Col. Abba is the commander of the 53d Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The wing comprises approximately 2,800 military and civilian people across 74 units at 23 diverse locations throughout the United States. The 53rd Wing is responsible for fighter, bomber, space and remotely piloted air vehicle operational testing and evaluation, and tactics development and evaluation in the areas of electronic combat, armament, avionics and aircrew training devices. His command includes Air Force Advanced Program Networks, the air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons systems evaluation programs Combat Archer and Combat Hammer, as well as the electronic warfare evaluation program, Combat Shield.
Col. Abba earned his commission through the United States Air Force Academy in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Factors Engineering. He has held a variety of flying assignments at the squadron, group, and wing level, including serving as the weapons officer for the 58th Fighter Squadron, at Eglin AFB, Fla., director of operations for the 27th Fighter Squadron and commander of the 94th Fighter Squadron, both at Langley AFB, Va. His staff assignments include Airpower Strategist in CHECKMATE, Assistant Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Senior Air Force Strategy Advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. Prior to his current position, Col. Abba was the commander, 3rd Operations Group, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
1995 Bachelor of Science, Human Factors Engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs
2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2003 U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2007 Master of Arts, National Security and Strategic Studies with Distinction, College of Naval Command & Staff, Naval Station Newport, R.I.
2007 Naval Operational Planner Course (now Maritime Advanced Warfighting School), Naval Station Newport, R.I.
2008 Air War College, by correspondence
2013 Master of Science, National Resource Strategy, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, Ft McNair, Washington, D.C.
2015 Fellow, Seminar XXI, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Washington, D.C.
1. July 1995 – May 1996, Intercollegiate Program Manager, Athletic Department, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs
2. May 1996 – September 1997, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, NAS Whiting Field, Fla., and Vance Air Force Base, Okla.
3. September 1997 – December 1997, Student, Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals, Columbus AFB, Miss.
4. January 1998 – June 1998, Student, F-15C Formal Training Unit, 2nd Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
5. July 1998 – February 2001, F-15C Instructor Pilot, 71st Fighter Squadron, Langley AFB, Va.
6. March 2001 – June 2003, F-15C Instructor Pilot and Academic Instructor, 95th Fighter Squadron, Tyndall AFB, Fla.
7. July 2003 – December 2003, Student, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
8. January 2004 – June 2006, Squadron Weapons Officer, 58th Fighter Squadron and Wing Weapons Officer, Eglin AFB, Fla.
9. July 2006 – September 2007, Student, College of Naval Command and Staff and Naval Operational Planner Course, Naval Station Newport, R.I.
10. September 2007 – March 2009, Airpower Strategist, CHECKMATE and Assistant Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C
11. July 2009 – June 2012, Operations Officer, 27th Fighter Squadron; Commander, 94th Fighter Squadron; Deputy Commander, 1st Operations Group, Langley AFB, Va.
12. July 2012 – June 2013, Student, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy (formerly ICAF), Ft McNair, Washington, D.C.
13. June 2013 – May 2015, Senior Air Force Strategy Advisor, Office of Strategy and Force Development, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy), Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
14. May 2015 – June 2017, Commander, 3rd Operations Group, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
15. June 2017 – Present, Commander, 53rd Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla.
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: Over 2,100
Aircraft Flown: T-38A, AT-38B, F-22A, F-15 C/D/E, F-16D, E-3B/C, C-12F, C-17A, B-1B, B-2A, B-52H, HC-130J, HH-60G, TU-2S, E-9A
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
2002 Distinguished Graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2003 Flying Award, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2013 Distinguished Graduate, Master of Science, National Resource Strategy, Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C.
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant May 31, 1995
First Lieutenant May 31, 1997
Captain May 31, 1999
Major Aug. 1, 2005
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2009
Colonel Oct. 1, 2014
(Current as of April 2019)