983 Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering, University of Wisconsin (Madison)
1990 Squadron Officers School (correspondence and residence)
1995 Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Technology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
1995 Air Command and Staff College (correspondence)
1998 Master's of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval War College (IDE in residence)
1999 Air War College (correspondence)
2003 NATO Defense College (SDE in residence)


1. January 1984 - December 1984, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, Texas
2. January 1985 - July 1985, Student, B-52 Combat Crew Training Squadron, Castle AFB, Calif.
3. July 1985 - January 1988, B-52H Co-pilot, Aircraft Commander, K.I. Sawyer AFB, Mich.
4. January 1988 - June 1988, B-52H Combat Flight Instructor Course, Castle AFB, Calif.
5. June 1988 - May 1994, B-52H Instructor Pilot, Check Pilot, FCIF Pilot, Chief of Standards & Evaluations, and Assistant Operations Officer, K.I. Sawyer AFB, Mich.
6. May 1994 - June 1995, Air Campaign Analyst, Air Force Studies and Analysis Agency, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
7. June 1995 - June 1996, Executive Officer for XOC, Air Force Operations Directorate, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
8. June 1996 - June 1997, Member, Chief of Staff Operations group, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
9. June 1997 - August 1998, Naval Command Staff, Naval War College, Newport, R.I.
10. August 1998 - February 2003, Commander 325th Bomb Squadron, B-2 Instructor Pilot, Wing Chief of Safety, B-2 FTU Operations Officer, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
11. February 2003 - July 2003, NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy
12 July 2003 - June 2005, Division Chief, Joint Chief of Staff for European Security Issues, Vienna, Austria
13. June 2005 - July 2007, Commander, 509th Operations Group, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
14. July 2007 - Present, Commander, 2d Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, La.


Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 4,800
Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38, B-52, B-2

Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Kuwait Liberation Medal
Southwest Asia Service Medal
Air Force Ira C. Eaker Award


Second Lieutenant August 1983
First Lieutenant January 1985
Captain January 1987
Major November 1995
Lieutenant Colonel September 1998
Colonel July 2003 

(Current as of July 2007)

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