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JAMES "RUSTY" MITCHELL

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James "Rusty" Mitchell is the Director, Community Initiatives Team, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. As the liaison between the base and surrounding communities, he coordinates dialogue and interaction to facilitate compatible growth in areas that impact Luke AFB. He engages with nine municipalities, Maricopa County, and the State of Arizona to advance the ability of the base to coexist with its neighbors.

Mr. Mitchell served 22 years in the Air Force flying fighters from Europe to the Far East, retiring in October 1998. His career culminated as the 21st Fighter Squadron Commander at Luke AFB, where he was intimately involved in all areas of flight operations and issues involving the mission of the base. This, coupled with being a Valley resident for more than 25 years, makes him uniquely qualified to address issues surrounding the base and the community in regard to growth, development and compatible coexistence. Mr. Mitchell frequently speaks at Community Council meetings explaining Luke's current and future mission requirements. This proactive involvement promotes compatibility between the base and nearby communities, enhancing mutual viability. This positive relationship is critical to the long-term mission viability of Luke Air Force Base.

EDUCATION
1976 Bachelor's degree in history, with honors, University of Southern California
1976 Distinguished graduate, Reserve Officer Training Corps
1980 Distinguished graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1986 Master's degree in management, Webster University 1991 Distinguished graduate, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala. 1994 Distinguished graduate, Air War College, by seminar

CAREER CHRONOLOGY
1. 1977 - 1978, student, undergraduate pilot training, Williams AFB, Ariz.
2. 1978 - 1981, A-10 pilot, 510th Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Bentwaters, England
3. 1981 - 1984, A-10 instructor pilot, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz
4. 1984 - 1986, air liaison officer, 3rd Brigade, Fort Carson AIN, Colo.
5. 1986 - 1989, F-16 instructor pilot, Hill AFB, Utah
6. 1989 - 1989, Current Operations Staff, 7th Air Force, Osan Air Base, South Korea
7. 1989 - 1990, aide-de-camp to the Commader, U.S. Forces Korea, Yongsan AB, South Korea
8. 1990 - 1991, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. 1991 - 1993, Chief, Theater Warfare Branch, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
10. 1993 - 1994, F-16 operations officer, Kunsan AB, South Korea
11. 1994 - 1995, F-16 operations officer, Luke AFB, Ariz.
12. 1995 - 1998, Commander, 21st Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
13. 1998 - present, pilot, United Airlines, Los Angeles, Calif.
14. 2003 - present, Director, Community Initiatives Team, Luke AFB, Ariz.

AWARDS AND HONORS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Well Done Award
USAFE Well Done Award
AETC Team Excellence Award
Best of the West Award Winner
Valley Peaks Regional Community Partnership Award, 2006
Valley Peaks Regional Community Partnership Award, 2014
Sullivan Award for Outstanding Federal Employee in AETC
Arizona Business Magazine "People to Know, 2009"
Arizona Business Magazine "People to Know, 2010"
Arizona Business Magazine "People to Know, 2011"
Arizona Business Magazine "People to Know, 2012"
Arizona Business Magazine "People to Know, 2014"
AETC Best Practice Award
Air Force Best Practice Award

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
2004 - present, Board of Directors, Valley Partnership
2007 - 2012, Board of Directors, KAET Community Advisory Council
2010 - present, Board of Directors, WESTMARC

