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(Archived - Former commander of the 970th Airborne Air Control Squadron - Left the 513th Air Control Group in May 2018) Lt. Col. David C. Cavazos is the commander the 970th Airborne Air Control Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The 970th is the only Air Force Reserve squadron that flies the E-3 Sentry, an Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.


Cavazos entered the Air Force in 1993 with his acceptance to the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School. He has served in various operational assignments including T-38 fighter track instructor for the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program, where he instructed and evaluated future fighter pilots for 13 member nations of the NATO alliance, and instructor and evaluator pilot for the E-3 Sentry.  He has served in many leadership positions including chief of safety, chief pilot and assistant director of operations.


Cavazos has more than 19 years of experience in flight instruction, airspace, safety, and command and control, including joint and multi-national operations. He is a senior pilot with more than 3,500 flight hours in various aircraft, including missions flown in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle.

1998 Bachelor of Science in Engineering Mechanics, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2004 Master of Business Administration, Wayland Baptist University, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2005 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
2010 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

1. June 1998 - October 1999, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, 80th Operations Support Squadron, Sheppard AFB, Texas
2. November 1999 - July 2000, T-37 Pilot Instructor Training, 88th Flying Training Squadron, Sheppard AFB, Texas
3. August 2000 - March 2001, Wing Projects and Programs Officer, 80th Flying Training Wing, Sheppard AFB, Texas
4. April 2001 - July 2001, T-38 Pilot Instructor Training, 88th FTS, Sheppard AFB, Texas
5. August 2001 - September 2002, T-38 Instructor Pilot, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, 90th FTS, Sheppard AFB, Texas
6. October 2002 - December 2002, T-38 Quality Assurance Representative, 90th FTS, Sheppard AFB, Texas
7. January 2003 - August 2004 T-38 Airspace Manager, 80th OSS, Sheppard AFB, Texas
8. September 2004 - December 2004, AWACS Initial Qualification Training, First Pilot, 552nd Training Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
9. January 2005 - February 2005, E-3 Aircraft Commander, 963rd Airborne Air Control Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.
10. March 2005 - May 2005, Assistant Flight Commander, 963rd AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.
11. June 2005 - May 2006, Flight Commander, 963rd AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.
12. June 2006 - July 2006, Formal Training Unit E-3 Instructor Pilot, 966th AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.
13. July 2006 - April 2008, Squadron Chief of Safety, 966th AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.
14. May 2008 - April 2010, Group Chief of Safety, 513th Air Control Group, Tinker AFB, Okla.
15 May 2010 - September 2010, Wing Chief of Safety, 552 Air Control Wing, Tinker AFB, Okla.
16. October 2010 - May 2011, Chief Pilot, 970th AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.
17. May 2011 - September 2011, Fighter Planner, Master Air Attack Plan Team, 101st Air and Space Operations Group, Tyndall AFB, Florida
18. September 2011 - April 2012, Chief Pilot, 970th AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.
19. May 2012 - December 2012, Assistant Director of Operations, 970th AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.

20. January 2013 – May 2015, Director of Operations, 513th Operations Support Squadron, Tinker AFB, Okla.

21. May 2015 – Present, Commander, 970th AACS, Tinker AFB, Okla.


Rating: Senior Pilot
Flight Hours: more than 3,500 flight hours
Aircraft Flown: SGS 2-33, T-3A, T-41, T-37B, T-38A, E-3B/C/G


Meritorious Service Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster

Aerial Achievement Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters

Meritorious Unit Award

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two bronze oak leaf clusters

Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal

National Defense Service Medal with bronze star

Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze star

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border

Air Force Longevity Service  with silver oak leaf cluster

Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (Pistol)

Navy Expert Rifle Medal

Honors-MBA Program (4.0 GPA), Wayland Baptist University

Air Force Reserve Command Flight Safety Officer of the Year for 2008 and 2010

10th Air Force Flight Safety Officer of the Year for 2008, 2009 and 2010

AWACS Formal Training Unit Instructor Pilot of the Year for 2006

80th Flying Training Wing Company Grade Officer of the Year for 2000

Second Lieutenant, May 27, 1998
First Lieutenant, May 27, 2000
Captain, May 27, 2002
Major, Nov. 1, 2007
Lieutenant Colonel, Aug. 15, 2013

(Current as of January 2017)