Colonel Raymond A. Smith, Jr., is the commander of the 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He commands 19 units with an inventory of nine C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and more than 2,000 Airmen with a mission to provide unrivalled airlift and agile combat support across the spectrum of military operations. The wing provides worldwide movement of high priority personnel and cargo. Missions range from local pilot proficiency training, aeromedical evacuation and worldwide strategic airlift, to night-vision goggle, low-level, short-field assault operations.                                                                                                              

Colonel Smith is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and entered active duty through the United States Army Warrant Officer Flight Training program. He graduated rotary wing pilot training at Fort Rucker, Ala., and was assigned to Fort Campbell, Ky., as an UH-60A medical evacuation “DUSTOFF” pilot. He was awarded a direct commission to lieutenant and reassigned to the 236th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), Landstuhl, Germany, where the colonel performed as a section and platoon leader. Col Smith transferred to the United States Air Force and served as an HH-60G combat search and rescue (CSAR) pilot stationed at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., and Patrick AFB, Fla.

Colonel Smith began fixed-wing qualification in 2004 and served the strategic & DV airlift communities since 2005. Col Smith is a command pilot and dual rated instructor with more than 5,500 flying hours primarily in the HH-60, C-5, C-17 and C-40.

Colonel Smith has held numerous leadership and command positions, most recently as chief, deployment and distribution operations center, U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Illinois, where he was responsible to the commander USTRANSCOM for directing global in-execution end-to-end distribution activities for the Defense Transportation System and was the command’s lead for the Joint Staff/OSD/GCC crisis action operations and the primary focal point for movement execution to satisfy National Command authority objectives.


1987 Bachelor of Science, Management, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights.

1990 Warrant Officer Candidate School & Flight Training, Fort Rucker, Ala.

1998 Aviation Mishap Investigation Course, Kirtland AFB, N.M.

2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2004 Fixed Wing Qualification Course, Vance AFB, Okla.

2008 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence.

2014 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2016 USAF Group Commander’s Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2016 USAF Senior Leaders Mission Generation Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2016 Masters of Science, Homeland Security, University of Management and Technology, Arlington, Va.

2016 Safety and Accident Investigation Board President Course, Kirtland AFB, N.M.

2016 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

2017 Mobility Commander’s Tactics Course, St. Joseph Air National Guard Base, Mo.

2017 AFRC Group and Wing Commander’s Course, Robins AFB, Ga.

2017 Director of Mobility Forces, Hurlburt Field, Fla.


1. April 1990 – October 1991, Student, Warrant Officer Flight Training program, Fort Rucker, Ala.

2. October 1991 – January 1992, Student, UH-60 Advanced Qualification Training, Fort Rucker, Ala.

3. January 1992 – September 1993, UH-60 DUSTOFF Pilot, 50th Medical Company (AA), Fort Campbell, Ky.

4. January 1994 – December 1996, UH-60 Medical Evacuation Platoon Leader, 236th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), Landstuhl, Germany

5. January 1997 –. December 2000, Chief of Safety/Pilot, 41st Rescue Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga

6. December 2000 – February 2004, Instructor/Chief of Scheduling, 301st Rescue Squadron, Patrick AFB, Fla.

7. February 2004 – March 2005, Student, T-37/T-1 Fixed-Wing Qualification Training, Vance AFB, Okla.

8. April 2005 – June 2010, Chief of Scheduling/C-5 Mobility Aircraft Commander, 337th Airlift Squadron, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

9. June 2010 – August 2011, Group Plans Officer, 439th Operational Support Squadron, Westover ARB, Mass.

10. August 2011 – December 2012, C-5 Instructor/Assistant Director Operations, 439th Operational Support Squadron, Westover ARB, Mass.

11. January 2013 – May 2013, Student, C-17 Aircraft Commander Initial Qualification Course, Altus AFB, Okla.

12. May 2013 – May 2016, Director of Operations, 89th Airlift Squadron, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio

13. May 2016 – October 2017, Commander, 932nd Operations Group, Scott AFB, Ill.

14. October 2017 – December 2018, Commander, 932nd Airlift Wing, Scott AFB, Ill.

15. January 2019 – January 2020, Chief, Deployment and Distribution Operations Center, USTRANSCOM, Scott AFB, Ill. 

16. January 2020 – Present, Commander, 445th Airlift Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio


Rating: command pilot

Flight Hours:  more than 5,500

Aircraft flown: UH-1, OH-58, UH-60, HH-60G, T-37, T-1, C-5, C-17, and C-40C


Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with oak leaf cluster

Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Meritorious Unit Award

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and three oak leaf clusters  

Combat Readiness Medal with eight oak leaf clusters

National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Armed Forces Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal with two bronze service stars

NATO Medal


Second Lieutenant Sept. 1, 1993

First Lieutenant Sept. 1, 1995

Captain Sept. 1, 1997

Major March 25, 2003

Lieutenant Colonel March 25, 2010

Colonel June 1, 2017

(Current as of Oct 2020)