Major General USAF (retired)
Major General Chad “Sparky” Franks retired from the Air Force after 31 years of dedicated service. He culminated his career as the Commander, 15th Air Force, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. General Franks was responsible for organizing, training and equipping 13 wings and three direct reporting units in Air Combat Command ensuring operational readiness of over 800 aircraft and 47,000 Airmen.
General Franks was commissioned in 1990 as a graduate of the University of New Orleans Air Force ROTC program. He has served in a variety of flying positions during assignments in Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Education and Training Command and Air Combat Command. General Franks is a decorated command pilot with more than 3200 flying hours in the MH-60G, HH-60G, HC-130, and T-37 including combat hours flown in Europe and Southwest Asia.
Chad has served in several high-profile positions including Chief of Staff for the Combined Forces Air Component Commander in Southwest Asia, Senior Executive Officer to the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Vice Commander Fourteenth Air Force in Air Force Space Command, and as Deputy Commanding General for Operations and Intelligence, Operation Inherent Resolve in Baghdad, Iraq. He has commanded at the Numbered Air Force, wing, group and squadron level. He has deployed in support of Operations Provide Comfort, Northern Watch, Allied Force, Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve.
General Franks’ area of expertise includes operations, strategic development, risk management, team building, leading large organizations, and change management. He was awarded a Master’s in Strategy Studies from the U.S. Army War College as well as a Master’s in Military Operational Art and Science from the USAF Air Command and Staff College.
Chad and his wife Kim of over 30 years reside in Monument, Colorado. Their oldest son, Logan and his wife Carla live in Valdosta, Georgia where Logan is an ICU nurse. Chad and Kim’s youngest son lives in Fort Collins, CO and works for a nationally known advertising company.
1990 Bachelor of Arts, General Studies, University of New Orleans, La.
1997 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2003 Master’s degree, Military Operational Art, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2004 Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk Naval Station, Va.
2010 Master’s degree, Strategic Art, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
1. March 1991–August 1992, Air Traffic Control Officer Training, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.
2. August 1992–April 1994, Chief, Air Traffic Control Officer, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
3. April 1994–October 1994, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, Texas
4. October 1994–May 1995, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Fort Rucker, Ala.
5. October 1995–April 2000, Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, 55th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
6. April 2000–July 2002, Evaluator Pilot, Flight Commander and Assistant Director of Operations, 84th Flying Training Squadron, Laughlin AFB, Texas
7. July 2002–June 2003, Student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
8. July 2003–May 2005, Futures Analyst Staff Officer, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, Fla.
9. May 2005–June 2007, Operations Officer, 512th Rescue Squadron, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
10. June 2007–June 2009, Commander, 66th Rescue Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.
11. July 2009–June 2010, Student, Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
12. July 2010–July 2012, Commander, 347th Rescue Group, Moody AFB, Ga.
13. August 2012–June 2013, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force Central Command, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
14. July 2013–July 2015, Commander, 23rd Wing, Moody AFB, Ga.
15. July 2015–August 2016, Senior Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
16. August 2016–April 2018, Vice Commander, 14th Air Force, Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
17. May 2018–June 2019, Deputy Commander for Operations and Intelligence, Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve and Commander, 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force-Levant, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
18. June 2019–August 2020, Commander, Ninth Air Force, Shaw AFB, S.C.
19. August 2020–present, Commander, 15th Air Force, Shaw AFB, S.C.
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: more than 3,300
Aircraft Flown: T-37, UH-1, UH-1N, HC-130J and MH/HH-60G
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters
Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Commendation Medal
Iraq Campaign Medal with oak leaf cluster
Kosovo Campaign Medal
NATO Medal with oak leaf cluster