Col. John “P.Y.” Thien is the Commander of Delta 3, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base. He commands the newly activated Space Electronic Warfare Delta with personnel deployed worldwide. Delta 3 is responsible for preparing and presenting assigned and attached forces for the purpose of executing electronic attack, electronic protection and electronic warfare support in, through and from space. The units falling under his command within Delta 3 are the 4th, 5th and 16th Space Control Squadrons and the 721st Operations Support Squadron.
After entering the Air Force in 1998, as a graduate of Air Force ROTC from the University of Missouri-Rolla, Col. Thien was assigned to the 490th Missile Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Montana. While there, he also served in the 341st Operations Support Squadron as an Instructor and the 341st Operations Group as the Senior Evaluator. Following the 341st Space Wing, Col. Thien was selected for the Air Force Weapons Instructor Course at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Upon graduation, he was assigned as the first Space Weapons Officer at the 4th Space Control Squadron working as the Weapons and Tactics Flight Commander. Next, Col. Thien returned to the weapons school as an Instructor at the 328th Weapons Squadron. Following his instructor duty, he was assigned to Headquarters Air Force Space Command as Chief of Advanced Concepts and was selected to attend Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Following graduation, Col. Thien was selected as the Operations Officer of the 4th SPCS at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. Next, Col. Thien commanded the 25th Space Range Squadron located at Schriever AFB, Colorado. Post command, he served as the 21st Deputy Operations Group Commander at Peterson AFB, Colorado and was then selected to attend the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.
Col. Thien has deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar as the Commander for Operation Silent Sentry; Camp Victory, Iraq as the non-kinetics effects planner supporting the United States Forces-Iraq Air Component Coordination Element; Bagram AB, Afghanistan as the Commander of the 1st Expeditionary Space Control Squadron; Al Udeid AB, Qatar as the Commander of the 17th ESPCS.
1998 Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, Mo.
1998 Air and Space Basic Course, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2003 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2003 United States Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2010 Master of Science, Aerospace Science, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2012 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2019 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1. June 1999–April 2000, Minuteman III Launch Officer, 490th Missile Squadron, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.
2. May 2000–May 2001 Instructor, 341st Operations Support Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
3. June 2001–December 2003, Senior Evaluator, 341st Operations Group, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
4. January 2004–September 2006, Flight Commander Weapons and Tactics, 4th Space Control Squadron, Holloman AFB, N.M.
5. October 2006–February 2007, Instructor, 328th Weapons Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
6. February 2007–May 2009, Flight Commander of Mission Operations and Assistant Director of Operations of Weapons and Tactics, 328th WPS, Nellis AFB, Nev.
7. June 2009–June 2011, Chief, Advanced Concepts, Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo.
8. July 2011–May 2012, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. June 2012–June 2014, Operations Officer, 4th SPCS, Holloman AFB, N.M.
10. June 2014–July 2016, Commander, 25th Space Range Squadron, Schriever AFB, Colo.
11. July 2016–July 2018, Deputy Operations Group Commander, 21st OG, Peterson AFB, Colo.
12. July 2018–October 2019, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
13. October 2019–July 2020, Commander, 721st OG, Peterson AFB, Colo.
14. July 2020–present, Commander, Delta 3, Peterson AFB, Colo.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
AF Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 27, 1998
First Lieutenant May 27, 2000
Captain May 27, 2002
Major Feb. 1, 2008
Lieutenant Colonel June 1, 2013
Colonel Aug. 1, 2019
(Current as of November 2020)