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.
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
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)