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Col. Thomas B. Shank is Commander, 47th Flying Training
Wing, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. He is responsible for
Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training for United States
Air Force and allied officers. Colonel Shank commands a flying
operation that exceeds 80,700 flying hours and 54,400 sorties
per year. The wing operates 217 training aircraft, including the
T-1, T-38 and T-6. His command responsibilities include nearly
2,800 Air Force and civilian personnel whose annual payroll
nears $140 million, and the morale and welfare of a total base
community exceeding 5,400 personnel. Colonel Shank is also
responsible for ensuring wing units are able to deploy in support
of combat operations worldwide. In addition, Colonel Shank is
responsible for over $273 million in base property assets with
an estimated total economic impact of more than $218 million
on the Del Rio community.

Colonel Shank earned his commission through the Reserve
Officer Training Corps at the University of Tennessee in 1992.
He earned his navigator wings in 1994 from Randolph Air Force
Base, Texas, and his pilot wings from Sheppard AFB, Texas in
1998 as a distinguished graduate of both programs.

As a Weapons Systems Officer, he flew the F-15E at RAF Lakenheath, England. As a pilot, he has flown the F-15C at Eglin and Tyndall Air Force Bases in Florida. Colonel Shank was selected as Initial Cadre for the F-22A and has flown the F-22A at Tyndall AFB, Florida and Langley AFB, Virginia. He has served as an evaluator and instructor, weapons officer, staff officer, operations officer, and squadron commander. He has more than 220 combat hours in operations Provide Comfort, Southern Watch, and Northern Watch. Prior to his current position, Colonel Shank served as the Deputy Commander, 609th Air Operations Center and Deputy Director, Combined Air Operations Center in Southwest Asia. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours in the T-37, AT/T-38, T-1A, F-15E, F-15C, and F-22A.


1991 Bachelor of Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1999 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2002 Fighter Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2004 Masters of Business Administration degree, Touro University International, Cypress, Calif.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Masters of Science degree in Military Operational Art and Science, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Air War College, by correspondence
2011 Masters of Science degree in Strategic Studies, Marine Corps University, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.
2011 U.S. Marine Corps War College, MCB Quantico, Va.


1. September 1992 - June 1993, Electrical Engineer, 84th Test Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
2. July 1993 - April 1994, Student, 562nd and 563rd Flying Training Squadron, Randolph AFB, Texas
3. May 1994 - June 1994, Student Weapons Systems Officer, 435th Fighter Training Squadron, Randolph AFB,
4. July 1994 - March 1995, Student Weapons System Officer, F-15E Replacement Training, Luke AFB, Ariz.
5. April 1995 - July 1996, F-15E Weapons System Officer, Chief of Mission Planning, 492nd Fighter Squadron, RAFLakenheath, England
6. August 1996 - October 1997, Student, 89th and 90th Flying Training Squadrons, Sheppard AFB, Texas
7. November 1997 - January 1998, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Columbus AFB, Miss.
8. February 1998 - August 1998, Student, F-15 Replacement Training, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
9.September 1998 - June 2001, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Chief of Advanced Programs, Chief of Scheduling and assistant Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 58th Fighter Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.
10. July 2001 - November 2002, Instructor Pilot, F-15C Platform Academics Instructor and Assistant Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 2nd Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
11. December 2002 - November 2003, Initial Cadre F-22A, Instructor Pilot, Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 43rdFighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
12. December 2003 - July 2005, Instructor Pilot, Chief Wing Weapons and Tactics, Flight Commander, Platform academics instructor, 325th Operations Support Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
13. August 2005 - June 2006, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
14. July 2006 - February 2008, Chief F-22 Systems Management Organization, Deputy Chief 5th Generation Fighters Division, Chief F-22 Program Element Monitor & Branch, Directorate of Plans, Programs and Requirements, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.
15. March 2008 - April 2008, Pilot, F-22A requalification training, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
16. May 2008 - February 2009, Director of Operations, 27th Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB, Va.
17. March 2009 - April 2011, Commander, 1st Operations Support Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
18. April 2011 - July 2011, Deputy Commander, 1st Operations Group, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
19. July 2011 - June 2012, Student, US Marine Corps War College, MCB Quantico, Va.
20. June 2012 - July 2013, Deputy Commander, 609th Air Operations Center and Deputy Director, Combined Air Operations Center, Southwest Asia.
21. July 2013 - Jun 2015, Commander, 479th Flying Training Group, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla.
22. June 2015 - present, Commander, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas


Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: More than 3,000
Aircraft flown: T-37, AT/T-38, F-15E, F-15C, F-22A, T-1A


Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Meritorious Unit Award


2006 Robert J. Collier Trophy
1998 USAF Gabreski Award
1997 USAF Orville Wright Award
1997 AETC Commander's Trophy
1994 USAF Paul F. Lorence Award


Second Lieutenant October 1, 1991
First Lieutenant March 1, 1994
Captain March 1, 1996
Major October 1, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel October 1, 2007
Colonel July 1, 2012

(Current as of June 2015)