Col. David C. Epperson is the Commander of the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. Col. Epperson leads a wing of more than 4,000 dedicated military and civilian personnel who maintain, deploy, and employ the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft and $6 billion of United States Protection Level-1 assets in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organization and U.S. missions as directed by the President and Secretary of Defense. The wing supports the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe with mission-ready personnel and systems providing expeditionary air power for suppression of enemy air defenses, close-air support, air interdiction, and theater airspace control.
Col. Epperson received his commission in 1997 through the United States Air Force Academy. Throughout his career, he employed F-16 combat airpower from Kunsan AB, South Korea; Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.; Hill AFB, Utah and Nellis AFB, Nev. Col. Epperson commanded the 16th Weapons Squadron, where he instructed the F-16 Weapons School and was responsible for development and initial implementation of the F-35 Weapons School. Additionally, he served as Checkmate Airpower Strategist on the Headquarters Air Force Staff.
Prior to assuming his current position, he was Commander of the 405th Air Expeditionary Group, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He is a command pilot with more than 2,850 flying hours and is a graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School. He has flown combat missions in operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL and NATO’s Resolute Support mission.
1997 Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.
2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 United States Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, F-16, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2007 Master of Science in Management, American Military University
2007 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2010 Masters of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 Master of Operational Studies, School of Advanced Warfighting, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
2012 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2016 Master of Science in National Resource Strategy, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, National Defense University, Ft. Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2018 Foreign Politics, International Relations, and the National Interest Fellowship, Seminar XXI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1. August 1997–January 1998, Special Assistant to the Commander, 715th Air Mobility Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
2. February 1998–May 1999, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
3. June 1999–February 2000, Student F-16 Fighting Training Unit, Luke AFB, Ariz.
4. March 2000–March 2001, F-16 Pilot, Assistant Air-to-Ground Weapons, 80th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, Republic of South Korea
5. March 2001–January 2004, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Functional Check Pilot, Chief of Scheduling, Assistant Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 79th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
6. January 2004–August 2006, F-16 Standardization and Evaluation Pilot, Instructor Pilot, Functional Check Flight Pilot, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 34th Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah
7. August 2006–July 2009, F-16 Weapons Instructor Course Instructor Pilot, Chief of USAF Weapons School Safety, Flight Commander, Chief of Weapons and Tactics (332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Balad AB, Iraq), 16th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
8. July 2009–June 2010, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. July 2010–June 2011, Student, School of Advanced Warfighting, MCB Quantico, Va.
10. June 2011–September 2012, Checkmate Airpower Strategist, Headquarters Air Force/A5XK, Pentagon, Va.
11. September 2012–July 2015, Commander, Director of Operations, 16th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
12. August 2015–June 2016, Student, Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Ft. McNair, Washington D.C.
13. July 2016–July 2018, Chief Special Projects and Innovation Division, Deputy Division Chief Counter Proliferation Unified Collection, J39, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
14. August 2018–March 2019, Commander, 455th Expeditionary Operations Group, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
15. March 2019–June 2019, Commander, 455th Air Expeditionary Group, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
16. June 2019–September 2019, Commander, 405th Air Expeditionary Group, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan
17. September 2019–Present, Commander, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. July 2016–July 2018, Chief Special Projects and Innovation Division, Deputy Division Chief Counter Proliferation Unified Collection, J39, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as a colonel.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 2,800 including more than 700 combat hours
Aircraft Flown: AT-38B, C-130J, EC-130H, F-15, F-16C/CG/CJ/CM/D, T-37, T-38A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters with three “C” devices
Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 28, 1997
First Lieutenant May 28, 1999
Captain May 28, 2001
Major Nov. 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2012
Colonel May 1, 2017
(Current as of October 2019)