COL James R. Kennedy
Joint Center of Excellence JIEDDO
Col Jim Kennedy was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant via the Platoon Leaders Class following graduation from Grand Canyon College in Phoenix, AZ in 1989. He subsequently attended The Basic School and reported to NAS Pensacola for flight training in November 1990. After being designated a naval aviator in April 1992, he reported to HMT-301 in Tustin, CA for initial training in the CH-46E.
In November 1992, Col Kennedy transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 24 in Kaneohe Bay, HI for duty with HMM-265 and HMM-165. Working in Administration, Maintenance and Operations, he deployed twice to the Western Pacific AOR, participating in various exercises in Japan and Korea.
Col Kennedy reported to Training Air Wing 5 for duty as a flight instructor with HT-18 in November 1995. During that tour he worked as a Flight Leader, Flight Operations Officer and Operations Officer. He was selected as the HT-18 Instructor of the Year for 1997.
Following flight instructor duty, he reported to Commander, Marine Forces Pacific, where he worked in the G-7 section as the Readiness Issues Officer for one year and as special staff, Aviation Safety Officer for two years.
Following refresher training in the CH-46E during the summer of 2001, Col Kennedy reported to HMM-161, Marine Aircraft Group 16, where he served as the Operations Officer, Director of Safety and Standardization and Executive Officer. During that tour, he was the Officer in Charge of the aviation component of I MEF’s Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel detachment during Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying 39 combat sorties in support of the coalition effort. Returning to the Iraqi theater of operations as the Executive Officer for HMM-161 seven months later, he flew 160 combat sorties, primarily in the Casualty Evacuation role near Fallujah. He was selected as the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Aviator of the Year for 2005.
In August 2005, Col Kennedy reported to the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command in 29 Palms, CA and served as the Director of Operations and Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3. He detached from that command in the summer of 2006, reporting back aboard Training Air Wing 5 as the HT-18 Prospective Executive Officer. From November 2007 to February 2009, he served as the Commanding Officer, HT-18.
After relinquishing command, Col Kennedy attended the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, earning a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies. He reported to Fort Irwin, CA in June 2010, where he is currently the Deputy Director for the Joint IED Defeat Organization’s Joint Center of Excellence.
Col Kennedy has accumulated over 5400 hours of mishap free flight time. His personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Gold Stars, Air Medal with Combat V and Strike/Flight numeral 9, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal and various campaign and service medals.