Col. Derek Oakley is the commander of the 28th Operations Group, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. He commands the largest operational B-1 group in the U.S. Air Force with one operational support squadron, two bomb squadrons and operations of the Powder River Training Complex.
Colonel Oakley received his commission from the United States Air Force Officer Training School in May 2000. He graduated from pilot training at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, and was operationally assigned to the B-1B. He has served in a variety of flying squadrons as an instructor and evaluator pilot in the B-1, T-6, and T-38. He commanded a T-6 squadron at Columbus AFB and previously served on the Joint Staff as the Director of the Joint Targeting School, Dam Neck Naval Air Station, Virginia.
Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Oakley was the director of the B-21 Integration and System Management Office where he liaised between Air Force Global Strike Command and the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, supporting development of the B-21 Raider, the Air Force’s Top 3 priority acquisition program.
Colonel Oakley is a command pilot with over 3,400 flight hours in the B-1, T-38, T-6, and T-37, including 991 combat hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
1996 Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Education, Judson College, Ill.
2006 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2007 Masters of Arts, Management, American Military University, Charles Town, W.V.
2009 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala. (by correspondence)
2013 U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
2014 Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JPME Phase II), Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va.
2019 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- December 2000 - December 2001, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
- April 2002 - October 2002, Student, B-1 Initial Qualification Course, Dyess AFB, Texas
- October 2002 - October 2004, B-1 Pilot, Executive Officer, 9th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, Texas
- March 2005 - March 2009, T-38 Evaluator Pilot, Flight Commander, Wing Flight Safety Officer, 50th Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, Miss.
- July 2009 - December 2012, B-1 Evaluator Pilot, Director of Operations, 34th Bomb Squadron, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
- December 2012 - December 2013, Student, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
- December 2013 - December 2015, Director, Course Manager, Joint Targeting School, Dam Neck Naval Air Station, Va.
- June 2016 - June 2018, Commander/T-6 Evaluator Pilot, 41st Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, Miss.
- June 2018 - June 2019, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
- July 2019 - June 2021, Director, B-21 Integration and System Management Office, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, D.C.
- June 2021 - Present, Commander, 28th Operations Group, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: Over 3,400 hours (including 991 combat hours)
Aircraft Flown: B-1, T-38, T-6, T-37
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
DATES OF PROMOTIONS
Second Lieutenant May 26, 2000
First Lieutenant May 26, 2002
Captain May 26, 2004
Major Dec. 1, 2009
Lieutenant Colonel Jan. 1, 2015
Colonel Dec. 1, 2020
(Current as of June 2021)