Col. Heather L. McGee is the commander of the 821st Air Base Group, Thule Air Base, Greenland. As the installation commander, she is responsible for the administration and security of the United States’ northernmost and the Department of the Air Force’s largest overseas military installation comprised of the Thule Defense Area. As the senior U.S. Department of Defense representative in Greenland, she guides international relations ensuring compliance with all agreements between the U.S., Danish and Greenlandic governments. Additionally, she directs operations of the world’s northernmost deep-water seaport, the Arctic’s largest airfield and provides full-spectrum base support for more than 600 year-round residents. The base enables force projection, space superiority, and scientific research while working with various allies and supporting local communities.
Prior to assuming her current position, Col. McGee was the Vice Commandant of Air Command and Staff College, the world's premier in-residence and distance learning professional military education college for midcareer officers and civilians which focuses on the education and development of air-minded joint leaders. Graduates go on to provide significant contributions in developing, employing, sustaining, and commanding air, space, and cyberspace power in joint and combined operations throughout the world.
Col. McGee graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1993. She was commissioned through a four-year ROTC scholarship program as a distinguished graduate. She holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and her academic interests include national security strategy, international politics and United States socioeconomic issues and challenges.
1993 Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark
1993 Minuteman ICBM Combat Crew Training, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
1997 Master of Business Administration, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Grand Forks AFB, N.D. 1998 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Master of Military Arts and Sciences, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Master of Airpower Art and Science, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2008 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2013 Doctorate of Business Administration, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, Ariz.
- August 1993 – December 1993; Student, Minuteman ICBM Combat Crew Training, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
- December 1993 – April 1996; ICBM Deputy Combat Crew Commander, ICBM Combat Crew Commander, and ICBM Assistant Flight Commander, 447th Missile Squadron, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
- April 1996 – September 1997; ICBM Instructor Crew Commander, 321st Operations Support Squadron, Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
- September 1997 – August 1999; Chief, On-Orbit Operations and Deputy Program Manager, Current GPS Satellites, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
- August 1999 – October 2000; Commander’s Action Officer, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
- October 2000 – June 2002; Satellite Operations Engineer and Chief, Mission Readiness, Detachment 12, Space and Missile Systems Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
- June 2002 – June 2003; Director of Operations, Detachment 12, Space and Missile Systems Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
- June 2003 – January 2004; Chief, Satellite Control Branch, Space Operations and Integration Directorate, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
- January 2004 – May 2005; Space and Missile Force Programmer and Chief, Integration Branch, Plans and Programs Directorate, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
- May 2005 – July 2006; Executive Officer, Plans and Programs Directorate, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
- July 2006 – June 2007; Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- June 2007 – July 2008; Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- August 2008 – July 2009; Chief of Policy, Plans, Programs, and Requirements Directorate, Thirteenth Air Force, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
- July 2009 – July 2010; Director, Commander’s Action Group, Thirteenth Air Force, Hickam AFB, Hawaii
- July 2010 – June 2012; Commander, 34th Student Squadron, Squadron Officer College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- July 2012 – September 2013; Chief, Program Integration Branch, Plans, Programs, and Analyses Directorate, HQ Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
- September 2013 – September 2014; Chief Strategist, NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan
- September 2014 – June 2016; Chief, Strategy and Policy Division, Cyberspace Strategy and Policy Directorate, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
- June 2016 – June 2019; Commander, AFROTC Detachment 159 and Professor of Aerospace Studies, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.
- July 2019 - July 2021; Vice Commandant, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- July 2021 – present; Commander, 821st Air Base Group, Thule Air Base, Greenland
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Legion of Merit Medal Bronze Star Medal
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Non-Article 5 NATO Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant January 1993
First Lieutenant April 1995
Captain April 1997
Major July 2003
Lieutenant Colonel August 2008
Colonel November 2014
(Current as of July 2021)