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Brigadier General James D. Latham:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired Aug. 1, 1997.  
Brigadier General James D. Latham is assistant deputy under secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs (SAF/IA), Washington, D.C. SAF/IA is responsible for formulating and integrating United States Air Force policy with regards to politico-military affairs, security assistance, technology and information disclosure issues and attache affairs in support of U.S. government objectives.
The general entered the Air Force in March 1969 after receiving his commission through the Kansas State University Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He has commanded a tactical fighter squadron, two fighter wings, a composite wing, Squadron Officer School, the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, and the Thunderbirds, the Air Force's elite air demonstration team. He also flew as the team's right wingman for two seasons. He is a command pilot with more than 5,000 hours, including 383 combat missions in Southeast and Southwest Asia. A former prisoner of war, the general spent six months in captivity in North Vietnam after being shot down while on a combat mission in October 1972.
EDUCATION
1969 Bachelor of science degree in psychology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.
1976 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1981 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
1987 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
ASSIGNMENTS
1. March 1969 - March 1970, student, pilot training, 71st Flying Training Wing, Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
2. March 1970 - August 1970, student, survival training school, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., and student, OV-10 pilot training, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
3. August 1970 - August 1971, OV-10 forward air controller, 56th Special Operations Wing, Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand
4. August 1971 - May 1972, student, F-4 pilot training, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
5. May 1972 - October 1972, F-4 pilot, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand
6. October 1972 - March 1973, prisoner of war in North Vietnam
7. June 1973 - October 1973, T-38 pilot requalification training, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, and F-4 pilot requalification, George Air Force Base, Calif.
8. October 1973 - November 1976, F-4 pilot, 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.
9. November 1976 - November 1978, squadron and wing weapons officer, 43rd and 18th Tactical Fighter Squadrons, 21st Composite Wing, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska
10. November 1978 - November 1979, right wingman, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
11. November 1979 - January 1981, operations officer and right wingman, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
12. January 1981 - September 1981, student, Armed Forces Staff College, National Defense University, Norfolk, Va.
13. October 1981 - June 1982, F-16 weapons officer and flight commander, 430th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 474th Tactical Fighter Wing, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
14. June 1982 - February 1984, commander and leader, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
15. May 1984 - July 1986, commander, 16th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah
16. July 1986 - June 1987, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
17. June 1987 - July 1989, executive officer to the director, Defense Security Assistance Agency, Office for the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
18. August 1989 - August 1990, vice commander, 432nd Tactical Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan
19. August 1990 - July 1992, commander, 432nd Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan
20. August 1992 - June 1993, commandant, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
21. June 1993 - August 1994, commandant, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
22. August 1994 - August 1995, commander, 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. (April - July 1995, commander, 4404th Composite Wing (Provisional), Dhahran, Saudi, Arabia
23. September 1995 - present, assistant deputy under secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, Washington, D.C.
FLIGHT INFORMATION
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 5,000, including 383 combat missions in Southeast and Southwest Asia
Aircraft flown: OV-10, F-4, T-38 and F-16
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Silver Star with oak leaf cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross with four oak leaf clusters
Bronze Star Medal with "V" device
Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters
Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster
OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS
Air Force Association's David C. Schilling Award
Outstanding Flying Award (Fighter Weapons Instructor Course)
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Feb 2, 1969
First Lieutenant Sep 21, 1970
Captain Mar 21, 1972
Major Jun 1, 1980
Lieutenant Colonel Mar 1, 1984
Colonel Jul 1, 1988
Brigadier General Aug 1, 1993

 

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