Colonel Sean “Puck” Neitzke is the Vice Commander of the 53d Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The 53d Wing is comprised of nearly 2,600 military and civilian personnel across 69 units at 18 diverse locations throughout the United States. The 53rd Wing is responsible for fighter, bomber, combat search and rescue and remotely-piloted air vehicle operational testing, evaluation, and tactics development. Additionally, the wing is responsible for the Air Force’s Weapons System Evaluation Program, electronic warfare optimization and reprogramming for fighter and bomber weapons systems, and Advanced Program Networks.
Colonel Neitzke earned his commission in 1999 after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy. He has served as an instructor pilot, weapons officer, and U.S. Air Force Weapons School Instructor in the F-16. He has commanded at the squadron level, and served as a staff officer at NATO Air Command-Afghanistan. He is a Command Pilot with more than 2,000 flying hours and has supported combat operations Enduring Freedom, Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel, and Resolute Support. Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Neitzke served as the Director of Operations for the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force - Afghanistan, and NATO Air Command –Afghanistan, in Kabul.
1999 Bachelor of Science, Engineering Mechanics, US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2004 USAF Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 USAF Weapons Instructor Course, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2013 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2014 Master of Philosophy, Military Strategy, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- June 1999 – Sep 2000, Student Pilot, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
- Sep 2000 – Apr 2001, Student Pilot, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Randolph AFB, Texas
- Apr 2001 – Dec 2001, Student Pilot, F-16 Formal Training Unit, 308 Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
- Dec 2001 – Dec 2002, Electronic Combat Pilot, 35 Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, South Korea
- Jan 2003 – Jan 2004, Chief of Scheduling/F-16 Instructor, 13 Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
- Feb 2004 – Jun 2006, Project Officer/F-16 Instructor, 422 Test & Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
- Jul 2006 – Dec 2006, F-16 Student Pilot, USAF Weapons School, 16th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
- Jan 2007 – Jan 2009, Chief Weapons and Tactics, 55 Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
- Feb 2009 – Sep 2011, F-16 WIC Instructor & Academic ADO, 16 Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
- Sep 2011 – Jun 2012, Director of Operations, 64 Aggressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
- Jul 2012 – Jun 2013, Student, USAF Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- Jul 2013 – Jun 2014, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- Jul 2014 – Jul 2015, Director of Operations, 85 Test & Evaluation Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.
- Jul 2015 – Jul 2017, Commander, 86 Fighter Weapons Squadron, Eglin AFB, Fla.
- Jul 2017 – Apr 2019, Deputy Commander, 53d Test Management Group, Eglin AFB, Fla.
- May 2019 – June 2020, Director of Operations, 9 AETF-A / NAC-A, HQRS, Kabul, Afghanistan
- June 2020 – Present, Vice Commander, 53d Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla.
Rating: Command Pilot
Total flight hours: more than 2,000
Combat hours: 156
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38A, AT-38B, F-16C/D
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal (4 OLC)
Air Medal (2 OLC)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal (3 OLC)
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (3 OLC)
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
Combat Readiness Medal (1 OLC)
National Defense Service Medal (1 OLC)
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Korean Defense Service Medal
AF Overseas Ribbon Short
AF Overseas Ribbon Long
AF Longevity Service (5 OLC)
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
AF Training Ribbon
NATO Meritorious Service Medal
2000 Distinguished Graduate, SUPT
2001 Outstanding Graduate, F-16 Basic Course
2006 Outstanding Graduate, F-16 USAF Weapons School
2013 Distinguished Graduate, Air Command and Staff College
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant Jun 1999
First Lieutenant Jun 2001
Captain Jun 2003
Major Jan 2009
Lieutenant Colonel Dec 2013
Colonel Dec 2019
(Current as of Jul 2020)