Colonel William "Clay" Freeman is currently assigned as Commander, 352d Special Operations Wing, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, United Kingdom. He directs more than 1,200 active-duty and civilian Airmen performing missions on the MC-130J Commando II and CV-22 Osprey aircraft and Special Tactics for U.S. Air Force Special Operations in the United States European Command.
Prior to this assignment, Colonel Freeman served as the Chief of Staff for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). Colonel Freeman graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996 and earned his navigator wings at NAS Pensacola, FL. He has flown over 3,100 hours in the MC-130E Combat Talon and MC-130H Combat Talon II and has served in both flying and staff roles supporting Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. Col Freeman is an Air Force Intern Program graduate and served a joint tour at Headquarters, US Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Fla., as an Executive Officer and Joint Fixed Wing Program Analyst. He commanded the 353 SOG and JSOAC-P where he led over 900 special operations personnel throughout the PACOM area of responsibility. Colonel Freeman is married and has three children.
1996 Bachelor of Science. Management, U.S. Air Force Academy, CO
2000 Master of Science. Operations Management, University of Arkansas, Hurlburt Field, FL
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2007 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2007 Air Force Intern Program (IDE), Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
2010 Air War College, by correspondence
2015 National Defense Fellowship (SDE), U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
June 1996 - January 1997, Assistant Men’s Tennis Coach, USAF Academy, CO
January 1997 - November 1997, Student, joint undergraduate navigator training, NAS Pensacola, FL
November 1997 - March 1998, Student (DG), joint aviation electronic warfare school, Corry Station, FL
April 1998 - September 1998, Student, MC-130E EWO, 19th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, FL
September 1998 - January 2000, Instructor EWO, 8th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field,FL
January 2000 - October 2002, Evaluator EWO, 8th Special Operations Squadron, Duke Field, FL
October 2002 - July 2003, Chief, Group Stan/Eval, 16th Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, FL
August 2003 - January 2005, Air Force Intern, Headquarters U.S. Air Force,Washington,D.C.
January 2005 - June 2005, Student (DG), MC-130H Qual, 550th Special Operations Squadron, Kirtland AFB, NM
June 2005 - May 2008, Evaluator EWO, Chief of Safety, 7th Special Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, UK
June 2008 - August 2010, Executive Officer to the Deputy Director, Center for Special Operations; Joint Program Analyst, J8-AF, Headquarters SOCOM, MacDill AFB, FL
August 2010 - June 2012, Operations Officer, 7th Special Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, UK
June 2012 - June 2014, Commander, 7th Special Operations Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, UK
July 2014 - May 2014, National Defense Fellow, Department of State, East Asia Pacific Bureau, Washington, D.C.
May 2015 - Jun 2017, Commander, 353d Special Operations Group and Joint Special Operations Air Component-Pacific, Kadena AB,Japan
Jul 2017 - Jun 2018, Deputy Director, HQ AFSOC Plans, Programs, and Requirements, Hurlburt Field, FL
Jul 2018 - June 2019, Chief of Staff, HQ AFSOC, Hurlburt Field,FL
June 2019 - Present, Commander, 352d Special OperationsWing, RAF Mildenhall, UK
Rating: Master Navigator
Flight Hours: More than 3,100
Aircraft flown: MC-130J, MC-130H, MC-130E, CV-22B, T-34C
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Medal with seven Oak Leaf Clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant, 29 May 1996
First Lieutenant, 29 May 1998
Captain, 29 May 2000
Major, 1 May 2006
Lieutenant Colonel, 1 December 2010
Colonel, 1 August 2015
(Current as of July 2020)