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27 SOW Commander

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Colonel Robert Masaitis is the Commander, 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 27th SOW plans, postures, and executes precision strike, specialized mobility and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions with special operations forces. The wing is organized into four groups and 24 squadrons, and is equipped with 107 specialized aircraft, to include AC-130W, CV-22, MC-130J, MQ-9, PC-12 and U-28 aircraft. Additionally, the wing sustains a premier installation that supports operations, training, and the base's 5,700 Air Commandos and their families. The Air Commandos of the 27th SOW execute specialized airpower for operational commanders conducting special operations missions around the world, including direct action, unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, personnel recovery, psychological operations, and information operations.

Prior to this assignment, Col Masaitis commanded the 492d Special Operations Training Group at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The 492 SOTRG is the AFSOC focal point for training, SOF education and professional development, Operational Test and Evaluation, Tactics Development and Evaluation & rapid capability development. As a proponent for AFSOC’s most diverse array of missions, the 492 SOTRG champions innovation to enhance special operations missions across mobility, strike, ISR, combat support & building partnership capability.

Colonel Masaitis was commissioned through the United States Air Force Academy in 1995. During his 22 years of commissioned service he has been an instructor and evaluator navigator, squadron weapons and tactics officer, MAJCOM weapons and tactics officer, Operations Officer, and Squadron Commander. In addition to flying combat and contingency operations in the AC-130 Gunship and U-28, Colonel Masaitis served as Deputy Director for Plans, Strategy, and Policy, HQ Special Operations Command, Pacific, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.

EDUCATION

1995 Bachelor of Science in General Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs,

Colorado

2000 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

2001 USAF Weapons School, Hurlburt Field, Florida

2006 Masters in Business Administration, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida

2008 Masters of Science in Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

2009 Air Command and Staff College, Non-Residence

2010 Masters of Airpower Art and Science, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell Air Force Base,

Alabama

2012 Air War College, by correspondence

2015 Masters of Science in Defense Strategy and Resourcing, National Defense University, Washington D.C.

ASSIGNMENTS

1. October 1995 – August 1997, Student, Joint Undergraduate Navigator Training, NAS Pensacola, Florida, and

Randolph Air Force Base, Texas

2. September 1997 – July 1999, AC-130U Navigator, Training Officer, and Tactics Officer, 4th Special

Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida

3. August 1999 – July 2000, AC-130U Instructor Navigator, 19th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field,

Florida

4. August 2001 – January 2004, AC-130U Instructor/Evaluator Navigator, Weapons and Tactics Officer, 4th

Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida

5. January 2004 – June 2007, Chief, AC-130 Weapons and Tactics, HQ Air Force Special Operations

Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida

6. July 2007 – June 2009, Student, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California

7. July 2009 – May 2010, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Alabama

8. June 2010 – June 2012, Operations Officer, 73rd Special Operations Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New

Mexico

9. June 2012 – June 2014, Commander, 34th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida

10. June 2014 – July 2015, Student, Eisenhower School for National Defense and Resource Strategy,

Washington D.C.

11. July 2015 – July 2017, Chief, Strategy, Plans, and Analysis Branch and later, Deputy Director for Plans,

Strategy, and Policy, HQ Special Operations Command, Pacific, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.

12. August 2017 – July 2019, Commander, 492d Special Operations Training Group, Hurlburt Field, Florida

13. July 2019 – Present, Commander, 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon AFB, New Mexico

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Rating: Master Navigator

Flight Hours: More than 3,500 and More than 1,000 Combat Hours

Aircraft Flown: T-34, T-43, T-1A, AC-130U, MC-130W, AC-130W, U-28A, & AC-130J

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:

Bronze Star

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Air Medal

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:

Second Lieutenant - May 1995

First Lieutenant - May 1997

Captain - May 1999

Major - Sep 2005

Lieutenant Colonel - July 2010

Colonel - Oct 2016