Brig. Gen. Tad D. Clark is the Commander, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy. He commands the only permanently assigned U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft wing in NATO’S Southern Region. With approximately 4,200 active-duty military members, nearly 300 U.S. civilians and 700 Italian civilian employees, the wing conducts and supports air combat operations, and maintains munitions for NATO.
The wing’s diverse mission sets are executed by Airmen that fly, maintain and support two F-16CM Fighting Falcon fighter squadrons, two combat search and rescue squadrons with pararescue Airmen and HH-60 Pavehawks, U.S. Air Forces Europe’s only air control squadron, agile combat support squadrons, medical squadrons and numerous wing staff agencies.
Brigadier General Clark received his commission in 1996 from the U.S. Air Force Academy and earned his wings from Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base. Brigadier General Clark has served as an F-16 Mission Commander, Instructor Pilot, and Flight Examiner, led NATO’s largest Link-16 large force exercise comprised of 85 aircraft, and was a member of the 2006-2007 USAF ‘Thunderbirds’ Air Demonstration Squadron. He has commanded at the squadron and wing levels.
Brigadier General Clark is a command pilot with over 3,300 flying hours in the T-37, T-38, AT-38, and F-16. He flew 118 missions in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM with multiple expeditionary fighter squadrons culminating in more than 600 combat hours in the F-16.
Prior to his current assignment, Brig. Gen Clark was the Director of Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) Superiority, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia.
1996 Bachelor of Science in Management, USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2001 Masters in Business Administration, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas
2005 Tactical Leadership Programme, Florennes Air Base, Belgium
2007 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2010 Masters in Strategic Intelligence, National Intelligence University, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.
2012 Air War College, by correspondence
2014 Masters in National Security Strategy, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
2014 Joint Electromagnetic Warfare Theater Operations Course, San Antonio, Texas
2018 Senior Leader Nuclear Management Course, USAF Nuclear College, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico
2019 Senior Executive Education, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Mass.
ASSIGNMENTS OR CAREER CHRONOLOGY
1. Jan 1997 – Feb 1998, Student Pilot, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, 80 FTW, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. Mar 1998 – Apr 2001, T-37 First Assignment Instructor Pilot, Check Section Pilot, 89 FTS, Sheppard AFB, Texas
3. May 2001 – Jun 2001, AT-38 Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, 88 FTS, Sheppard AFB, Texas
4. Jul 2001 – Apr 2002, F-16 Basic Course, 61 FS, Luke AFB, Ariz.
5. May 2002 – Jun 2002, F-16 Night Systems Course, 310 FS, Luke AFB, Ariz.
6. Jul 2002 – Jul 2003, F-16 Flight Lead, Chief of Life Support, Chief of Safety, 35 FS, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
7. Aug 2003 – Oct 2005, F-16 Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Chief of Scheduling, 22 FS, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
8. Nov 2005 – Dec 2007, USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, the ‘Thunderbirds’, Nellis AFB, Nev.
9. Jan 2008 – Jun 2009, Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, USAF Warfare Center, and F-16 Adversary Tactics Pilot, IR Missile Expert, 64th Aggressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
10. Jul 2009 – Jul 2010, Graduate Student, National Intelligence University, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.
11. Aug 2010 – Mar 2012, Division Chief, Sr Leader Mgt, HQ Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.
12. Apr 2012 – Apr 2013, Commander, 451st Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, Kandahar, Afghanistan
13. Jul 2013 – Jun 2014, Graduate Student, National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
14. Jul 2014 – May 2017, Joint Staff Officer, US Africa Command (USAFRICOM), Stuttgart, Germany
15. Jun 2017 – May 2019, Vice Commander, 52d Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
16. May 2019 – Jun 2020, Commander, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
17. Jul 2020 – Jul 2021, Senior Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Pentagon, Washington,
18. Jul 2021 – Jul 2022, Director, Electromagnetic Spectrum Superiority, HQ Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
19. Jul 2022 – Present, Commander, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano AB, Italy
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. Jul 2014 – Jun 2015, Command Electronic Warfare Officer & Chief, Joint Cyber Center (J39), USAFRICOM, Stuttgart, Germany as a Lieutenant Colonel
2. Jul 2015 – Jun 2016, Deputy Division Chief, Information & Cyberspace Operations (J39), USAFRICOM, Stuttgart, Germany as a Lieutenant Colonel
3. Jul 2016 – May 2017, Senior Executive Officer, Deputy Commander, USAFRICOM, Stuttgart, Germany as a Colonel
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: 3,300+
Combat Hours: 600+
Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-16, EA-18G, HH-60
Primary aircraft: F-16
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major May 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel Dec 1, 2010
Colonel Mar 1, 2017
Brigadier General 2 September 2022
(CURRENT AS OF JANUARY 2023)