Chief Master Sergeant Benjamin W. Hedden is the Command Chief for Ninth Air Force, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. He advises the commander and staff on matters influencing the health, welfare, morale and effective utilization of all assigned personnel. Ninth Air Force organizes, trains, and equips its headquarters to be a deployable, operational-level Joint Task Force and its subordinate commands to prepare for and execute expeditionary taskings. Additionally, Ninth Air Force commands eight wings and three direct reporting units in the Southeastern U.S., ensuring the operational readiness of almost 400 aircraft and over 26,000 active duty and civilian members.
Chief Hedden grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and enlisted in the Air Force in August 1995. He began his career as an Aerospace Ground Equipment Apprentice. He has extensive back shop and flight line maintenance experience having served in multiple leadership positions at the Group, Squadron and Flight level. Chief Hedden has been stationed at locations in Louisiana, United Kingdom, Arizona, Republic of Korea, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, and Florida. He spent more than four years as a Military Training Instructor and was awarded the Master Military Training Instructor “Blue Rope” in 2008. He has been involved in operations: JOINT FORGE, ALLIED FORCE, SOUTHERN WATCH, NOBLE EAGLE, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and INHERENT RESOLVE.
Prior to his current position, Chief Master Sgt. Hedden served as Superintendent, United States Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida.
2000 Airman Leadership School, RAF Feltwell, United Kingdom
2002 Associates in Applied Science degree in Aerospace Ground Equipment Technology, Community College of the Air Force
2003 Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Lackland AFB, Texas
2005 Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (correspondence)
2006 Associates in Applied Science degree in Instructor of Technology and Military Science, Community College of the Air Force
2008 Marine Corps Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy Advance Course, Quantico, Va.
2013 AFSO21 Senior Leader Course, University of Tennessee
2014 Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Course
2015 Enterprise Leadership Seminar, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of N.C.
2016 Middle East and Southwest Asia Seminar, Washington D.C.
2016 Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education II Course
2016 Senior Enlisted Legal Orientation Course, Judge Advocate General’s School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2017 Keystone Command Senior Enlisted Leader Course, National Defense University, Washington D.C.
2018 Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.
2019 Security Cooperation Management Executive Course, Defense Institute of Security Cooperation Studies
2019 Summit Course, Joint Special Operations University, United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM)
1. August 1995 – September 1995, trainee, Basic Military Training, Lackland AFB, Texas
2. September 1995 – March 1996, student, Aerospace Ground Equipment Apprentice, Sheppard AFB, Texas
3. March 1996 – July 1998, Aerospace Ground Equipment Apprentice, 2d Maintenance Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La.
4. July 1998 – July 2001, Aerospace Ground Equipment Journeyman, 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom (March 1999 – June 1999, Aerospace Ground Equipment Journeyman, 501st Expeditionary Logistics Squadron, Cervia AB, Italy; December 2000 – March 2001, Aerospace Ground Equipment Journeyman, 332d Expeditionary Logistics Squadron, Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait)
5. July 2001 – October 2004, Aerospace Ground Equipment Craftsman, 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., (November 2002 – March 2003, Aerospace Ground Equipment Craftsman, 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron, Southwest Asia; November 2003 – March 2004, Transient Alert Team Shift Leader, 506th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron, Kirkuk AB, Iraq)
6. October 2004 – October 2005, Production Support Section Leader, 51st Maintenance Squadron, Osan AB, South Korea
7. October 2005 – October 2006, Military Training Instructor, 324th Training Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas
8. October 2006 – December 2008, Section Supervisor, 324th Training Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas
9. December 2008 – June 2009, Standardization and Evaluation Team Member, 737th Training Group, Lackland AFB, Texas
10. June 2009 – December 2009, Superintendent, Training Flight, 319th Training Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas
11. December 2009 – July 2010, Superintendent, Standardization and Evaluation Flight, 737th Training Group, Lackland AFB, Texas
12. July 2010 – May 2011, Propulsion Flight Chief, 58th Maintenance Squadron, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
13. May 2011 – April 2012, Superintendent, Quality Assurance, 58th Maintenance Group, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
14. April 2012 – March 2013, Superintendent, 71st Aircraft Maintenance Unit, 58th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
15. March 2013 – December 2013, Superintendent, 58th Maintenance Squadron, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
16. December 2013 – August 2015, Superintendent, 53d Test and Evaluation Group, Nellis AFB, Nev.
17. August 2015 – May 2017, Command Chief, 80th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard AFB, Texas
18. May 2017 – June 2018, Command Chief, 332d Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia
19. June 2018 – June 2019, Superintendent, United States Central Command, MacDill AFB, Fla.
20. June 2019 – Present, Command Chief, Ninth Air Force, Shaw AFB, S.C.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Kosovo Campaign Medal with bronze service star
Iraqi Campaign Medal with bronze service star
Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal with bronze service star
1998 Senior Airman Below the Zone
2004 Junior Enlisted Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award, 51st Fighter Wing
2006 Distinguished Graduate and Commandants Award, Military Training Instructor School, Lackland AFB, Texas
2008 Presidents Honor Roll, Marine Corp Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy Advance Course, Quantico, Va.
2011 Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, 58th Special Operations Wing, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
2018 Summa cum laude, Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
EFFECTIVE DATE OF PROMOTION
Chief Master Sergeant Sept. 1, 2013
(Current as of June 2019)