Colonel Anthony Retka is the Commander, 52d Operations Group, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. The group consists of one fighter squadron, an operations support squadron and an aviation detachment. The group's 487 personnel stand ready to support NATO and Combatant Command Authorities in the mission areas of suppression of enemy air defenses, close air support, air interdiction, and theater airspace control.
Colonel Retka received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He continued his education at the University of Minnesota and graduated with a Masters in Civil Engineering in 1995. He is a career F-16 pilot with experience in Air Combat Command, Pacific Command, United States Air Forces Europe and NATO.He has served as an instructor pilot in the F-16 and RQ/MQ-1, flight examiner (F-16), flight commander, director of operations and commander and has compiled over 2,000 total hours.
Colonel Retka has over 160 combat hours in the F-16CJ and participated in the combat operations such as Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom. Colonel Retka has held various squadron and wing level positions during operational assignments to include Commander, 35th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea, and Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 52nd Operations Group, Spangdahlem AB, Germany. He also served as an academic instructor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
1994 Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1995 Masters in Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
2000 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala. (Distinguished Graduate)
2006 Air Command and Staff College, Correspondence
2007 U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.
2009 Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University, Norfolk NAS, Va.
2015 Air War College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
Jul 94 - Sep 05, AFIT Student, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
Sep 95 - Sep 96, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
Dec 96 - Sept 97, F-16 Student Pilot, 56th Fighter Wing, Luke AFB, Ariz.
Sept 97 - Jun 00, F-16 Pilot, Training Officer, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
Jun 00 - Mar 03, RQ/MQ-1 Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, 15th Reconnaissance Squadron, Creech AFB, Nev.
Mar 03 - Mar 04, F-16 Pilot and Flight Commander, 8th Operational Support Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
Mar 04 - Feb 06, F-16 Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, 22nd Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
Feb 06 - May 07, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 52nd Operations Group, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
May 07 - Jun 08, Student, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Jun 08 - May 10, Chief, Air Operations and IDE Instructor, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.
May 10 - Jan 11, F-16 Pilot , Chief of Safety, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa AB, Japan
Jan 11 - Jun 12, F-16 Instructor Pilot and Director of Operations, 14th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
Jun 12 - Jun 13, Commander, 35th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
Jun 13 - Jun 14, Executive Officer to the Commander, United States Forces, Japan and 5th Air Force, Yokota Air Base, Japan
Jun 14 - May 15, Student, Air War College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
Jun 15 – Aug 17, Command Center Director, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
Aug 17 – Present, Commander, 52nd Operations Group, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with 7 Oak Leaf Clusters
AF Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 1, 1994
First Lieutenant June 1, 1996
Captain June 1, 1998
Major July 1, 2004
Lieutenant Colonel July1, 2009
Colonel June 1, 2015
(Current as of August 2017)