Colonel Robert A. Sylvester is the Commander, 56th Mission Support Group, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.

Colonel Sylvester began his military career as an enlisted computer operator at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, in 1986. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1994 after completing Officer Training School. He has held a variety of positions in base-level squadrons, field operating agencies, a major command, and the Joint Staff. Colonel Sylvester commanded Cadet Group One at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., and the 60th Communications Squadron at Travis AFB, Calif.

The colonel has also served as the Chief, Operations and Engineering Division, Combined Air Operations Center, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, where he led a 44-person team overseeing communications assets at 25 locations. During this tour, he spent 64 days in Iraq at eight different locations coordinating and installing the Radio Over Internet Protocol Routed Network supporting convoy operations throughout Iraq. For these achievements he received the 2006 Air Force Science and Engineering Award for Engineering Achievement and was recognized as the 2006 Air Mobility Command Communications and Information Field Grade Officer of the Year.


1993 Bachelor of Arts degree in computer information systems, McKendree University, Lebanon, Ill.

1995 Master of Arts degree in management, Bellevue University, Neb.

2001 Master of Arts degree in information resource management, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2004 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence

2008 Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

2011 Air War College, by correspondence

2016 Master's degree in strategic studies, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.


1. October 1986 - August 1990, Computer Operator; 2148 Communications Squadron, Ellsworth AFB SD.

2. August 1990 - March 1994, Computer Programmer; 1500 Computer Support Group, Scott AFB, Ill.

3. July 1994 - June 1997, Meteorological Models Standard and Training Officer; Chief, Metrics/Technology Transition; and Chief, Computer Systems Section, Air Force Global Weather Center, Offutt AFB, Neb.

4. July 1997 - August 1999, Deputy Test Director-Software, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

5. August 1999 - March 2001, Student, Information Resource Management Master's Program, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

6. March 2001 - August 2003, Chief, Command and Control Systems Branch; and Commander, Headquarters Squadron Section, Air Force Communications Agency, Scott AFB, Ill.

7. August 2003 - August 2004, Commander, Network Systems Flight, Combined Air Operations Center, U.S. Air Forces, U.S. Central Command, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar

8. August 2004 - January 2006, Chief, Deployable Communications Systems Branch, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.

9. January 2006 - May 2006, Chief, Operations and Engineering Division, Combined Air Operations Center, U.S. Air Forces, U.S. Central Command Forward, Al Udeid AB, Qatar

10. May 2006 - June 2007, Chief, Director's Action Group, Directorate of Communications, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.

11. June 2007 - June 2008, Student, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

12. July 2008 - August 2010, Commander, 60th Communications Squadron,
Travis AFB, Calif.

13. August 2010 - April 2013, Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Operations Officer, Operations Directorate, the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.

14. May 2013 - May 2015, Commander, Cadet Group One, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.

15. July 2015 - July 2016, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

16. August 2016 - present, Commander, 56th Mission Support Group, Luke AFB, Ariz.


Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Force Commendation Medal with silver oak leaf cluster

Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal


2006 Air Force Science and Engineering Award for Engineering Achievement

2006 Communications and Information Field Grade Officer of the Year, Air Mobility Command


Second Lieutenant June 22, 1994

First Lieutenant June 22, 1996

Captain June 22, 1998

Major Nov. 1, 2004

Lieutenant Colonel Oct. 1, 2009

Colonel Jan. 1, 2016

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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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…
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Team Luke was proud to host @POTUS, as well as @DepSecDef & @SecAFOfficial today to showcase defense capabilities.… https://t.co/nUh0tx5Y35
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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
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