Lt. Col. Paul R. Pawluk

United States Air Force

Lt Col Paul R. Pawluk is a National Defense Fellow in the International Security Studies Program at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

Prior to his fellowship, Lt Col Pawluk was the commander of the 22d Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, Cali. In this capacity, he commanded Air Mobility Command’s largest operational flying squadron, and was responsible for the safe employment of the C-5M Super Galaxy and for the morale, welfare, and development of over 222 officers, enlisted, and civilian members. The 22d Airlift Squadron provides combat-ready C-5M aircrews for worldwide airlift missions supporting national security and Department of Defense directives. The squadron trains and equips personnel to employ 18 aircraft in strategic and combat airlift operations for the largest air mobility wing in Air Mobility Command. The Squadron’s mission supports the President, Department of Defense, and allied agencies in global contingency, channel, joint exercise, aeromedical, humanitarian, and NASA directed space cargo transport missions.

Lt Col Pawluk entered the Air Force after commissioning from the University Wisconsin-Madison in 2001. After graduating, Lt Col Pawluk was assigned to Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, Colo. flying the C-21 as a Squadron Chief Executive Officer. In 2006, he was assigned to Dover AFB, Del. flying the C-5B as a Flight Commander, Deputy Chief of Wing Plans and Programs, Chief of Training, and Chief of C-5 Operations Group Standardization and Evaluation. Following his assignment at Dover AFB, Lt Col Pawluk was selected as a European and Eurasian Foreign Area Officer and attended Defense Language Institute and Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Cali, where he gained proficiency in both Ukrainian and Russian. Lt Col Pawluk then served on the U.S. European Command’s (EUCOM) J5 directorate as the Lead Contingency Planner for the Russian Problem Set. Following his assignment at EUCOM, he was assigned to Travis AFB, Calif. where he served as Operations Officer, 60th Operations Support Squadron before assuming command of the 22d Airlift Squadron.

Lt Col Pawluk has deployed in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and as part of the Army’s Joint Psychological Operations Task Force. He is a command mobility pilot with over 2,600 hours in the T-37, T-1A, C-21, and C-5 aircraft.

Lt Col Pawluk is married to his loving and beautiful wife, Ashantia; they have one son, Yuriy.


1999 Harvard Ukrainian Summer Institute, 20th Century Ukraine History, Cambridge, Mass

2001 Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Political Science, & Russian, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisc.

2001 Air and Space Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, Alab

2006 Master of Arts in Diplomacy with a Concentration in International Conflict, Norwich University, Vert.

2007 Top Third Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alab.

2010 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2010 George C. Marshall Center, Leaders Program – Advanced Security Studies, Garmisch, Germany

2012 Honors Graduate, Defense Language Institute, Russian Basic Course, Monterey, Calif.

2013 Distinguished Graduate and Outstanding Air Force Graduate, Naval Postgraduate School, Security Studies in Europe & Eurasia, Monterey, Calif.

2014 Joint Professional Military Education II, Norfolk, Virg


  1. June 2001    December 2001, Second Lieutenant, Offutt AFB, Neb.
  2. January 2002    January 2003, Student, Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Vance AFB, Okla.
  3. February 2003   February 2006, C-21 Instructor Pilot and Chief Executive Officer, Peterson AFB, Colo.
  4. June 2006   February 2011, C-5B Evaluator Aircraft Commander, Chief of C-5 Group Stan/Eval, Dover, Del.
  5. March 2011  March 2012, Student, Russian Basic Course, Defense Language Institute, Monterey, Calif.
  6. September 2012    September 2013, Student, Security Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey,  Calif.
  7. November 2013   September 2016, Lead Contingency Planner, Europe and NATO Branch, USEUCOM J5 Plans
  8. October 2016  May 2018, Operations Officer, 60th Operations Support Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.
  9. May 2018   Present, Commander, 22d Airlift Squadron, Travis AFB, Calif.


1. November 2013   September 2016, Lead Contingency Planner, Europe and NATO Branch, USEUCOM J5 Plans, as a major


Rating: Command Pilot

Flight Hours: more than 2,600

Aircraft flown: T-37, T-1A, C-21, C-5B/M


Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal

Joint Service Commendation Medal Air Force Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal


Second Lieutenant May 20, 2001

First Lieutenant June 18, 2003

Captain June 18, 2005

Major Aug 1, 2011

Lieutenant Colonel Aug 1, 2016

(Current as of June 2020)