Tech. Sgt. Robert James is a member of the United States Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II Heritage Flight Team, 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. As an F-35A Heritage Flight team member, he is responsible for representing Air Education and Training Command, Air Combat Command, United States Air Force, Department of Defense, and the United States Air Force at 16 air shows annually. He is one of nine enlisted members of the F-35A Heritage Flight Team and performs maintenance actions on the F-35. By doing so, James ensures Heritage Flight pilots are equipped with a safe and effective jet to execute their mission of showcasing the Air Force’s premier fifth-generation aircraft for millions of spectators each year.
Sergeant James was born in Orlando, Florida. He attended Apopka High School in Apopka, Florida, graduating May 2002. He enlisted into the United States Air Force in August 2002. His career includes assignments as an F-15E dedicated crew chief, KC-135R dedicated crew chief, United States Air Force enlisted accessions recruiter, and an F-35A dedicated crew chief. He has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
2006 Airman Leadership School, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
2010 United States Air Force Recruiting School, Lackland AFB, Texas
2016 Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Sheppard AFB, Texas
1. 2003 – 2008, 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron – F-15E Dedicated Crew Chief, Mountain Home, AFB, Idaho
2. 2008 – 2010, 927th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron – KC-135 Dedicated Crew Chief, MacDill AFB, Fla.
3. 2010 – 2014, 345th Recruiting Squadron – Enlisted Accessions Recruiter, Scott AFB, Ill.
4. 2014 – 2015, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron – F-35 Dedicated Crew Chief, Luke AFB, Ariz.
5. 2015 – Present, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron – F-35 Heritage Flight Team, Luke AFB, Ariz.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with four oak leaf clusters
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Star
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Airman Basic Aug. 13, 2002
Airman First Class Sept. 27, 2002
Senior Airman: Jan. 27, 2005
Staff Sergeant: March 1, 2007
Technical Sergeant: Oct. 1, 2015
(Current as of February 2016)