Colonel Jesse R. Carlson 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, 133rd 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 Carlson oversees the organizing, equipping, and training of personnel for worldwide deployments to provide necessary capability to combatant commanders and the State of Minnesota.
Col. Carlson initially entered military service at the United States Air Force Academy in 1993. He graduated with military distinction in 1997 and was selected to attend Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training. Upon graduation from SUNT, Col. Carlson completed KC-135 Stratotanker Initial Qualification Training and was stationed at Grand Forks AFB, N.D. where he was named the 319th Air Refueling Wing Navigator of the Year in 2000. He joined the Minnesota Air National Guard in 2010 earning Distinguished Graduate honors at C-130 Hercules Initial Qualification and the C- 130 Instructor Navigator course. In addition to his navigator role, he served as the commander in two separate maintenance squadrons. In 2016, Col. Carlson was selected as a Humphrey Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota where he completed a 9-month course in public policy development. He has completed numerous deployments and flown missions supporting Operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn and Inherent Resolve in Iraq, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Resolute Hope in Yemen. Col. Carlson has more than 370 combat and combat support sorties and has been awarded the Air Medal and Aerial Achievement Medal. Prior to assuming his current position, Col. Carlson served as Commander, 133rd Operations Group.
1997 Bachelor of Science in Management, United States Air Force Academy, Colo
1999 Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training, Randolph AFB, Texas
1999 KC-135 Navigator Initial Qualification, Altus AFB, Okla.
2003 KC-135 Combat Flight Instructor Course, Altus AFB, Okla
2004 Master of Business Administration, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.
2010 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence
2010 C-130 Navigator Initial/Mission Qualification, Little Rock AFB, Ark
2013 C-130 Navigator Instructor Qualification, Little Rock AFB, Ark
2015 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2017 Accelerated Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2017 Policy Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn
2017 Air War College, by Correspondence
1. May 1997 – March 1999, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training, Pensacola NAS, FL and Randolph AFB, Texas
2. March 1999 – March 2000, KC-135 Navigator, 911th Air Refueling Squadron, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
3. March 2000 – March 2002, Executive Officer, 319th Operations Support Squadron, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
4. March 2002 – March 2003, Instructor Navigator, Operations Training, 319th Operations Support Squadron, Grand Forks
5. March 2003 – December 2004, Chief Evaluator Navigator, 319th Operations Group, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
6. February 2010 – January 2013, C-130H Navigator, 109th Airlift Squadron, St. Paul, Minn.
7. January 2013 – November 2014, Instructor Navigator, 109th Airlift Squadron, St. Paul, Minn.
8. November 2014 – August 2016, Chief of Tactics, Evaluator Navigator, 133rd Operations Support Squadron, St.
9. August 2016 – April 2018, Commander, 133rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, St. Paul, Minn.
10. April 2018 – September 2018, Commander, 133rd Maintenance Squadron, St. Paul, Minn.
11. September 2018 – May 2019, Deputy Commander, 133rd Operations Group, St. Paul, Minn.
12. May 2019 – Present, Commander, 133rd Operations Group, St. Paul, Minn.
13. March 2023 – Present, Commander, 133rd Airlift Wing, St. Paul, Minn.
Rating: Master Navigator
Flight Hours: More than 2900
Aircraft Flown: T-34, T-43, KC-135D/E/R/T, C-130E/H2/H3
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Medal with three devices
Aerial Achievement Medal with one device
Air Force Commendation Medal with two devices
1997 Graduate with Military Distinction from United States Air Force Academy
1999 Navigator of the Year, 319th Air Refueling Wing
2010 Distinguished Graduate – C-130 Initial Qualification
2013 Distinguished Graduate – C-130 Instructor Qualification
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
National Guard Association of the United States
American Legion Post #209
Veteran of Foreign Wars Post #4118
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 28, 1997
First Lieutenant May 28, 1999
Captain Feb. 27, 2004
Major Aug. 27, 2011
Lieutenant Colonel Feb. 20, 2016
Colonel Jan. 6, 2020
(Current as of March 2023)