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Blue Horizon AY 19 Bios

Lt Col Dean E. Berck is a command pilot with 1,850 hours in the F-15E. He commissioned through the United States Air Force Academy in 2000 with a BS degree in Biochemistry. He is an Olmsted Scholar and instructor pilot. He was assigned to the Joint Staff J-5, where he worked with inter-agency partners to ensure the CJCS was fully prepared for Latin American, National Guard and Department of Homeland Security issues. As an Operations Support Squadron Commander, he led 225 Airmen. Most recently, as the Mountain Home Air Force Base Deputy Group Commander, he was integral to the design and stand-up of the Commander, Air Combat Command-directed Fighter Wing reorganization experiment which established a Wing Air Staff, eliminated the intermediate level of command, and brought the majority of maintainers back under the fighter squadron commander. The common threads in Duster’s career are teaching, mentoring and leading in diverse and transitioning environments.


Major MacKenzie J. Birchenough earned her commission through Air Force ROTC at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2006. She graduated with a BS in Aerospace Engineering, and later completed a Masters in Space Systems from the Air Force Institute of Technology. Major Birchenough is a Developmental Engineer and Program Manager with experience in hypersonics and scramjet development, intelligence, and satellite and aircraft acquisition. She has an extensive Special Programs background and has supported operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. She has also served as Deputy Chief, Commander’s Action Group, at Headquarters Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. After completion of her Blue Horizons Fellowship, Major Birchenough hopes to pursue a Program Element Monitor (PEM) position at SAF/AQ followed by selection as a Material Leader.

Major Joseph Citro earned his commission from Worcester Polytechnic Institute ROTC program in 2006 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and received his M.S. in Cybersecurity from the University of Maryland University College. He is a career Cyber Warfare Officer with assignments as an operator/instructor in Offensive Cyberspace Operations, Defensive Cyberspace Operations, DoD Information Network Operations and Cyber Command and Control weapon systems and is a graduate of the USAF Weapons School (Class 13A). As a weapons officer he became Chief of Weapons and Tactics at the Squadron, AOC, and MAJCOM level. During his career he deployed to a Navy Unit in support of OIF, and served as a Space Operations Planner in support of USNORTHCOM/NORAD emergency response plans.

Major Kristen L. DeWilde earned her commission from the St. Lawrence University AFROTC program in 2005 with a B.S. in Biology. She went on to earn her medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in 2009 followed by her residency in Family Medicine at Eglin Air Force Base where she was chief resident. Upon board certification, Dr. DeWilde transitioned to flight medicine, serving as a squadron flight surgeon for the 39th Airlift Squadron and the 911th Air Refueling Squadron prior to becoming the Chief of Aerospace Medicine at Seymour Johnson AFB. She has 119 combat sorties as a flight surgeon in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Prior to Blue Horizons, Dr. DeWilde was the Chief of Aerospace Medicine at Mountain Home AFB.

Lieutenant Colonel Edward G. Ferguson was commissioned through ROTC after graduating from the Colorado School of Mines in 2001. In addition to various positions in the acquisitions career field, he has held a variety of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile combat crew positions. He was a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Service Chief’s Fellow, is a graduate of Naval War College Navy Command and Staff program as a Gravely Scholar, and a graduate of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies. Colonel Ferguson is a graduated squadron commander and has held staff positions at the Combatant Command and Air Force level.

Major Harrison M. Garlick is an F-22 Instructor pilot and Evaluator with over 1200 hours of flying time between the T-6, T-38, and F-22. Prior to Blue Horizons he spent three years instructing at the USAF Weapons School where he specialized in multi-domain, multi-platform integration for deep strike, near-peer mission sets. Major Garlick commissioned from the University of Virginia AFROTC program as a distinguished graduate with a BS in Aerospace Engineering. He was one of the first pilots to transition directly into the F-22 after completing undergraduate pilot training. His first F-22 assignment was at Holloman AFB, NM where Maj Garlick deployed to both PACOM and CENTCOM AORs as part of strategic Theater Security Packages. Maj Garlick graduated from USAF Weapons School in 2014 followed by an assignment at Langley AFB, VA as the Chief of Weapons and Tactics in the 27th Fighter Squadron. He completed his most recent assignment at Nellis AFB, NV as the Director of Operations of the 433rd Weapons Squadron.

Major Patrick Gaynor is a Space Operations Officer with experience in satellite command and control, defensive space control, cyber operations, Integrated Joint Special Technical Operations planning, intelligence collection, and as the Commander’s speechwriter at Air Force Space Command. In his most recent assignment, Maj Gaynor was the Operations Officer for the 1st Space Operations Squadron, conducting Space Situational Awareness Operations. He is a 2005 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a BS in Business Management and holds a MS in Aeronautical Technology from Embry Riddle University.

