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Col COLONEL MICHELLE C. ESTES

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Colonel Michelle C. Estes is the 352nd Special Operations Maintenance Group Commander at RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom. She directs the maintenance complex of over 600 active-duty and civilian Airmen performing maintenance on MC-130J Commando II and CV-22B Osprey aircraft for U.S. Air Force Special Operations in the U.S. European Command.

Colonel Estes was born in Charleston, South Carolina and grew up as an Air Force dependent. In 1997, she graduated with a degree in Geography and earned her commission from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She is a Senior Maintenance Aircraft Officer and has served in numerous positions at Squadron, Group and Major Command levels. She has deployed a total of six times to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. Colonel Estes has commanded four different squadrons including a year advising and guiding the National Afghan Air Force towards self-sufficiency and independence, and culminating with the 650 person 355th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.  Colonel Estes’ maintenance experience includes the RC-135, A-10, F-16, MC-130J/W, AC-130H, CV-22B, MQ-1, MQ-9, MC-12 and Mi-17 aircraft. Prior to her current assignment, Colonel Estes was the New York National Guard Command Inspector General.


EDUCATION AND TRAINING:
1997  Bachelor of Arts in Geography, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
2003  Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Nellis AFB, Nevada
2003  Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. (Residence)
2008  Air Command and Staff College (Non-Residence)
2015  Air War College (Non-Residence)

ASSIGNMENTS:
1. June 1997 – November 1997, Maintenance Officer, 55th Maintenance Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska
2. November 1997 – July 1998, Maintenance Flight Commander, 55th Maintenance Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska
3. July 1998 – July 1999, Sortie Support Flight Commander, 38th Reconnaissance Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska
4. July 1999 – June 2000, Sortie Generation Flight Commander, 45th Reconnaissance Squadron, Offutt AFB, Nebraska
5. June 2000 – September 2001, Chief, Command Post, 57th Fighter Wing, Nellis AFB, Nevada
6. September 2001 – June 2003, Squadron Maintenance Officer, 549th Combat Training Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada
7. June 2003 – December 2004, 74th Aircraft Maintenance Unit OIC, 23rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Pope AFB, North Carolina
8. December 2004 – December 2005, Quality Assurance OIC, 23rd Fighter Group, Pope AFB, North Carolina
9. December 2005 – June 2006, Maintenance Operations Flight Commander, 23rd Maintenance Squadron, Pope AFB, North Carolina
10. June 2006 – June 2007, Operations Officer, 27th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Cannon AFB, New Mexico
11. June 2007 – July 2008, Ops Officer, 27th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Cannon AFB, New Mexico
12. July 2008 – July 2010, Commander, 27th Special Operations Equipment Maintenance Squadron, Cannon AFB, New Mexico
13. July 2010 – January 2012, Chief, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Branch, HQ, Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Virginia
14. January 2012 – December 2012, Commander, 442nd Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
15. December 2012 – July 2013, Chief, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Branch, HQ ACC, Langley AFB, Virginia
16. July 2013 – July 2015, Commander, 355th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
17. July 2015 – August 2018, Deputy Commander, 352d Special Operations Maintenance Operations Group, RAF Mildenhall, England
18. August 2018 – July 2019, New York National Guard Command Inspector General, Joint Force Headquarters, Latham, New York
19. July 2019 – Present, Commander, 352d Special Operations Maintenance Group, RAF Mildenhall, UK

MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Bronze Star
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
National Defense Service Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one star
Iraqi Campaign Ribbon with one star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Ribbon
AF Longevity Service with three oak leaf clusters Small Arms Expert Markmanship Ribbon
AF Training Ribbon NATO Medal

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS:
2014 - 355th Fighter Wing Lance P. Sijan, USAF Leadership Award – Field Grade
2008 - 27th Special Operations Wing Lt Gen Leo Marquez Award, Maintenance Management – Field Grade 
2007 - 27th Fighter Wing Gen Lew Allen Award
2002 - 549th Combat Training Squadron Company Grade Officer of the Year

EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant, May 1997
First Lieutenant, May 1999
Captain, May 2001
Major, February 2007
Lieutenant Colonel, May 2012
Colonel, October 2018

(Current as of July 2019)