HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay



Colonel Jesse J. Friedel is the Commander of the 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan.  He commands a combat-ready F-16CM fighter wing composed of 3,100 personnel and sustains forces and facilities worth over two billion dollars.  Col. Friedel oversees an 11,400-person installation which supports eight associate units representing three U.S. military services (Air Force, Army and Navy) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. 

Col. Friedel received his commission from the United States Air Force Academy in May 1996.  He earned his pilot wings from Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB, Texas in 1998. Following his transition to the F-16, he served in multiple operational squadrons as an F-16 Mission Commander, Instructor Pilot, Weapons Instructor Pilot, and Flight Evaluator.  He was also an Operational Test & Evaluation Instructor Pilot in the 422nd and 59th Test and Evaluation Squadrons.  In addition, Col. Friedel served as the Air & Sea Branch Chief in the Force Application Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff J8 and the Operations and Training Branch Chief for United States Air Forces Europe.  During his European staff tour, he was selected to be a part of the Air Component Coordination Element as the Combat Air Forces Liaison Officer working with the Joint Task Force for Operation Odyssey Dawn.

Col. Friedel completed his squadron command tour as the 451st Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron commander at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.  His squadron was responsible for providing combat operations support to ten combat squadrons within an Air Expeditionary Wing at a Joint/NATO airfield in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  He has also flown in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Northern Watch, Noble Eagle and Republic of Korea defense obligations. Prior to his current position, Col. Friedel was the 51st Fighter Wing Vice Commander at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.  


1996 Bachelor of Science in General Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colo.

2003 United States Air Force Weapons Instructor Course, F-16 Division, Nellis AFB, Nev.

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

2007 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence

2008 Master of Business Administration and Management in Finance, Touro University International, Nev., by correspondence

2010 Master of Science in Operational Analysis, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

2012 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence

2017 Phase II, Joint Professional Military Education, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.  

2018 National Defense Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.



  1. January 1997 - February 1998, Student Pilot, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, 80 FTW, Sheppard AFB, Texas
  2. February 1998 - May 1998, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, 49 Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, Miss.
  3. May 1998 - November 1998, F-16 Student pilot, F-16 Initial Qualification Training, 308 FS, Luke AFB, Ariz.
  4. November 1998 - January 1999, F-16 Student, NVG/MANTIRN Course, 310 FS, Luke AFB, Ariz.
  5. January 1999 - January 2000, F-16CG Wingmen, Assistant Weapons Officer, 36 FS, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
  6. January 2000 - January 2001, F-16CG Wingmen, Assistant Standardization and Evaluation Officer, 421 FS, Hill AFB, Utah
  7. January 2001 - October 2001, F-16CG Flight Lead, Mission Commander, Wing Air/Ground Weapons Officer, 388 OSS, Hill AFB, Utah
  8. October 2001 - December 2002, F-16CG Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, NOBLE EAGLE Detachment CC, 421 FS, Hill AFB, Utah
  9. January 2003 - July 2003, Student, United States Air Force Weapons School, 16 WS, Nellis AFB, Nev.
  10. July 2003 - May 2006, F-16CJ Chief of Weapons, Flight Evaluator, Flight Commander, 23 FS, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
  11. May 2006 - April 2007, F-16CJ Chief of Weapons, Assistant Director of Operations, 389 FS, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
  12. April 2007 - December 2007, F-16 Operational Test Instructor Pilot, 422 Test & Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
  13. December 2007 - May 2009, F-16 Operational Test Instructor Pilot, Division Commander, 59 Test & Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
  14. May 2009 - July 2010, Student, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
  15. July 2010 - August 2012, Chief, HQ USAFE Operations and Training Branch, Ramstein AB, Germany
  16. September 2012 - April 2013, F-16CJ Instructor Pilot, Chief of Safety, Shaw AFB, S.C.
  17. April 2013 - January 2014, 451 EOSS Commander, Kandahar AB, Afghanistan
  18. January 2014 - April 2014, AFCENT/A3 (Forward) Deputy Director of Operations, Al Udeid AB, Qatar
  19. August 2014 - June 2017, Chief, Air & Sea Branch, J-8, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  20. June 2017 - July 2018, National Defense Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.
  21. July 2018 - June 2020, Vice Commander, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
  22. July 2020, Present, Commander, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa AB, Japan

August 2014 - June 2017 Chief, Air & Sea Branch, J-8, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. as a lieutenant colonel


Rating:  Command Pilot

Flight Hours:  more than 2,500

Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38, AT-38, F-16 Blk 25/30/40/42/50/52



Bronze Star Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal

Second Lieutenant May 29, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major April 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel June 1, 2011
Colonel August 1, 2017
(Current as of July 2020)


USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.