Selected for reassignment as Director, Strategy, Policy and Plans, U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla.
Brig. Gen. Mark E. Stearns is Vice Commander, 12th Air Force and U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Twelfth Air Force ensures the operational readiness of seven active-duty wings and three direct reporting units in the western and midwestern United States. The wings possess 430 aircraft and more than 33,000 active-duty military and civilian personnel, with an additional 20,500 people and more than 275 aircraft assigned as gained units of the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. His duties also involve overseeing U.S. Air Force assets provided to U.S. Southern Command in Central and South America as vice commander of the air component for that unified command.
General Stearns entered the Air Force after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1979. He is a command pilot with more than 4,100 hours of flying time in the C-141, KC-10, and C-130 aircraft, and in the UH-1 helicopter. The general has served in staff assignments at Headquarters U.S. Air Force and the Joint Staff.
Before assuming his current position, he was Commander of the 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
1979 Bachelor of Science degree in engineering sciences, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
1983 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1985 Master of Science degree, University of Northern Colorado
1992 Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
1996 National Security Studies, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
1. June 1979 - June 1980, student, undergraduate helicopter training, Fort Rucker, Ala.
2. June 1980 - July 1984, aircraft commander, instructor pilot, flight examiner, and Chief, Aircrew Standardization and Evaluation, 37th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.
3. July 1984 - June 1985, IG Helicopter Weapons System Safety Manager, Military Airlift Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
4. June 1985 - January 1987, executive officer for the Command Secretariat, MAC, Scott AFB, Ill.
5. January 1987 - January 1988, student, undergraduate pilot training, Randolph AFB, Texas
6. January 1988 - September 1989, C-141 pilot and aircraft commander, Charleston AFB, S.C.
7. September 1989 - July 1990, Chief of Operations, Special Operations Division, 437th Military Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, S.C.
8. July 1990 - June 1991, assistant operations officer, 76th Military Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.
9. June 1991 - June 1992, student, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
10. June 1992 - November 1993, member, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Operations Group, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
11. November 1993 - April 1995, Commander, 20th Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
12. April 1995 - July 1995, Deputy Commander, 60th Operations Group, Travis AFB, Calif.
13. July 1995 - July 1996, National Defense Fellow, Air Force Institute of Technology, Colorado Springs, Colo.
14. July 1996 - July 1997, executive assistant for Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs, J5, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
15. July 1997 - July 1998, Deputy Division Chief, Asia-Pacific Division, J5, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
16. July 1998 - April 1999, Deputy Commander, 305th Operations Group, McGuire AFB, N.J.
17. April 1999 - November 2000, Commander, 305th Operations Group, McGuire AFB, N.J.
18. November 2000 - October 2001, Deputy Director for Operations, U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
19. October 2001 - July 2003, Commander, 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota AB, Japan
20. July 2003 - present, Vice Commander, 12th Air Force and U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,100
Aircraft flown: UH/TH-1, T-37, T-38, C-141, C-130, C-21, C-9 and KC-10
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 30, 1979
First Lieutenant May 30, 1981
Captain May 30, 1983
Major Dec. 1, 1988
Lieutenant Colonel April 1, 1992
Colonel Aug. 1, 1998
Brigadier General Jan. 1, 2004