Lt. Gen. Gary L. North is Commander, 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. The command comprises four wings in the eastern United States and four direct reporting units, with more than 350 aircraft and 24,000 active-duty and civilian personnel. He is also responsible for the operational readiness of 18 9th Air Force-gained National Guard and Air Force Reserve units comprising the Air Reserve Component. As the Air Component Commander for U.S. Central Command, the general is responsible for developing contingency plans and conducting air operations in a 27-nation area of responsibility covering Central and Southwest Asia and the Horn of Africa.
General North was commissioned in 1976 after completing East Carolina University's ROTC program as a distinguished graduate. He has held numerous operational, command and staff positions, and has completed seven overseas tours. His last assignment was the Director for Operations at U.S. Pacific Command. The general has served two tours on the Joint Staff, including executive assistant to the Joint Staff Director, and Director of Politico-Military Affairs for Asia-Pacific where he was responsible for regional planning and policy for the Asia-Pacific, South Asia and Central Asia regions. He also served as Deputy Director of Joint Matters at Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
General North has commanded the 33rd Fighter Squadron at Shaw AFB, S.C.; 35th Operations Group at Misawa Air Base, Japan; 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan AB, South Korea; and the 18th Wing at Kadena AB, Japan. He is a command pilot with more than 4,100 flying hours, primarily in the F-4, F-15 and F-16. He flew 54 combat missions during operations Desert Storm and Southern Watch.
1976 Bachelor's degree in political science, East Carolina University, N.C.
1982 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
1984 Master's degree in public administration, Golden Gate University
1986 Master's degree in human resource management, Golden Gate University
1990 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
1994 Master's degree in national resource strategy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1997 Seminar XXI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
1. September 1976 - May 1977, student, undergraduate navigator training, Mather AFB, Calif.
2. May 1977 - October 1978, student, Electronic Warfare Officer School, Mather AFB, Calif.
3. January 1978 - June 1978, student, F-4E upgrade training, Homestead AFB, Fla.
4. July 1978 - July 1979, weapons systems officer, 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, South Korea
5. August 1979 - September 1980, F-4G Wild Weasel electronic warfare officer, 561st and 563rd tactical fighter squadrons, George AFB, Calif.
6. September 1980 - September 1981, student, undergraduate pilot training, Reese AFB, Texas
7. September 1981 - September 1982, fighter lead-in training, Holloman AFB, N.M., and F-16 transition, Hill AFB, Utah
8. September 1982 - April 1985, squadron scheduler and squadron weapons officer, 19th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
9. April 1985 - August 1985, student pilot, U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
10. August 1985 - June 1986, wing weapons officer, 363rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C.
11. June 1986 - June 1987, F-16 weapons officer and flight commander, 526th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Ramstein AB, West Germany
12. June 1987 - June 1989, aide-de-camp and F-16 instructor pilot to the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, West Germany
13. July 1989 - January 1990, student, Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
14. March 1990 - July 1993, assistant operations officer, 19th Tactical Fighter Squadron; wing Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, and Chief of Wing Weapons and Safety, Operation Desert Storm, 363rd Fighter Wing; and Commander, 33rd Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
15. August 1993 - June 1994, student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
16. July 1994 - August 1996, Commander, 35th Operations Group, Misawa AB, Japan
17. August 1996 - August 1997, Chief, Joint Requirements Division and Deputy Director of Joint Matters, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
18. August 1997 - May 1999, executive assistant to the Director, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
19. May 1999 - May 2000, Commander, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, South Korea
20. August 2000 - April 2002, Commander, 18th Wing, Kadena AB, Japan
21. April 2002 - June 2004, Deputy Director of Politico-Military Affairs for Asia-Pacific, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
22. July 2004 - January 2006, Director for Operations, U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii
23. February 2006 - present, Commander, 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces, Shaw AFB, S.C.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,100
Aircraft flown: F-4, F-15 and F-16
Major Awards and Decorations
Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross with "V" device and oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with four oak leaf clusters
1993 Lance P. Sijan U.S. Air Force Leadership Award
Effective Dates of Promotion
Second Lieutenant Sept. 4, 1976
First Lieutenant Sept. 4, 1978
Captain Sept. 4, 1980
Major March 1, 1987
Lieutenant Colonel April 1, 1990
Colonel Feb. 1, 1995
Brigadier General Aug. 1, 2001
Major General June 1, 2005
Lieutenant General Feb. 16, 2006
(Current as of February 2006)