Colonel Brian “20” Hardeman is the Commander, 65th Air Base Group,
Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal. The group is composed of four squadrons
supporting supporting combatant commanders worldwide. He leads
over 1,200 men and women at two installations, Lajes Field, and Moron
Air Base, Spain and manages resources valued at $1.8 billion. The
group provides power projection platforms for US and Allied air
operations by maintaining combat support and global command and
control capabilities. Additionally, Colonel Hardeman serves as the
installation commander for US Forces at Lajes Field, fulfilling the duties
of the Commander, US Forces Azores in accordance with the US and
Portuguese bilateral agreements.
Col Hardeman entered the Air Force in 1987 as an enlisted member. He
served 13 years as a Loadmaster and Flight Engineer on the C-141B and
C-17A aircraft amassing over 5,300 hours. He served as an instructor
and evaluator, and held airdrop (heavy/personnel), Container Delivery System, Navy SEAL Boat Drop, and Special
Operations Low Level II qualifications. He received his commission in May 2000 from Officer Training School at
Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
In 2001, he graduated from Undergraduate Air Battle Manager training at Tyndall AFB,
Florida. His first operational assignment was to the 611th Air Control Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, after which
he was assigned to the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. Col Hardeman
was subsequently assigned as an Exchange Officer with the Royal Canadian Air Force as a Director of Operations
and Deputy Commander of a Radar Squadron, followed by an assignment as a staff officer at Headquarters Air
Combat Command. Following his staff assignment, Col Hardeman was reassigned to AWACS at Tinker AFB,
where he served as an Assistant Director of Operations and Deputy Commander for the 552d Operations Group.
As a Senior Enlisted Aircrew member and Master Air Battle Manager, Col Hardeman has flown in numerous
wartime, contingency, and Joint Staff directed operations to include the invasion of Panama, Operations DESERT
SHIELD, DESERT STORM, PROVIDE COMFORT, RESTORE HOPE, NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN
WATCH, NOBLE EAGLE, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, to name a few, and commanded combat
sorties during Operations INHERENT RESOLVE and FREEDOM’S SENTINAL, as well as the Resolute Support
Mission and Afghanistan Retrograde as a Mission Crew Commander/Section Lead In-Charge. Prior to his current
position, Col Hardeman was the Chief of the Mission Integration Division, Department of the Air Force, Chief
Architect Office, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
1995 Bachelor of Science, Professional Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2003 Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2006 Joint Air Operations Planning Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2006 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 Air Command and Staff College
2010 U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
2011 Naval Command and Staff College, Distinguished Graduate
2012 Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Distinguished Graduate
2019 Air War College, Excellent Graduate
2022 Area Studies Seminar (Transnational Issues), Alan L. Freed Associates, Washington, D.C.
1. July 1987 – March 2000, Loadmaster/Flight Engineer, various bases/squadrons
2. August 2000 – May 2001, Student, Undergraduate Air Battle Manager Training, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
3. May 2001 – May 2002, Air Weapons Officer, 611th Air Control Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
4. May 2002 – September 2003, Senior Director, 611th Air Control Squadron, Elmendorf AFB, Alaska
5. September 2003 – Jun 2005, E-3 Air Weapons Officer, 552d Air Control Wing, Tinker AFB, Okla.
6. June 2005 – July 2007, Instructor Senior Director, Deputy Chief, Squadron Training, Assistant Flight
Commander, Flight Commander, Executive Officer, 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
7. July 2007 – May 2008, Evaluator Senior Director, Deputy Chief, SQ Current Operations, 966th Airborne Air
Control Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
8. May 2008 – August 2009, Chief, Operations Group Standardization and Evaluation, Weapons Branch, 552d
Operations Group, Tinker AFB, Okla.
9. August 2009 – August 2010, Director of Operations, 42 Radar Squadron, CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
10. August 2010 – August 2012, Deputy Commander, 42 Radar Squadron, CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
11. August 2012 – June 2013, Deputy Chief, Air Defense, Ground Battle Management Branch, Langley AFB, Va.
12. June 2013 – August 2015, Deputy Chief, Air Defense, Combat Integration Branch, Langley AFB, Va.
13. August 2015 – January 2016, Student Mission Crew Commander, Operations Supervisor, 960th Airborne Air
Control Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
14. January 2016 – January 2017, Instructor Mission Crew Commander, Assistant Director of Operations, 960th
Airborne Air Control Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
15. January 2017 – June 2018, Deputy Commander, 552d Operations Group, Tinker AFB, Okla.
16. June 2018 – July 2020, Commander, First Air Force, Detachment 1, CFB Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
17. July 2020 – September 2021, Deputy Commander, 380th Expeditionary Operations Group, Al Dhafra AB,
18. September 2021 – August 2022, Chief, Mission Integration Division, HQ USAF, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va
19. August 2022 – Present, Commander, 65th Air Base Group, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal