Colonel Stephen P. Snelson is the Vice Commander, 62nd Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He assists the commander in ensuring the readiness of more than 2,400 active-duty military and civilian personnel, along with 48 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, to support worldwide combat and humanitarian airlift and airdrop operations. He is also charged with overseeing the wing's programs on human resource management, environmental issues, installations security and readiness.

In addition, the 62nd AW serves as the primary active-duty wing in support of Operation DEEP FREEZE, partnering with Reserve, Guard, and civilian agencies, to provide airlift support for the National Science Foundation's U.S. Antarctic Program. The wing also provides mission support to the 446th Airlift Wing (Associate).

Colonel Snelson was commissioned in May 1997 as a Distinguished Graduate of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. He served in various squadron flying positions, including Chief of Special Operations and Chief of Standardizations and Evaluations.  He has flown operational missions worldwide including combat missions in support of Operations ALLIED FORCE, SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and NEW DAWN.

Colonel Snelson served in the C-17 Program Integration Office at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii where he planned the arrival of the Pacific’s first strategic airlift aircraft and served as initial cadre. After serving in the HQ Pacific Air Force Commander’s Action Group, he served as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, Pacific Air Forces. He also served two years on the Joint Staff before taking command of the 305th Operations Support Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. Prior to his current position, Colonel Snelson was the executive officer to the commander, Air Mobility Command.



1997  Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.

2003  Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

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

2009  Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

2009  Intermediate Service School, CSAF POLAD Fellowship, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

2010  Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence

2014  Masters of Strategic Science, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.





1.  October 1997 - October 1998, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas

2.  October 1998 - February 2002, C-17 Instructor Pilot, 15th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.

3.  February 2002 - January 2005, Evaluator Pilot, Flight Commander, Chief of Special Operations, Special Operations Planner, 16th Airlift Squadron, Charleston AFB, S.C.

4.  January 2005 - November 2005, Operations Planner, C-17 Program Integration Office, Hickam AFB, Hawaii

5.  November 2005 - July 2006, Evaluator Pilot, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 535th Airlift Squadron, Hickam AFB, Hawaii

6.  July 2006 - July 2007, Action Officer, COMPACAF Action Group, Hickam AFB, Hawaii

7.  July 2007 - May 2008, Aide-de-Camp, COMPACAF, Hickam AFB, Hawaii

8.  May 2008 - May 2009, Foreign Policy Fellow, Office of the Political Advisor to the CSAF, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

9.  May 2009 - June 2011, Political-Military Planner, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

10.  June 2011 - June 2013, Commander, 305th Operations Support Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

11.  June 2013 - June 2014, Student, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.

12.  June 2014 - July 2016, Executive Officer to the Commander, Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.

13.  July 2016 - Present, Vice Commander, 62nd Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.




May 2009 - June 2011, Political-Military Planner, Strategic Plans and Policy, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.



Rating:  Command Pilot

Flight hours:  More than 3,000

Aircraft flown: T-37, T-1, C-17 and KC-10 




Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster

Air Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster

Joint Service Achievement Medal



Second Lieutenant June 12, 1997

First Lieutenant June 12, 1999

Captain June 12, 2001

Major April 1, 2007

Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 1, 2010

Colonel May 1, 2016


(Current as of July 2016)