Retired Aug. 1, 1997.
Major General Nels Running is vice commander, 12th Air Force and U.S. Southern Command Air Forces, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The command is comprised of eight active-duty wings in the Western and Midwestern United States and Panama with more than 450 aircraft and 35,000 active-duty military and civilian personnel. He also assists the commander in ensuring the operational readiness of 12th Air Force gained units of the Air Reserve and Air National Guard, featuring an additional 21,000 people and more than 360 aircraft. 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 to that unified command. He also serves as the Air Force vice commander of Component Task Force 224, the battle management arm of U.S. Strategic Command.
The general is a native of Frenchtown, Mont. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1964 with a bachelor of science degree in military science. He served two tours in Vietnam, where he amassed 274 combat missions in the F-105. After his second Vietnam tour, General Running flew the F-4E with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Later, he commanded the Pacific Air Forces' Aggressor Squadron in F-5Es at Clark Air Base, Philippines, and then flew the F-4D and F-16 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. Later he commanded the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing at Kunsan, then served as deputy director for international negotiations, J-5, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. Other key positions have included director of plans, policy, doctrine, simulations and analysis at U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., and deputy chief of staff for the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces Korea.
General Running is a command pilot with more than 3,800 flying hours.
1964 Bachelor's degree in military science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1968 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
1974 Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
1979 National War College, Washington, D.C.
1988 Senior officials in National Security Course, Harvard University, Mass.
1991 Senior Executives in National and International Affairs Course, Harvard University, Mass.
1. July 1964 - August 1965, student, pilot training, Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
2. September 1965 - March 1966, student, F-105 combat crew training, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
3. March 1966 - November 1966, F-105 pilot, 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand
4. November 1966 - May 1969, F-5 instructor pilot, 4441st Combat Crew Training Squadron, Williams Air Force Base, Ariz.
5. June 1969 - July 1970, F-105 pilot, 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand
6. August 1970 - November 1971, command plans and programs officer, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
7. November 1971 - January 1974, demonstration pilot and squadron operations officer, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
8. June 1974 - July 1978, Southeast Asia desk officer and acting division chief, Pacific-East Asia division, directorate of plans and policy, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
9. October 1979 - February 1980, F-4D pilot, 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan
10. July 1980 - March 1981, commander, 26th Tactical Fighter Aggressor Squadron, Clark Air Base, Philippines
11. June 1981 - May 1982, deputy commander for operations, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea
12. June 1982 - November 1982, vice commander, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea
13. November 1982 - May 1984, chief, House Liaison Office, Air Force Legislative Liaison Office, Washington, D.C.
14. June 1984 - May 1985, director of inspection, Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii
15. May 1985 - June 1986, commander, 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea
16. June 1986 - June 1988, deputy director for bases and units, then deputy director of international programs, deputy chief of staff, programs and resources, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
17. June 1988 - January 1990, assistant deputy director, then deputy director for international negotiations, J-5, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.
18. January 1990 - May 1992, director of plans, policy, doctrine, simulations and analysis, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
19. June 1992 - November 1995, deputy chief of staff, United Nations Command and U.S. Forces Korea, Seoul, South Korea
20. November 1995 - 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 3,800
Aircraft flown: F-105D, F-5 A/E, F-4 D/E and F-16A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross with six oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with 25 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars
Order of National Security Merit, Cheon-Su Medal (Korea)
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Jun 3, 1964
First Lieutenant Dec 3, 1965
Captain Dec 3, 1967
Major Oct 29, 1970
Lieutenant Colonel Oct 24, 1976
Colonel Mar 11, 1981
Brigadier General Aug 1, 1988
Major General Jul 1, 1992