Col. Gregory D. Buchanan is the Commander of the 459th Air Refueling Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md. He leads more than 1,300 military and civilian personnel in 20 units employing eight KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft. The 459th supports Air Mobility Command's worldwide air refueling mission. In addition, the wing provides a broad cross-section of agile combat support and aeromedical evacuation capabilities to combatant commands in times of peace, war and national emergency.
Col. Buchanan received his commission in 1995 through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Early in his career, Col. Buchanan served as an active-duty Naval Supply Officer. He joined the Air Force Reserve in 2000 and held multiple leadership and staff positions in Air Force special operations, tactical airlift, and strategic airlift at all levels of command and staff. In addition, Col. Buchanan completed a limited active-duty tour in the Air Force Special Operations Command where he served as an assistant squadron operations officer; deployed as a squadron commander; and served on the major command’s staff as MC-130P Standardization and Evaluation pilot.
Prior to his current assignment, Col. Buchanan served as the commander of the 911th Operations Group, Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pa., where he led the group’s conversion from C-130H to C-17 aircraft. Col. Buchanan has deployed extensively in support of Operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn and Enduring Freedom. He is a command pilot with more than 4,400 flying hours, including more than 600 combat hours.
1995 Bachelor of Arts, diplomacy and foreign affairs, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
2004 Squadron Officer School, non-residence program
2010 Air Command and Staff College, non-residence program
2012 Master of Business Administration, Trident University International, Cypress, Calif.
2013 Air War College, non-residence program
2014 Certificate in the Foundations of NeuroLeadership, NeuroLeadership Institute, New York, N.Y.
2015 Leadership Today and Tomorrow, Washington D.C.
2016 Reserve Component National Security Course, Washington D.C.
2016 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Norfolk Va.
2018 Leadership Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.
2020 Director of Mobility Forces, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
1. June 1995 – March 1996, Aviation Preflight Indoctrination Support Officer and student, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
2. April – November 1996, Student, Primary Flight Training, Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla.
3. November 1996 – June 1998, Student, Strike Flight Training, Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas.
4. June 1998 – December 1998, Student, Basic Qualification Course, Navy Supply Corps School, Athens, Ga.
5. December 1998 – October 2000, Disbursing Officer, USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG-53), Naval Station San Diego, Calif.
6. October 2000 – May 2001, Student, Initial Flight Training, 5th Special Operations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
7. May 2001 – June 2002, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
8. July 2002 – October 2002, Student, C-130E Copilot Initial Qualification, Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.
9. October 2002 – April 2003, MC-130P Pilot Mission Qualification, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
10. April 2003 – June 2008, MC-130P Aircraft Commander, 5th Special Operations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
11. April 2004 – October 2004, Wing Scheduler, 16th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
12. October 2004 – January 2006, Battlestaff Executive Officer, 16th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
13. April 2006 – September 2006, Wing Programmer, 16th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
14. October 2006 – June 2008, Chief of Training, 5th Special Operations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
15. June 2008 – March 2011, Assistant Chief of Training and MC-130E Instructor Pilot, 711th Special Operations Squadron, Duke Field, Fla.
16. March 2011 – July 2013, Assistant Operations Officer and MC-130P Evaluator Pilot, 9th Special Operations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (May 2012 – August 2012, Commander, 9th Expeditionary Special Operations Squadron, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan)
17. July 2013 – February 2014, Chief Standardization and Evaluation MC-130P Pilot, HQ AFSOC, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
18. February 2014 – December 2015, Inspector General Director of Inspections, 919th Special Operations Wing, Duke Field, Fla.
19. December 2015 – January 2017, Director of Operations, 758th Airlift Squadron, Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pa.
20. January 2017 – July 2018, Commander, 758th Airlift Squadron, Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pa.
21. July 2018 – December 2020, Commander, 911th Operations Group, Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, Pa.
22. December 2020 – Present, Commander, 459th Air Refueling Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster Navy Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Combat Action Medal Gallant Unit Citation
Meritorious Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with seven oak leaf clusters Navy ‘E’ Ribbon
Combat Readiness Medal with four oak leaf clusters National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with bronze star Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze stars Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
AF Longevity Service with four oak leaf clusters
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 4 ‘M’ devices Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Pistol)
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Navy Ensign – May 7, 1995
Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade – May7, 1997 Navy Lieutenant – June 1, 1999
Air Force Captain – October 23, 2000 Major – June 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel – October 1, 2012
Colonel – July 1, 2018
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: 4,421 hours (615 combat hours)
Aircraft Flown: KC-135R, C-17A, C-130H, C-145, MC-130P, MC-130E, HC-130P, C-130E, T-1A, T-37B, T-45A, T-34C
(Current as of December 2020)