James D. Cleet is the Commander of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard, Saint Paul, Minn. He leads more than 1,200 Airmen assigned to the wing, including the 133rd Operations Group which includes the 109th Airlift Squadron, the 133rd Maintenance Group, 133d Medical Group, and the 133rd Mission Support Group. In addition, the wing provides support to the 210th Engineering Installation Squadron and 208th Weather Flight. Colonel Cleet oversees the organizing, equipping, and training of personnel for worldwide deployments to provide necessary capability to combatant commanders and the State of Minnesota.
Colonel Cleet entered the Air Force in 1991 as a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. He graduated from Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas on Sept. 12, 1992 and was appointed as Lead Flight Test Engineer on the B-2A Stealth Bomber, Air Force Materiel Command. Colonel Cleet completed initial F-16 training in April 1996. Subsequently, he served as an operational F-16 pilot with assignments in PACAF, USAFE, ACC, AFCENT and the Air National Guard while supporting Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, DESERT FOX, NORTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and NOBLE EAGLE. He is a command pilot with more than 3,900 flying hours in the C-130 and F-16 and has flown more than 200 combat sorties, totaling more than 760 combat hours.
Colonel Cleet joined the Minnesota National Guard on August 17, 2004 and has served as a Weapons Officer, Director of Operations, and Squadron Commander at the 148th Fighter Wing, and then as Director of Operations at Joint Force Headquarters. In 2015, Colonel Cleet joined the 133rd Airlift Wing, and served as the Air Operations Officer and Group Commander for the 133rd Operations Group. Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Cleet was the Vice Commander for the 133rd Airlift Wing.
1991 Bachelor of Science, United States Air Force Academy, Honor Graduate
1997 Squadron Officers School, Distinguished Graduate
1999 Air Force Weapons Instructor Course
2007 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2009 Air War College, by correspondence
2016 Joint Combined Warfighting School, Hybrid
2018 Director of Mobility Forces Course
July 1991 – October 1992, Student Pilot Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
October 1992 – March 1993, B2A Human Factors Engineer, 422nd Test & Evaluation Squadron, Edwards AFB, Calif.
March 1993 – June 1995, B2A Lead Flight Test Engineer, 422nd Test & Evaluation Squadron, Edwards AFB, Calif.
June 1995 – February 1996, Student, F-16 RTU, 63rd Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
February 1996 – March 1996, Asst. Chief, Standardization and Evaluation, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
March 1996 – October 1997, Chief of Plans and Mobility, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa AB, Japan
October 1997 – July 1999, Flight Commander, 35th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, Korea
July 1999 – December 1999, Student, USAF Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
December 1999 – November 2000, Chief Weapons and Tactics, 35th Fighter Squadron, Kunsan AB, Korea
November 2000 – April 2002, Chief Weapons, Tactics & Intelligence, 22nd Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
April 2002 – August 2003, Chief Wing Weapons and Tactics, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
August 2003 – August 2004, Chief Wing Inspections, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
August 2004 – November 2006, Chief Wing Weapons and Tactics, 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn.
November 2007 – May 2008, Fighter Enhancement Program Manager & Weapons Officer, 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn.
May 2008 – August 2011, Director of Operations, 179th Fighter Squadron, 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn.
August 2011 – February 2014, Commander, 148th Operational Support Squadron/Advanced Program Manager, Duluth, Minn.
February 2014 – February 2015, Director of Operations-Air/A3, MNANG, Joint Forces Headquarters, St. Paul, Minn.
February 2015 – September 2016, Air Operations Officer, 133rd Operations Group, St. Paul, Minn.
September 2016 – September 2018, Commander, 133rd Operations Group, St. Paul, Minn.
September 2018 – August 2019, Vice Commander, 133rd Airlift Wing, St. Paul, Minn.
August 2019 - Present, Commander, 133rd Airlift Wing, St. Paul, Minn.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 3,900 hours
Aircraft Flown: C-130H3, F-16C+/D/CJ/CM, T-38
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with Valor and nine oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
National Guard Association of the United States, Life Member
Air Force Association, Life Member
Society of Wild Weasels, Life Member
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 29, 1991
First Lieutenant May 29, 1993
Captain May 29, 1995
Major April 1, 2002
Lieutenant Colonel Nov. 27, 2007
Colonel March 21, 2014
(Current as of May 2021)