Colonel Daniel C. Clayton is the Commander, 435th Air Ground Operations Wing (EUCOM) and the 435th Air Expeditionary Wing (AFRICOM), Ramstein Air Base, Germany. These specialized wings provide battlefield and expeditionary Airmen to combatant commanders and are capable of responding to humanitarian and contingency operations throughout the world. The two wings are comprised of 5 groups, 23 squadrons and more than 2,300 personnel across 15 installations in Germany, Italy and Africa. Specific areas of expertise include tactical air control-party, battlefield weather, air base opening and operations, command and control, aerial port, aircraft maintenance, security, theater-wide communications, personnel recovery, tactical airlift, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.
Colonel Clayton was commissioned in 1997 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He earned his wings at Sheppard AFB, Texas. He has served as an A-10 attack pilot, forward air controller (airborne), joint terminal attack controller, instructor pilot, examiner pilot, weapons officer and instructor at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School. He commanded at the squadron level from November 2012 until July 2014, at the 6th Combat Training Squadron, also known as the Air-Ground Operations School (AGOS), at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
Colonel Clayton is a command pilot with more than 2,700 flight hours and more than 400 hours of combat time.
1997 Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
2005 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
2005 Fighter Weapons Instructor Course, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, NV
2008 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2010 Master of Arts degree in Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Daytona Beach, FL
2011 Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS
2012 Air War College, by correspondence
2015 Master of Arts degree in National Resource Strategy, Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1. August 1997 – April 1998, Special Assistant, 5th Operations Support Squadron, MacDill AFB, FL
2. May 1998 – June 1999, Student, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, TX
3. July 1999 – August 1999, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, 435th Fighter Training Squadron, Randolph AFB, TX
4. January 2000 – June 2000, Student, A-10 Fighter Training Unit, 357th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
5. August 2000 – November 2003, A-10 Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot, 355th Fighter Squadron, Eielson AFB, AK
6. November 2003 – December 2004, Assistant Weapons Officer and A-10 Instructor Pilot, 51st Operational Support Squadron, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
7. December 2004 – July 2005, A-10 FTU Instructor Pilot, 358th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
8. July 2005 – December 2005, Student, A-10Weapons Instructor Course, 66th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV
9. January 2006 – January 2008, Weapons Officer and Assistant Operations Officer, 354th Fighter Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
10. January 2008 – January 2009, Chief, Standardization and Evaluation and A-10 Examiner Pilot, 51st Operations Group, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
11. January 2009 – June 2010, Deputy Chief, Combat Operations Division, 613th Air and Space Operations Center, Hickam AFB, HI
12. June 2010 – June 2011, Student, Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS
13. November 2011 – October 2012, Director of Operations, 75th Fighter Squadron, Moody AFB, GA
14. November 2012 – July 2014, Commander, 6th Combat Training Squadron, Nellis AFB, NV
15. July 2014 – June 2015, Student, Eisenhower School, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C.
16. June 2015 – March 2016, J7/JLLD Branch Chief, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington D.C.
17. March 2016 – August, 2017, Special Assistant to the Chairman, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, Washington D.C.
18. August 2017 – June 2018, Chief, Core Function Liaison, Air Combat Command Directorate of Plans, Programs and Requirements, the Pentagon, Washington D.C.
19. July 2018 – June 2019, Commander, 451st Air Expeditionary Group, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
20. August 2019 – present, Commander, 435th Air Ground Operations Wing and 435th Air Expeditionary Wing, Ramstein AB, Germany
JOINT DUTY ASSIGNMENTS:
1. June 2015 – March 2016, J7/JLLD Branch Chief, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington D.C.
2. March 2016 – August 2017, Special Assistant to the Chairman, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, Washington D.C.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight Hours: more than 2,700
Aircraft Flown: A-10, AT-38, T-38 and T-37
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Distinguished Flying Cross
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Combat Action Medal
1999 Distinguished Graduate, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals
2000 Distinguished Graduate, A-10 Fighter Training Unit
2007 Air Combat Command Operational Flying Weapons Officer of the Year
2007 Air Combat Command Daedalian Pilot of the Year
2009 Honor Graduate, Air Operations Center Initial Qualification Training
2015 Distinguished Graduate, Eisenhower School
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant May 28, 1997
First Lieutenant May 28, 1999
Captain May 28, 2001
Major Dec. 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel, Dec. 1, 2011
Colonel, Mar. 1, 2018
(Current as of August 2019)