(Current as of June 2014)
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We’ve showed you tips for beating the heat, but make sure you look out for your furry friends, too! 🐶☀️ #summersafety #petsafety
Thunderbolts - have you heard there were updates to AFI 36-2903? Check out some of the major changes in this short video and then get smart on all of them by reviewing the full list here: https://go.usa.gov/xU9kX
Krav Maga instructors visited Luke Air Force Base last week to teach our Security Forces #defenders combative techniques that they can use in their daily operations to ensure the safety of themselves and our personnel. Upon completion of the seven-day Krav Maga training, the members became instructor certified to teach military and government employees.
Did you know the AFMS - Luke - 56th Medical Group​ operates a pharmacy in Scottsdale 2 days a week to better serve the beneficiaries in the east valley? Here’s what you need to know: 1️⃣ open Mon & Thur 0900-1500 2️⃣ located at 7301 E 4th St, Suite 7 Scottsdale AZ 3️⃣ call 623-856-3450 for assistance 4️⃣ to refill a prescription call 623-856-3969
Each week an Airman is recognized from the 56th Fighter Wing as the Thunderbolt of the Week for their outstanding performance and dedication to duty. Join us in congratulating the amazing Airmen of Thunderbolt nation!
Have you seen those scenes in movies where the computer geniuses track the bad guys trying to break into a network and stop them?! Well we just got our own version...kind of. 💻⛔️🔍 Luke's network security was recently upgraded with the Mission Defense Team reaching initial operating capability. The MDT monitors base network traffic and communicates any threats, anomalies, or suspicious activity. Learn more about how the Air Force is transforming Communication Squadrons to optimize #cyber security for weapons systems and networks.
“What this program is going to do is provide the stability for the AMU to produce a consistent turn-pattern of aircraft..to produce more pilots, more efficiently, with a higher quality of training.” As part of an effort to increase #F35 maintenance effectiveness and efficiency the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit created a team of unified maintenance Air Force specialties called Lightning Integrated Technicians. Learn how these #Airmen have exceeded Air Education and Training Command mission capable rates with fewer technicians than traditional manpower constructs. https://go.usa.gov/xUBHb
The U.S. Air Force F-35 Heritage Flight Team is heading to the UK to take part in the #RAF100 festivities this weekend!
Thunderbolts - don't make dinner plans for Thursday night...come out to Club Five Six and take part in the PF Chang's food truck!
We recently had the honor of hosting Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan. During his visit he gained insight into #F35 training operations and served as the guest speaker for the 61st Fighter Squadron F-35A basic course graduation. ⭐️ Fun Fact! Under Secretary Donovan graduated from the 426th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at Luke in 1983 as an F-15 Eagle pilot and his initial instructor pilot was an exchange officer from the Royal Australian Air Force. The #61FS continues the legacy of #Mateship and strengthening alliances today. 🇺🇸 🇦🇺 Read more here: https://go.usa.gov/xUWUC
“As you progress in your career and you advance in rank, you find that your responsibilities change and your role in the organization changes. You take what you get and you learn from it. Every experience you have, you take something away.” For DeLand, Fla. native Capt Kristi Machado her journey from college graduate to Enlisted Airman to Force Support Officer is one of optimism and pragmatism that led her to becoming the leader she is today. Read more here: https://go.usa.gov/xUjtp #KnowYourMil
Chief Wright just announced an update to the Enlisted Force Structure. Take a few min to review and if you have any questions let us know and we’ll do our best to get them answered.
Hope everyone is celebrating big (and safe!) today! 🎇🇺🇸
We had a blast at LukeEvents Freedom Fest Friday night! If you couldn't make it or need more fireworks in your life here are a few place around the West Valley you can find them tomorrow night! 🎇Westgate Firework Fest | 5-9pm 🎇⚾️Surprise Fourth of July baseball game and fireworks | game starts at 5:30pm, fireworks 8:30pm 🎇Goodyear's Star-Spangled 4th | 6-10pm 🎇Buckeye's Old-Fashioned Independence Day Celebration | 7-9pm 🎇Red, White and Boom! at The Wigwam | 6-8:30pm 🎇Tolleson 4th of July Celebration | starts at 4pm 🎇Peoria's All-American Festival | fireworks at 9:15pm *some events are free and some require tickets so give them a quick google search to get all the details!* 📸: A1C Alex Cook
#DYK that servicemembers can register to vote by absentee ballot in whatever state they are a resident of? Watch this video from the Federal Voting Assistance Program - FVAP to learn more! You can also call the Luke A&FRC for help getting registered and requesting your ballot at 623-856-6550.
Every day we build fighter pilots. Airman Magazine recently spent time with the 54th Fighter Group to learn more about how we are helping the United States Air Force get after the complex issue of the pilot shortage.
Today we marked the end of our summer change of command season (13 this year!). Thanks again to all the outstanding leaders who departed for your contributions building the future of #airpower and welcome to all new commanders! Pics from all the ceremonies here at Luke (as well as many other events from around TBolt Nation) can be found on our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/56fwpa/albums
Thunderbolts time for some #SummerSafety reminders! Even though we only hit 110 degrees 5 times so far in June (compared to 11 times from 2015-2017) it’s still hot enough to need to hydrate and wear your SPF every day. 🔥🔥🔥 What else do you do to stay cool?
Today Luke Air Force Base completed our 20,000th #F35 sortie! We continue to build the future of airpower with an amazing total force, partner nation and industry team! Congrats to all who played a part! 🇺🇸🇦🇺🇮🇹🇳🇴🇯🇵 944th Fighter Wing Air Force Reserve Luke AFB F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office F-35 Lightning II
Last week Thunderbolts climbed dirt hills and dove into muddy waters as they took on the Jump in the Mud 5k. Learn how one Thunderbolt got out of her comfort zone and got more than a good workout from it. #mudrun #5K #thunderbolts LukeEvents
More photos from @POTUS visit to Luke are available here: https://t.co/2QcqbxTRhp
RT @DepSecDef: Great discussion yesterday at @LukeAFB & great leadership from @POTUS Trump. The @DeptofDefense must work with Congress & de…
“We make the greatest military equipment in the world. American-made military products are more effective, more let… https://t.co/NwNuQi0by9
Team Luke was proud to host @POTUS, as well as @DepSecDef & @SecAFOfficial today to showcase defense capabilities.… https://t.co/nUh0tx5Y35
RT @DepSecDef: Happening now: Alongside @POTUS Trump, @SecAFOfficial, defense industry CEOs and local leaders at @LukeAFB, talking defense…
RT @abc15: No visit to @LukeAFB, even by @realDonaldTrump, is complete without a selfie. #abc15 https://t.co/axuqNkI3UM
RT @markknoller: Pres thanks military personnel at @LukeAFB, shaking hands and posing for multiple selfies. https://t.co/o9f7RjsKjS
RT @SecAFOfficial: Meeting some of the Airmen here @LukeAFB where we train more than 70% of the world’s #F35 pilots. #AirPower https://t.co…
RT @FoxNews: .@POTUS participates in a roundtable discussion with defense industry CEOs and local business leaders at @lukeafb https://t.co…
RT @WhiteHouse: President Trump Participates in a Defense Roundtable https://t.co/FywXuHOh1n
RT @usairforce: #Airmen & families are entering @TeamTyndall to inspect living facilities & collect their belongings. All other areas of th…
RT @willcain: Amazing day thanks to @firsttake & @LukeAFB. Went on a training mission w badass F16 fighter pilot @ThumperF16 from 309th Mad…
how do you think he did? Tune in to @FirstTake live from our flightline Fri Nov 9th to see his whole flight with th… https://t.co/Lz6KBF22qk
Think energy is a given? Think again! Staying smart about energy readiness & resilience ensures our #Airmen have th… https://t.co/qvWPkrjz2X