Maj. Gen. Wendell L. Griffin is the Air Force Chief of Safety, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Safety Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. He develops, executes and evaluates all Air Force aviation, ground, weapons, space and system mishap prevention, and nuclear surety programs to preserve combat readiness. Additionally, he is responsible for conducting research to promote safety awareness and mishap prevention; oversees mishap investigations; evaluates corrective actions; and ensures implementation. Finally, he manages, develops and directs all Air Force safety and operational risk management education courses.
General Griffin entered the Air Force in 1976 through the ROTC program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He has held a variety of staff positions, including working as a Strategic Offensive Forces planner and B-1 Program Element Monitor for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Force. The general also has served as Chief of Current Operations and as executive assistant to the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.; Deputy Director of Plans and Programs and Assistant Director of Aerospace Operations, with Headquarters Air Combat Command and later as Director, Strategy, Policy and Plans (J-5), Headquarters U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla. Prior to assuming his current position, the general was Director, Global Reach Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. As the Director of Global Reach Programs, he was responsible to the Air Force acquisition executive for airlift, air refueling, training and special operations programs.
General Griffin's flying assignments include serving as a B-1 and B-52 aircraft commander, instructor pilot and evaluator aircraft commander. He served as Commander of the 77th Bomb Squadron and Deputy Commander of the 28th Operations Group, both with the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, S.D. He also commanded the 2nd Operations Group at Barksdale AFB, La., and the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas, where his unit provided combat-ready B-1 aircraft, crews and associated combat support for global engagement. General Griffin deployed in December 2001 to command the 405th Air Expeditionary Wing, leading 1,600 people supporting the B-1, KC-135, E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, and RC-135 operations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. During this deployment, General Griffin became the first general officer to fly the B-1 into combat. He is a command pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours, including nearly 100 combat hours in Operation Enduring Freedom.
1975 Bachelor of Science degree, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1976 Master of Science degree, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1979 Distinguished graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1990 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
1995 National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
1995 Master of Science degree, National Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2003 Senior Information Warfare Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 Combined Force Air Component Commander Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2005 National Security Leadership Course, Syracuse University, N.Y.
1. October 1976 - March 1977, student, Minuteman missile initial qualification training, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
2. March 1977 - September 1979, deputy missile combat crew commander, standardization and evaluation deputy combat crew commander, and missile combat crew commander, 319th and 321st strategic missile squadrons, Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyo.
3. October 1979 - December 1979, student, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
4. January 1980 - March 1981, student, undergraduate pilot training, Williams AFB, Ariz.
5. May 1981 - September 1981, student, 4017th Combat Crew Training Squadron, Castle AFB, Calif.
6. September 1981 - April 1986, B-52 co-pilot, standardization and evaluation instructor co-pilot, aircraft commander, instructor aircraft commander, chief of training flight, and standardization and evaluation instructor aircraft commander, 596th Bombardment Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.
7. April 1986 - July 1989, B-1assistant flight commander instructor aircraft commander, combat crew training squadron flight instructor aircraft commander, and standardization and evaluation instructor aircraft commander, 337th Bombardment Squadron and 338th Combat Crew Training Squadron, 96th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas
8. July 1989 - May 1990, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
9. July 1990 - August 1992, Strategic Offensive Forces planner, B-1 Program Element Monitor, and Chief, Operations Branch, Directorate of Operations, Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
10. September 1992 - July 1994, Commander, 77th Bomb Squadron, and Deputy Commander, 28th Operations Group, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.
11. August 1994 - June 1995, student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
12. July 1995 - June 1997, Chief, Current Operations Division, and executive assistant to the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt AFB, Neb.
13. June 1997 - February 1999, Commander, 2nd Operations Group, Barksdale AFB, La.
14. February 1999 - April 2000, Deputy Director of Plans and Programs, Headquarters ACC, Langley AFB, Va.
15. April 2000 - November 2000, Assistant Director of Aerospace Operations, Headquarters ACC, Langley AFB, Va.
16. November 2000 - January 2003, Commander, 7th Bomb Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas
17. January 2003 - May 2005, Director, Strategy, Policy and Plans, Headquarters U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla.
18. May 2005 - June 2007, Director, Global Reach Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
19. June 2007 - present, Air Force Chief of Safety, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Safety Center, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: More than 4,200; approximately 100 combat hours in Operation Enduring Freedom
Aircraft flown: T-37, T-38, B-52G, B-1, B-52H, F-15, C-17, C-130 and KC-135
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze Star Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" device and four oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with four oak leaf clusters
Combat Readiness Medal with two oak leaf clusters
National Defense Service Medal with bronze star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 4, 1975
First Lieutenant April 8, 1978
Captain April 8, 1980
Major March 1, 1987
Lieutenant Colonel July 1, 1991
Colonel Feb. 1, 1995
Brigadier General March 1, 2002
Major General Nov. 1, 2005
(Current as of December 2008)