Col. Jesse Simmons Jr., commander of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Wing, recently received the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement while serving as deputy commander in Afghanistan at Bagram Airfield from May-September 2009.
The citation states that Col. Simmons personified “exemplary leadership, personal endeavor, and devotion to duty” in a position of much responsibility that “reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”
During his tour in Afghanistan, Col. Simmons supervised an operations group consisting of nine squadrons and two flights and orchestrated the efforts of more than 800 soldiers, sailors and airmen. The group Col. Simmons supervised provided air support, electronic attack, combat search and rescue, combat airlift and airdrop and aeromedical evacuation throughout Afghanistan and Southwest Asia.
A Rincon resident, Col. Simmons has over 4,800 flying hours and has performed 96 combat missions in Southwest Asia and 140 combat support missions in South America and Southwest Asia.
He is a graduate of Hixson High School and The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. He is the son of Jesse and Clara Simmons of Chattanooga.