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Library > Biographies > COLONEL ERIK W HANSEN

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Colonel Erik W. Hansen is the Commander, 437th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, SC. The 437th Airlift Wing deploys Airmen and aircraft worldwide in support of contingency operations that involve the airland and airdrop delivery of forces, equipment, and supplies. These missions support combat operations, Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed special operations missions, and U.S.-sponsored humanitarian relief efforts.

Colonel Hansen graduated from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, in 1988 and was commissioned after graduating from Officer Training School. Upon completion of Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese AFB, TX, Col Hansen was assigned to fly the KC-135R at Fairchild AFB, WA. After upgrading to KC-135R aircraft commander, he was board-selected as a C-17A Initial Cadre Pilot and reported to the 17th Airlift Squadron at Charleston AFB, SC in August of 1994. While there, Col Hansen qualified as an instructor and evaluator in all C-17A missions. He is a command pilot with vast operational experience in all aspects of the global air mobility mission to include tanker and aerial refueling operations, airdrop, short-field assault landings, night vision goggle operations, and aerial port operations.

Colonel Hansen commanded the 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron at Abdullah Al Mubarak Airbase, Kuwait City, KU, where he was responsible for all passenger and cargo operations at U.S. Central Command's primary Aerial Port of Debarkation. Most recently, Col Hansen was a Chief of Staff Fellow with duties at the U.S. Department of Transportation. As Special Advisor he advised the Secretary of Transportation on all aviation and space-related issues.


1988 Bachelor of Arts, International Relations, Bringham Young University, Provo, UT
1996 Squadron Officer School, (Distinguished Graduate), Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
2002 Master of Science, Aerospace Operations, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona, FL
2002 Advanced Studies in Air Mobility, Air Mobility Warfare Center, Ft Dix, NJ
2002 Master of Science, Air Mobility, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson, AFB, OH
2003 Air Command & Staff College by Correspondence
2006 Air War College by Correspondence
2008 U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
2008 Master of Arts, Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
2009 USAF Enterprise Leadership Course, Darden School of Business, Univeristy of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
2010 Corporate Athlete Program, Human Performance Institute, Orlando, FL


1. April 1990 - June 1991, Student Pilot, 52d Training Wing, Reese AFB, TX
2. October 1991 - August 1994, KC-135R Pilot, 92d Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, WA
3. September 1994 - September 1998, C-17A Initial Cadre Pilot, 17th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, SC
4. September 1998 - May 2001, C-17A CCTS Instructor/Evaluator, 58th Airlift Squadron, Altus AFB, OK
5. May 2001 - June 2002, Student, Advanced Studies in Air Mobility, AMWC, Ft. Dix, NJ
6. July 2002 - July 2001, Air Operations Officer, J3, HQ USEUCOM, Patch Barracks, Germany
7. July 2004 - May 2005, Chief, Wing Plans, 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, SC
8. May 2005 - May 2006, Director of Operations, 16th Airlift Squadron (C-17A), Charleston AFB, SC
9. October 2005 - March 2006, Director of Operations, 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, Incirlik AB, TU
10. May 2006 - May 2007, Commander, 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Sqdn, Mubarak AB, Kuwait
11. July 2007 - June 2008, Student U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
12. June 2008 - May 2009, Chief, Regional Issues Division, HQ USAF, The Pentagon
13. May 2009 - March 2011, Special Advisor, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Washington, D.C.
14. March 2011 - Present, Commander, 437th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, SC


Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,600
Aircraft flown: T-37A, T-38B, KC-135R, C-17A


Bronze Star
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Commendtion Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal


Second Lieutenant, 2 March 1990
First Lieutenant, 2 March 1992
Captain, 2 March 1994
Major, 1 April 2001
Lieutenant Colonel, 1 May 2005
Colonel, 1 Oct 2008

(Current as of 29 Mar 2011)

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