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Col David J. Wilson is currently assigned as the Commander, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) and the 673d Air Base Wing, JBER, Alaska. The 673d Air Base Wing consists of four groups operating and maintaining the joint base for air sovereignty, combat training, force staging and throughput operations in support of worldwide contingencies. The installation hosts the headquarters for the U.S. Alaskan Command, Eleventh Air Force, U.S. Army Alaska and the Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region. The 673d Air Base Wing comprises over 5,500 joint military and civilian personnel, supporting America’s Arctic Warriors and their families. The wing supports and enables three Air Force total-force wings, an Army Brigade and 55 other major mission partners. In addition, the wing provides medical care to over 35,000 joint service members, dependents, Veterans Affairs patients and retirees throughout Alaska. The 673d Air Base Wing maintains $11.4B in infrastructure encompassing 79,000 acres, ensuring JBER remains America’s premier strategic power projection platform.
Col Wilson commissioned through Texas Tech University’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. He has served in numerous base level assignments and commanded the 21st Force Support Squadron at Peterson AFB, Colo. He deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Onward Liberty. Additionally, he served as a staff officer at U.S. Central Command, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of State, and in the office of U.S. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. Prior to being a student at the National War College, Col. Wilson served as Legislative Affairs Officer for NORAD and USNORTHCOM.
Prior to his current position, he was dual-hatted as the Commander of the 21st Mission Group and Vice Commander at Peterson-Schriever Garrison, Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station and Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado.
Lieutenant Colonel Spade is married to the former Tracy Thurau of Denver, Colorado. He graduated from the University of Denver and enlisted as a communications specialist in 2002. He deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom I in 2002 and Operation Iraqi Freedom II/III in 2003-2004 with the 82nd Airborne Division. He later commissioned through Officer Candidate School in 2005. As a Lieutenant, he served as a Platoon Leader and Reconnaissance Platoon Leader in 1-501st PIR at Fort Richardson, AK where he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lieutenant Colonel Spade then served as a Rifle Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer in the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, GA where he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom multiple times. After completing the Captain’s Career Course at Fort Benning, GA Lieutenant Colonel Spade served in 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley as Company Commander of A
Company/2-16 IN where he deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom. He then served as the Chief of Training for the 75th Ranger Regiment.
Following completion of PME at the US Naval War College, Lieutenant Colonel Spade attended the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, KS. He then served as the Chief of Training for the 82nd Airborne Division before serving as the Battalion Operations Officer of 2-504 PIR and deploying to Operation Enduring Freedom. Lieutenant Colonel Spade then served as the Brigade Executive Officer of 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division before moving to Brussels, Belgium. There he was an exchange officer to the Belgian Defence where he served as the Chief of Staff of the Belgium Special Operations in charge of their policy and transformation. In April 2021, he assumed the position of Assistant Executive Officer to the
Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, Headquarters, Department of the Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Spade’s major awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Expert Infantryman’s Badge. He is a graduate of the Ranger Course, Basic Airborne Course, and Jumpmaster Course. He holds a Master of Arts from the School of Advanced Military Studies and a Master of Science from the US Naval War College.
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