Colonel James Finlayson is the vice commander, 17th Training Wing, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. As principal assistant to the wing commander, he oversees two training groups, a mission support group and a medical group that provides training and support annually to more than 14,000 graduates in fire protection, special instruments and intelligence for the Department of Defense, other government agencies, and allied nations at Goodfellow AFB and at assigned units in California, Arizona and Florida. Colonel Finlayson directs 13 wing staff agencies and assists the commander in managing $1.5 billion in real property, equipment, supplies and contracts. He also provides support to Army, Navy and Marine Corps on-base units as well as seven other partner organizations.
Colonel Finlayson received his commission in 1997 from the Air Force Academy. Prior to this assignment, Colonel Finlayson served as the Chief of Staff, J2 Directorate for Intelligence, U.S. Strategic Command. Previous leadership assignments include serving as the commander of Regional Threats Analysis Squadron, National Air and Space Intelligence Center, and as Director of Operations, USSTRATCOM, Joint Intelligence Operations Center. He has also forward deployed on five occasions to Egypt, Qatar, Iraq, and Afghanistan in support of Operations BRIGHT START, IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.
1997 Bachelor of Science, History, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2000 Professional Masters of Business Administration, Troy University, San Antonio, Texas
2002 Squadron Officer’s School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2008 Juris Doctor, cum laude, Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nev.
2010 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2011 Air War College, by correspondence
2016 Doctor of Philosophy, summa cum laude, Organizational Development and Leadership, University of the Rockies, Denver, Colo.
1. May 1997 - June 1998, Admissions Advisor, Directorate of Admissions, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2. June 1998 - March 1999, Student, 315th Technical Training Squadron, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
3. March 1999 - May 2001, Chief, Intelligence, 9th Fighter Squadron, Holloman AFB, N.M.
4. May 2001 - December 2003, Command Briefer/Analyst, U.S. Central Command, Tampa, Fla.
5. December 2003 - January 2007, Flight Commander, 547th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
6. January 2007 - July 2009, Operations Officer, Functional Analysis Division, Security and Intelligence Directorate, U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla.
7. July 2009 - July 2010, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
8. July 2012 - July 2015, Deputy Division Chief, Targeting, Joint Staff J2, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
9. July 2015 - July 2017, Commander, Regional Threats Analysis Squadron, NASIC, Wright-Patterson, Ohio
10. July 2017 - July 2018, Deputy Commander, 365th ISR Group, Nellis AFB, Nev.
11. July 2018 - July 2019, Director of Operations, U.S. Strategic Command, JIOC, Offutt AFB, Neb.
12. July 2019 - May 2020, Chief of Staff, J2 Directorate for Intelligence, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
13. May 2020 - Present, Vice Commander, 17th Training Wing, Goodfellow AFB, Texas
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. May 2001 - December 2003, USCENTCOM, Tampa, Fla.
2. January 2007 - July 2009, USSOUTHCOM, Miami, Fla.
3. July 2012 - July 2015, Joint Staff J2, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
4. July 2019 - May 2020, USSTRATCOM, Offutt AFB, Neb.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 28, 1997
First Lieutenant May 28, 1999
Captain May 28, 2001
Major December 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2012
Colonel September 1, 2018
(Current as of June 2020)