Colonel Stephen J Nester is the Commander of the 442d Fighter Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit with headquarters at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. He is responsible for the combat readiness of approximately 1,300 Air Force reservists and 24 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft at Whiteman AFB and a geographically separated unit; the 476th Fighter Group at Moody AFB, Ga.

Prior to his role as 442 FW Commander, Col Nester was mobilization assistant to the A3/A6 Pacific Air Forces Director. In this capacity, he advises and coordinates with numbered air forces and various wings to facilitate all air, cyber, and space operations in the INDOPACOM theater.

Col Nester received his commission from Officer Candidate School in February 1992 and entered the Air Force Reserve subsequently at Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana. He is a veteran of numerous combat operations and contingencies in support of national objectives.

Col Nester is a command pilot with more than 3000 hours in the A-10 attack aircraft, and has flown in support of Operations Deny Flight, Southern Watch, Northern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom. Col Nester is also employed by a major airline as a Boeing 777 first officer.



1991 Bachelor of Science, Southern Illinois University

1999 Squadron Officer School, by correspondence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2002 Air to Ground Operation School, Nellis AFB, Nev.

2010 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2015 Army War College & Master’s Degree, by correspondence, Carlisle Barracks, Penn.



  1. February 1992–February 1993, Student Pilot, undergraduate pilot training, Reese AFB, Tex.
  2. May 1993–August 1993, A-10 Student Pilot, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
  3. August 1993–August 1994, A-10 Pilot, 45th Fighter Squadron, Grissom AFB, Ind. (Aviano Air Base, Italy in support of Operation Deny Flight)
  4. August 1994–August 2001, A-10 Pilot, Aircrew Flight Equipment Officer, 303d Fighter Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo. (Aviano AB, Italy, Al Jaber, Kuwait, Incirlik AB, Turkey in support of Operation Deny Flight, Southern Watch, and Northern Watch as a first lieutenant and a captain.)
  5. August 2001–August 2008, A-10 Flight Commander, 303d Fighter Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo. (Tallil AB, Iraq, Kirkuk AB, Iraq, and Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom as a captain and a major)
  6. August 2008–September 2011, A-10 Assistant Deputy of Operations, 303d Fighter Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo. (Operation Enduring Freedom, Bagram AF, Afghanistan, as a major)
  7. August 2011–September 2013, Commander, 303d Fighter Squadron, Whiteman AFB, Mo. (Operation Enduring Freedom, Kandahar AB and Bagram AF, Afghanistan, as a lieutenant colonel)
  8. September 2013–September 2016, Deputy Group Commander, 442d Operations Group, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
  9. September 2016–September 2018, J7 and J35 Senior Joint Operations Officer, Hampton Roads/Suffolk, Va.
  10. September 2018–December 2020, Vice Wing Commander, 442d Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.
  11. December 2020-Present, Mobilization Assistant to Pacific Air Forces A3, Joint Base Pearl Harbor, HI



Rating: Command Pilot

Flight hours: More than 3000

Aircraft flown: T-38, A-10 and OA-10



Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with ten oak leaf clusters

Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster

Air Force Commendation Medal

Air Force Combat Action Medal

Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

Combat Readiness Medal



Second Lieutenant Feb 12, 1992

First Lieutenant March 15, 1994

Captain Oct 8, 1998

Major Apr 20, 2005

Lieutenant Colonel 23 Aug, 2011

Colonel Sep 01, 2016


(Current as of Nov 2021)