Col. Patrick V. Wnetrzak serves as the Commander of the 492nd Special Operations Wing (SOW), co-located at Hurlburt Field and Duke Field, Florida. As commander, he leads the "Carpetbaggers" of the Fightin’ 492nd SOW, the Air Force’s only Irregular Warfare wing executing Non-Standard Aviation. The wing is also responsible for preparing Air Commandos for worldwide missions in support of joint and coalition special operations through training and education, innovation, and development. Additionally, his units are responsible for mission qualification and continuation training in SOF aviation platforms to include AC-130J, MC-130J, C-146, MQ-9, U-28A, small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) and the A-29.
The Colonel graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1999. He has spent the majority of his career in special operations assignments and has flow missions supporting contingency operations over Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and the Philippines.
1999 Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Engineering, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
2006 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2011 Masters of Science, Aeronautical Science Technology, Embry-Riddle University, Daytona Beach, FL
2012 Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS
2013 Master of Philosophy, Military Strategy, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2018 Master of Science, National Security Strategy, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
2019 National Security Studies, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, NY
December 1999—February 2001, Undergraduate Pilot Training, 37th and 50th Flight Training Squadrons, Columbus AFB, MS
February 2001—February 2004, B-1B Aircraft Commander, Weapons & Tactics Officer, Resource Advisor, 9th Bomb Squadron, Dyess AFB, TX
February 2004—April 2007, T-6A Evaluator Pilot, Training Air Wing Six, Pensacola NAS, FL
April 2007—July 2010, Evaluator Pilot, Mission Commander, Assistant Operations Officer, 319th and 34th Special Operations Squadrons, Hurlburt Field, FL
July 2010—June 2011, Chief, Group Standardization and Evaluation, 1st Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, FL
June 2011—July 2012, Student, Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS
July 2012—June 2013, Student, Air Force School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL
June 2013—June 2017, Operations Officer then Commander, 318th Special Operations Squadron, Cannon AFB, NM
June 2017—June 2018, Student, National War College, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C.
June 2018–March 2020, Senior Program Analyst, Irregular Warfare Division, Office of the Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Washington, D.C.
April 2020–July 2022, Commander, 1st Joint Special Operations Air Component, Fort Bragg, NC
July 2022—July 2023, Deputy Director of Operations, Headquarters, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, FL
July 2023–Present, Commander, 492d Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Fla.
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. June 2018--March 2018, Senior Program Analyst, Irregular Warfare Division, Office of the Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Washington, D.C., as a colonel
2. April 2020–July 2022, Commander, 1st Joint Special Operations Air Component, Fort Bragg, NC, as a colonel
Rating: command pilot
Flight Hours: More than 5,100
Aircraft Flown: T-37B, T-38A, B-1B, T-6A, F/A-18, PC-12, U-28A, MC-130H
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with 17 oak leaf clusters
(Current as of Aug 2023)