Col. Craig McPike is the Commander, 916th Air Refueling Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina The 916th is a key air refueling unit in Air Force Reserve Command, the Air Force’s first Integrated Wing (I-Wing), and was selected to be the first reserve wing to receive the new KC-46A Pegasus in 2020. The 916th flies the KC-135R Stratotanker in support of the Air Force’s worldwide contingency operations involving aerial refueling, airlift of cargo and passengers, and aeromedical evacuations.
Colonel McPike is a graduate of Texas A&M University and was commissioned through ROTC in 1993. He entered active duty in 1994 and graduated from undergraduate pilot training at Laughlin AFB, Texas in 1995. He was then assigned to Kadena Air Base, Japan as a KC-135 pilot and has since been assigned to five different major commands at the unit, group, wing, MAJCOM, and Air Staff levels. His duties have included Chief of Standards and Evaluations; Chief of Group Training; Executive to the Director, Directorate of Plans and Programs, and Deputy Chief, Programs and Requirements and Operations Group Commander. Prior to his current position, the colonel was the Vice Commander of the 916th Air Refueling Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
Colonel McPike has flown combat and combat support missions in support of operations Southern Watch, Allied Force and Freedom’s Sentinel. He is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours in tactical, combat, educational, and test operations.
1993 Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station
2000 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2004 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 DCMA Government Flight Rep Course, Aircraft Safety Program Management, Long Beach, Calif.
2006 Advanced Instrument Course, Randolph AFB, Texas
2006 Leadership Today and Tomorrow Course, Washington D.C.
2007 National Test Pilot School Short Course, Mojave, Calif.
2007 Master's in Business Administration, Webster University, St. Louis, Mo.
2012 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2013 Canadian Forces Joint Command and Staff Distant Learning Program, Toronto, Canada
2014 Master's in Strategic Studies, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2015 Joint Reserve Component National Security Course, Ft Leslie J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2016 Senior Leader’s Mission Generation Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2016 Operations Group Commander’s Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2016 Advanced Airlift Tactics Center Mobility Commander Tactics Course, St Joseph Air National Guard Base, Mo.
2017 AFIT Nuclear Enterprise Orientation Course, Scott AFB, Ill.
2018 Safety and Accident Investigation Board President Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2018 Director of Mobility Forces Course, Hulbert Field, Fla.
2018 NATO Senior Reserve Officer Course, Oberammergau, Germany
2019 Senior Officer Legal Orientation, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2019 Senior Leader Nuclear Management Course, Kirtland AFB, NM.
1. March 1994 – March 1995, Student, undergraduate pilot training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
2. March 1995 – October 1998, KC-135 Pilot, 909th Air Refueling Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan
3. October 1998 – September 2000, KC-135 Instructor Pilot, 384th ARS, McConnell AFB, Kan.
4. September 2000 – March 2001, Flight Commander, 22nd OSS, McConnell AFB, Kan.
5. March 2001 – March 2003, Combat Crew Training School Instructor, 54th ARS, Altus AFB, Okla.
6. March 2003 – February 2006, Chief, Standards and Evaluations, 313th Fight Test Flight, Lackland AFB, Texas
7. February 2006 – January 2008, Assistant Operations Officer, 313th FLTF, Lackland AFB, Texas
8. January 2008 – July 2010, Chief, Standards and Evaluations, 313th FLTF, Lackland AFB, Texas
9. July 2010 – July 2012, Chief, Group Training, 413th Flight Test Group, Robins AFB, Ga. (June 2011 – November 2011, Acting Group Operations Officer, 413th FTG, Robins AFB, Ga.)
10. July 2012 – July 2013, Executive to the Director, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga.
11. July 2013 – June 2014, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
12. June 2014 – July 2015, Deputy Chief, Plans & Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
13. July 2015 – January 2016, Deputy Commander, 459th Operations Group, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
14. January 2016 – July 2017, Commander, 445th Operations Group, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio
15. July 2017 – May 2018, Vice Commander, 916th Air Refueling Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
16. May 2018 – Present, Commander, 916th Air Refueling Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,500
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-1, KC-135D/E/R/T, OC-135B, C-17A, C-5B, E-3B, HC-130HN, MC-130E, T-38C, F-15D, F-15E
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with six oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with one oak leaf cluster
National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Oct. 10, 1993
First Lieutenant Oct. 10, 1995
Captain Oct. 10, 1997
Major Oct. 3, 2003
Lieutenant Colonel Sep. 13, 2010
Colonel Dec. 1, 2015
(Current as of September 2018)