New USAFE vice commander arrives

by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson
U.S. Air Forces in Europe Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. Noel T. Jones officially assumed his new position as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe vice commander today on Ramstein.

Jones has been selected for promotion and will pin on the rank of lieutenant general in August.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be selected as the vice commander for USAFE,” Jones said. “I look forward to working with the men and women of USAFE as well as our NATO and African partners.”

Jones came to USAFE from Washington where he was the director, Operational Capability Requirements, deputy chief of staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.

In this position he was responsible for supporting major commands in developing and evaluating requirements for Air Force-wide modernization programs, including fighters, bombers, mobility aircraft, space systems, command and control, munitions, missile defense, and Air Force irregular warfare requirements.

Additionally, he chaired the Air Force Requirements Oversight Council and was responsible for shaping and finalizing capabilities-based requirements documents for approval by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council.

The general was commissioned in 1980 following graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He completed undergraduate pilot training in 1981 and has served as an F-16 Fighting Falcon instructor pilot and an operations officer.

Jones has also commanded a fighter squadron, operations group, the 332nd Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a fighter wing.

In addition, the general was director, Strategic Plans and Assessment, U.S. Forces-Iraq, U.S. Central Command and held staff assignments at North American Aerospace Defense Command, Air Combat Command and the National Security Agency.

He is a command pilot with more than 3,500 flying hours, primarily in the F-16, including combat sorties over Iraq in operations Southern Watch, Desert Fox and Iraqi Freedom.

The major decorations Jones holds include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star.