Colonel Thomas P. Coppinger is the 108th Wing Vice Commander, New Jersey Air National Guard, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ. The 108th Wing is a reserve component of the Air Force's Air Mobility Command. He is responsible for assisting the 108th Wing Commander in managing the Wing's flying units; the 141st Air Refueling Squadron, flying the KC-135R Stratotanker, the 150th Special Operations Squadron flying the C-32B and 17 support units with more than 1,200 members. Colonel Coppinger is additionally responsible for Unit Effectiveness Inspections, the Air Force Special Interest Items Program, the 108th Wing Command Post, and the 108th Wing Staff.

Colonel Coppinger was born in New York City, NY. In 1987, he graduated from Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY and earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering.

Colonel Coppinger was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He received his pilot wings at Laughlin AFB, TX. After attending KC-135 Combat Crew Training School at Castle AFB, CA, he was assigned to the 379th Bomb Wing at Wurtsmith AFB, MI where he upgraded to Aircraft Commander. He served on Active Duty as a schoolhouse Instructor Pilot, Current Operations Planner, Chief of Training and Chief of Scheduling while assigned to Plattsburgh AFB, NY; Grand Forks AFB, ND and Altus AFB, OK. During this period he also deployed in support of numerous contingency operations including DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. In 2000, he joined the 141st Air Refueling Squadron of the New Jersey Air National Guard. Colonel Coppinger has served in the 108th Wing as a Wing Plans Officer, Chief of Training, Chief of Standardization/Evaluation, Squadron Operations Officer, Squadron Commander, Deputy Group Commander, 108th Operations Group Commander and an Evaluator Pilot in the KC-135R. He has also deployed multiple times in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.


1987 Bachelor of Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Manhattan College, NY

1989 Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, TX

1989 KC-135 Combat Crew Training School, Castle AFB, CA

1995 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL

1995 KC-135 Central Flight Instructor Course, Altus AFB, OK

1997 KC-135 Faculty Training Course, Altus AFB, OK

2004 Air Command and Staff College (Correspondence)

2013 Air War College (Correspondence)

ASSIGNMENTS 1. 1988 - 1989, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Laughlin AFB, TX

2. 1989 - 1992, Pilot, KC-135A, 920th Air Refueling Squadron, Wurtsmith AFB, MI

3. 1992 - 1994, Aircraft Commander, KC-135, 380th Air Refueling Squadron, Plattsburgh AFB, NY

4. 1994 - 1995, Wing Plans Officer, 319th Air Refueling Wing, Grand Forks AFB, ND

5. 1995 - 1997, Chief of Training Flight, 912th Air Refueling Squadron, Grand Forks AFB, ND

6. 1997 - 1998, Chief of Tanker Scheduling, 97th Operations Support Squadron, Altus AFB, OK

7. 1998 - 1999, Combat Crew Training Instructor, 55th Air Refueling Squadron, Altus AFB, OK

8. 2000 - 2002, Instructor Pilot, 141st Air Refueling Squadron, McGuire AFB, NJ

9. 2002 - 2004, Wing Plans Officer, 108th Air Refueling Wing, McGuire AFB, NJ

10. 2004 - 2009, Operations Officer, 150th Air Refueling Squadron, McGuire AFB, NJ

11. 2008 - 2012, Chief of Standardization and Evaluation, 108th Operations Group, McGuire AFB, NJ

12. 2012 - 2013, Deputy Commander, 108th Operations Group, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ

13. 2013 - 2014, Commander, 108th Operations Support Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ

14. 2014 - 2017, Commander, 108th Operations Group, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ

15. 2017 - Present, Vice Wing Commander, 108th Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ


Rating: Command Pilot

Flight Hours: More than 5,000

Military Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-38, KC-135A, KC-135Q, KC-135E, KC-135R, KC-135T


Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal (with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster)

Aerial Achievement Medal (with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters)

Air Force Commendation Medal (with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters) Air Force Achievement Medal

Meritorious Unit Award Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (with Valor Device and 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters) Combat Readiness Medal (with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters) National Defense Service Medal (with 1 Bronze Service Star) Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal (with 2 Bronze Service Stars) Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War On Terrorism Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon (with Gold Border) Air Force Longevity Service (with 1 Silver Oak Leaf Cluster) Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with 2 'M' Devices and 1 Silver Hourglass) Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Pistol) Air Force Training Ribbon

Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait

Louisiana Emergency Service Medal New Jersey Meritorious Service Medal New Jersey Ribbon of Honor New Jersey Merit Award Ribbon (with 11 Arabic Numeral Devices) New Jersey Unit Strength Award Ribbon

(Current as of May 2017)