Col. Stuart M. Rubio is the Commander of the 403rd Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. As Commander, he leads over 1,900 Reserve and civilian professionals in the first C-130J unit equipped wing in the Air Force. The wing’s mission is to train, equip and employ airlift forces in support of the nation’s interests. The 403rd Wing is capable of providing aeromedical evacuation, tactical airlift and airdrop, and agile combat support as well as operating the only weather reconnaissance mission in the Department of Defense.
He commissioned in May 1998 upon graduation from the United States Air Force Academy. He is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours in the T-1, C-130E/H3/J and WC-130J supporting tactical airlift, airdrop, aeromedical evacuation and weather reconnaissance missions. After serving 20 years in the active Air Force, he retired in 2018 and transitioned to the Air Force Reserve under the Regular Air Force to Air Force Reserve Program.
Throughout his career, he has held several positions to include C-130J Formal Training Unit instructor/evaluator pilot, executive officer at the squadron, group, and wing levels, flying squadron director of operations, wing chief of safety, and squadron and group commander. He deployed in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and flew combat support missions in the Horn of Africa. At Ramstein Air Base, Germany, he provided leadership in the 37th Airlift Squadron, 86th Operations Group, and 86th Airlift Wing as they completed their transition to the C-130J Super Hercules and began employing the aircraft across three Combatant Commands. He also served in the Pentagon as part of the Headquarters Air Force Military Force Policy Directorate. Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Rubio commanded and led the rebuild and regeneration of the 815th Airlift Squadron and served as the commander of the 403rd Operations Group.
1998 Bachelor of Science degree in Space Operations, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2005 Top Third Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence
2009 Master of Science in Education, St. Joseph’s College of Maine, Standish, Maine
2014 Air War College, by correspondence
2020 Reserve Component National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington, D.C.
2021 Director of Mobility Forces (DIRMOBFOR) Course, Hurlburt AFB, Fla.
1. August 1998 – February 1999, Administrative Assistant, 34th Logistics Squadron, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2. February 1999 – February 2000, Student, Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
3. February 2000 – July 2000, Student, T-1A Pilot Instruct Training, Randolph AFB, Texas
4. July 2000 – September 2002, T-1A Instructor Pilot/Student Evaluator, 86th Flying Training Squadron, Laughlin AFB, Texas
5. September 2002 – July 2003, Executive Officer, 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas
6. July 2003 - January 2004, Student, C-130 pilot training, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
7. January 2004 – October 2006, C-130E/H3 Instructor, Flight Commander and Director of Staff, 61st Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
8. October 2006 – January 2007, Student, C-130J pilot training, Little Rock AFB, Ark. (Distinguished Graduate)
9. January 2007 – December 2007, C-130J FTU Instructor/Evaluator, Chief Mission Scheduler, 48th Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
10. December 2007 – December 2008, Executive Officer, 314th Operations Group, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
11. December 2008 – October 2009, Chief, C-130J Curriculum Development, 714th Training Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
12. October 2009 – February 2010, C-130J Evaluator, Assistant Director of Operations, 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany
13. February 2010 – January 2011, Chief, Standardization and Evaluation Division, 86th Operations Group, Ramstein AB, Germany
14. January 2011 – March 2012, Chief, Commander’s Action Group/Kaiserslautern Military Community Engagement Office, 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein AB, Germany
15. March 2012 – December 2012, Chief of Safety, 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein AB, Germany
16. December 2012 – July 2014, Chief, Rated Force Policy, Headquarters Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
17. July 2014 – January 2016, Director of Operations, 48th Airlift Squadron, Little Rock AFB, Ark.
18. January 2016 – June 2019, Commander, 815th Airlift Squadron, Keesler AFB, Miss.
19. June 2019 – November 2019, Deputy Commander, 403rd Operations Group, Keesler AFB, Miss.
20. November 2019 – June 2021, Commander, 403rd Operations Group, Keesler AFB, Miss.
21. June 2021 – Present, Commander, 403rd Wing, Keesler AFB, Miss.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,000 hours
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-1A, C-130E/H3/J, WC-130J
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with six oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with three oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal with bronze star
Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 27, 1998
First Lieutenant May 27, 2000
Captain May 27, 2002
Major December 1, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel May 1, 2013
Colonel April 2, 2020
(Current as of June 2021)