Major Justin G. Gripp is a Senior Pilot with over 2,000 hours in the C-130E/H/J and the C-208B. Prior to Blue Horizons, he was part of an AFSOC test unit, an instructor in the C-130J Schoolhouse and a Chief of Stan/Eval at Little Rock AFB. Other notable assignments include four years at Ramstein AB, Germany, flying in the EUCOM and AFRICOM theaters, as well as a 365-day deployment training and advising Afghan Air Force pilots. His flight experience includes over 500 combat hours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a 2005 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a BS in Behavioral Science. He also holds a Master of Education degree from St. Joseph’s College of Maine.

Major Laura R. Hunstock is a Senior Combat Systems Officer (CSO) with over 1900 flight hours in the RQ-170 and B-1B. Major Hunstock has served both as an Instructor CSO in the RQ-170 and as an Instructor/Evaluator Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) in the B-1B. Her combat experience includes 85 sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Major Hunstock has served as the Wing Executive Officer at Creech AFB, Chief of Stan/Eval, and B-1B Flight Commander. Prior to joining Blue Horizons, she was an Air University Fellow instructing at Squadron Officer School. Major Hunstock received her commissioned in 2006 after graduating from Baylor University with a BA in Political Science.

Lt Col Robert Lee is a career acquisition officer with multiple assignments and extensive experience in the Intelligence Community. In addition, he has served as an Associate Professor of Physics at the US Air Force Academy and a Program Manager in the Air Force Research Laboratory. Lt Col Lee most recently completed a Materiel Leader assignment (equivalent to Squadron Command) at the National Reconnaissance Office’s Survivability Assurance Office. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics from Purdue University with a specialization in Elementary Particle Physics.

Major Christina M. Light commissioned from Colorado State University AFROTC with a BS in Biology. Major Light is a Space Operations officer with expertise in GPS Satellite C2, directing the Space Surveillance Network to execute the SSA mission, leading Space Surveillance and Undergraduate Space Training, and has served in various AOCs as Space Duty Officer and DDIRSPACFOR. Prior to being a Blue Horizons Fellow, Christina was the DO of the Technical Operations Squadron, responsible for executing assigned Olympic Titan, Glass Titan, and DTRA support missions. Major Light holds an MS in Space Systems Operations Management and an MA in Human Resources Development.

Major Kelly C. Martin is a career intelligence officer with over 1,000 hours in the RC-135 RIVET JOINT. She has deployed in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, INCA GOLD and INHERENT RESOLVE. Major Martin has CAF and planning expertise under PACAF in both Japan and Korea. She has extensive DCGS experience as lead evaluator and C2 ADO for 6,200 Airmen. Most recently, she was Detachment Commander for the sole space ISR detachment in PACOM. Major Martin has a BS in Biology from Saint Louis University and an MS in Homeland Security from Penn State College of Medicine. She is a civilian pilot of a PA-32 with time in the PA-28 and PC-12.

Lieutenant Colonel William H. McKibban is a Command Pilot with over 2,000 hours in the F-16 Block 25/30/40/42/50/52. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy (2000), the USAF Weapons School (2008), and Marine Corps University's Command & Staff College (2014). Lieutenant Colonel McKibban has served in a variety of operational and training squadrons to include the USAF Weapons School and twice at the F-16 FTU at Luke AFB. Before joining Blue Horizons, he was assigned to the Joint Staff, J-5 as Military Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York where he coordinated policy issues related to UN operations and U.S. security interests on behalf of both the Permanent Representative and Chairman of the JCS.

Major Shane L. Rexius is a 2007 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ, where he commissioned into the Air Force through ROTC. He is a career developmental engineer and acquisitions officer with aspirations toward leading change in Air Force acquisitions. His prior assignments include flight test, weapons development, space control rapid acquisitions, and space operations within the intelligence community, along with multiple deployments. Prior to his selection as a Blue Horizons Fellow, Major Rexius was the Commander’s Speechwriter at Headquarters, Air Force Space Command.

Maj Jonathan F. Vogel graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006 and received his commission through ROTC. He is a Senior Pilot with over 2,700 hours in the B-1, T-6, and T-38. He has flown 895 combat hours in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, RESOLUTE SUPPORT, FREEDOM'S SENTINEL, and INHERENT RESOLVE. Major Vogel began his career as a T-6A Instructor Pilot at Laughlin AFB, TX. Since then, he has held various positions and qualifications to include B-1B Evaluator/Instructor Pilot, 28th Bomb Wing Executive Officer, and most recently, Chief of Combat Air Force and Mobility Air Force Rated O-6 Assignments at HAF/A1, Pentagon. In addition to his BS, he holds a Master's Degree in Military History from American Military University.

Major John C. Yi is an EC-130H Weapons Officer and evaluator/instructor Electronic Warfare Officer with more than 1600 flying hours, including over 800 combat hours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. He previously served as an Air University Fellow; Electronic Warfare Program Manager and Deputy Chief, Non-Kinetic Capabilities for Air Combat Command; and Chief of Master Air Attack Plans for the Korean theater. He has also served as a Language Enabled Airmen Program Scholar since 2013, maintaining fluency in Korean. Maj Yi commissioned through Officer Training School in 2005, holds a BA in Political Science from Yale University, and an MA in Political Science from American Military University.

Blue Horizons

USAF Center for Strategy and Technology
325 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112