Lieutenant Colonel Michael P. Richard

Outgoing 480th Squadron Commander, USAF and a Student at the National War College USAF



Lieutenant Colonel Michael P. Richard is the Commander of the 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.  Lieutenant Colonel Richard is responsible for the unit’s F-16 aircraft and personnel for the only OCA SEAD Block 50 F-16 squadron within HQ USAFE-AFAFRICA.  The squadron stands ready to support NATO and combatant commanders with offensive and defensive counter-air combat airpower.  

Lieutenant Colonel Richard received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corp program at The University of Notre Dame in 2002.  Lieutenant Colonel Richard has held numerous positions within the F-16 fighter pilot career field to include: Instructor Pilot, Flight Examiner, Flight Commander, Director of Staff, Weapons and Tactics Officer, Assistant Director of Operations, and Director of Operations.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School as part of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Scholar’s Program, and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School.  Lieutenant Colonel Richard is a senior pilot with more than 2,000 flying hours.  He has flown 98 combat sorties totaling 498 combat hours in support of operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, and Unified Protector. 



2002 Bachelor of Arts, Government, University of Notre Dame IN

2009 Squadron Officers’ School, Maxwell AFB AL

2009 United States Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB NV

2012 Masters of Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

2013 Masters of Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School



1.     May 2002 - Oct 2002, Special Assistant to the Commander, AFROTC Det 225, University of Notre Dame

2.     October 2002 - June 2003, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, 3rd Flying Training Squadron, Moody AFB, GA

3.     June 2003 - May 2004, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, 50th Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, MS

4.     May 2004 - May 2005, Student, F-16 Initial Qualification Training, 308th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, AZ

5.     May 2005 - January 2008, F-16 Pilot and Electronic Combat Pilot, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan

6.     January 2008 - June 2009, F-16 Flight Evaluator and Director of Staff, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, South Korea

7.     June 2009 - December 2009, Student, United States Air Force Weapons School, 16th Fighter Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV

8.     December 2009 - June 2013, F-16 Weapons Officer, Assistant Director of Operations, 55th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, SC

9.     June 2013 – 20 June 14, Student, Harvard Kennedy School, CSAF Scholar’s Program, Cambridge, MA

10.   June 14 - June 16, Chief, HQ USAFE-AFAFRICA Weapons and Tactics Branch, Ramstein AB, Germany

11.   Jun 16- Jun 17, Director of Operations, 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany

12.   Jun 17- Present, Squadron Commander, 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany


Rating:  Command pilot

Flight hours:  2,270

Aircraft Flown:  T-6, T-38, and F-16CM/CJ


United States Air Force Association Claire Chennault Award “Top Aerial Warfare Tactician,” 2011

Order of Daedalians Air Force Exceptional Pilot of the Year, 2010

Meritorious Service Medal with One Device

Air Medal with Five Devices

Air Force Commendation Medal with Three Devices

Joint Service Achievement Medal



Second Lieutenant                              May 2002

First Lieutenant                                    May 2004

Captain                                                  May 2006

Major                                                      May 2012

Lieutenant Colonel                             January 2016 

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