Colonel Paul E. Henderson is the Vice Commander, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He assists the commander in accomplishing AFRL’s mission of leading the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. He plays a key role in directing the Air Force’s $2.1 billion science and technology program and an additional $2.3 billion in externally funded research and development. He is also responsible for a government workforce of approximately 6,000 people in the laboratory’s nine component technology directorates, and the 711th Human Performance Wing.
Colonel Henderson commissioned into the U.S. Air Force in 1992 after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He also holds master’s degrees in electrical engineering and strategic studies. Colonel Henderson has had a variety of technical and command positions, to include assignments as an aircraft maintenance officer, a research and development engineer, a flight test engineer, a program element monitor, and as a military assistant. He has served at the Secretary of the Air Force, Assistant Secretary of Defense, and Combatant Command levels, and has commanded at the Squadron and Group level.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
1992 Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
2000 U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, Calif.
2001 Master of Science, Electrical Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2006 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College
2012 Master of Science in National Resource Strategy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces
1. 1993-1995, Sortie Generation Flight Commander, 963d Airborne Air Control Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
2. 1995-1996, Maintenance Supervisor, 552d Component Repair Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
3. 1996-1998, Development Engineer, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
4. 1998-2001, Student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
5. 1999-2000, Student, United States Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, Calif.
6. 2001-2005, Test Director and Assistant Deputy of Operations, Munitions Test Division, Eglin AFB, Fla.
7. 2005-2006, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
8. 2006-2008, Program Element Monitor and Branch Chief, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
9. 2008-2009, Military Assistant, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
10. 2009-2010, Commander, 846th Test Squadron, Holloman AFB, N.M.
11. 2010-2011, Deputy Commander, 46th Test Group, Holloman AFB, N.M.
12. 2011-2012, Student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Ft. McNair, Washington D.C.
13. 2012-2014, Deputy Director, Plans and Programs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Developmental Test and Evaluation, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
14. 2014-2016, Commander, 782d Training Group, Sheppard AFB, Texas
15. 2016-2019, Deputy Director, Resources and Analysis Directorate, USSOUTHCOM, Miami, Fla.
16. 2019-Present, Vice Commander, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
(Current as of June 2019)