Brig. Gen. Darren V. James is Vice Commander, 18th Air Force, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. As Air Mobility Command's sole warfighting numbered air force, 18th Air Force is responsible for the command’s worldwide operational mission of providing rapid, global mobility, and sustainment for America’s armed forces through airlift, aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and contingency response. With approximately 39,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and approximately 1,100 aircraft, the 18th Air Force manages the global air mobility enterprise through the 618th Air Operations Center, 12 wings, and one stand-alone group.
General James received his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1990. He has served in multiple operational and training assignments and logged more than 5,900 hours in the C-5, C-17, KC-135, T-1A, and T-37. His notable staff assignments include Deputy Director, Operations and Plans Directorate, U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Transportation Command Liaison Officer to U.S. Pacific Command, Aide-de-Camp to the 18th Air Force Commander and the Tanker Airlift Control Center Deputy Chief of the Tanker Allocation Division.
General James commanded the 71st Flying Training Wing and the 9th Airlift Squadron. Prior to his current assignment, General James was the Commander, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
1990 Bachelor of Science, human factors engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1997 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2003 Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2003 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Air War College, by correspondence, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2009 Master of Science, national resource strategy, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2011 U.S. Air Force Enterprise Leadership Seminar, University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Charlottesville, N.C.
1. May 1990 - August 1991, Student, undergraduate pilot training, 82nd Flying Training Wing, Williams AFB, Ariz.
2. August 1991 - July 1995, Pilot Scheduler, Training Officer, Chief of Squadron plans and Aircraft Commander, C-5, 3rd Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB, Del.
3. October 1995 - February 1996, Pilot Instructor Training, T-37, 559th Flying Training Squadron, Randolph AFB, Texas
4. February 1996 - March 1997, Instructor Pilot, T-37, 8th Flying Training Squadron, Vance AFB, Okla.
5. August 1997 - February 1998, Pilot Instructor Training, T-1A, 99th Flying Training Squadron, Randolph AFB, Texas
6. February 1998 - June 1999, Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, T-1A, 32nd Flying Training Squadron, Vance AFB, Okla.
7. June 1999 - June 2002, Wing Executive Officer, Assistant Operations officer, Evaluator Pilot, Instructor Pilot, C-5, 9th Airlift Squadron, Dover AFB, Del.
8. June 2002 - June 2003, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. June 2003 - December 2004, Deputy Chief, Tanker Allocation Division, Liaison Officer to U.S. Transportation Command, Tanker Airlift Control Center, Scott AFB, Ill.
10. December 2004 - October 2005, Aide-de-Camp to the Commander, 18th Air Force, Scott AFB, Ill.
11. November 2005 - October 2006, Chief, Wing Safety, 436th Airlift Wing, Dover AFB, Del.
(May 2006 - September 2006, Chief, Wing Safety, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, Kyrgyz Republic)
12. November 2006 - June 2008, Commander, 9th Airlift Squadron, 436th Airlift Wing, Dover AFB, Del.
13. July 2008 - June 2009, Student, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
14. June 2009 - July 2011, U.S. Transportation Command Liaison Officer to U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii
15. July 2011 - June 2012, Vice Commander, 437th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
16. June 2012 - June 2014, Commander, 71st Flying Training Wing, Vance AFB Okla.
17. June 2014 - June 2015, Deputy Director, Operations and Plans, U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill.
18. June 2015 - June 2017, Commander, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
19. June 2017 - present, Vice Commander, 18th Air Force, Scott AFB, Ill.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2009 - July 2011, U.S. Transportation Command Liaison Officer to U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H. M. Smith, Hawaii, as a colonel
2. June 2014 - June 2015, Deputy Director, Operations and Plans, U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB, Ill., as a colonel
Rating: command pilot
Flight hours: more than 5,900, including more than 425 combat hours
Aircraft: C-5, C-17, KC-135, B-52H, B-1B, E-8C, RC-135, T-1A, T-38, T-37
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with silver oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 30, 1990
First Lieutenant May 30, 1992
Captain May 30, 1994
Major June 1, 2001
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2006
Colonel Oct. 1, 2009
Brigadier General Aug. 2, 2015
(Current as of April 2018)