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Colonel Ryan S. Simms is the Director of Engagements and Chief of the Air and Space Force Foreign Liaison Office in the office of Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs (SAF/IA). He leads principal advisors to DAF, USAF and USSF senior leaders on security cooperation efforts with key nations through cooperative engagement with foreign senior defense officials worldwide. He also directs all foreign service attaché affairs and engagements on behalf of SAF/IA and Department of the Air Force senior leadership. Col. Simms serves at SAF/IA following an overseas assignment as Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Operations for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force and graduation from Air War College at Maxwell AFB, AL. Prior assignments include command of the Air Force’s largest high-altitude remotely piloted aircraft squadron, and direct service to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force as ISR and RPA Policy Specialist, Headquarters Air Force Executive Action Group. In addition to operational experience as a manned and unmanned pilot, Col. Simms draws from proficiency in international and diplomatic policy to facilitate key communication and decisions among the Secretariat, Air Staff, Joint Staff, and other Services on the Air Force's top priorities.

An Air Force Academy graduate of 2001, Col. Simms followed his initial tour as an airlift wing staff officer with pilot training and assignment to McChord AFB, WA as aircraft commander of the C-17 Globemaster. Logging over 1,500 hours, Col. Simms flew over 100 combat airlift missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as theater airlift missions throughout the Middle East, Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Pacific. He later transferred to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale to support operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM as RQ-4 Global Hawk instructor and evaluator. Following two deployments as a launch-and-recovery pilot overseas, Col. Simms distinguished himself as the Wing’s lead RQ-4 tactician and subject matter expert in high altitude ISR, creating enroute procedures and drafting unprecedented military policies that paved the way for routine transit of RPAs through international airspace. During his time at Beale, he authored tactics, techniques, and procedures for two new airframes, the RQ-4B and EQ-4B, enabled the historic deployment of two new forward operating locations overseas, and coordinated RQ-4 humanitarian aid/disaster relief efforts in the US, Haiti, and Japan.

Throughout his years of service, Col. Simms performed numerous other roles, including Air Operations Center ISR Division Officer, Mission Planner, Standardization and Evaluation Officer, and Executive Officer for operational and staff-level commanders. He is a Command Pilot with over 2,700 flying hours.

2001 Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
2002 Aerospace Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, AL
2002 Western Asia Strategic Studies Course, Air Force Special Operations Command
2009 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
2010 Air Command and Staff College (Correspondence), Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL
2010 Master of Arts degree in Military Arts and Sciences, American Military University
2012 Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Course, Headquarters, US Air Force
2018 Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA
2021 Air War College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL

1. Jun 2001 – May 2002, 86th Airlift Wing Commander’s Action Group, Ramstein AB, Germany
2. May 2002 – Oct 2003, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, Columbus AFB, MS
3. Nov 2003 – Jun 2007, C-17 Pilot/Aircraft Commander, McChord AFB, WA
4. Jun 2007 – Jan 2008, Student, RQ-4 Pilot Training, Beale AFB, CA
5. Jan 2008 – Jan 2009, Chief of Tactics, 12th Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale, CA
6. Jan 2009 – Jan 2010, RQ-4 Instructor Pilot, Transition Team Chief, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Commander’s Action Group, Beale AFB, CA
7. Jan 2010 – Jan 2012, RQ-4 Evaluator Pilot, Subject Matter Expert, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Tactics, Beale AFB, CA
8. Jan 2012 – Oct 2012, RQ-4 Functional Area Manager, RPA Capabilities Division, HQ USAF, Pentagon
9. Oct 2012 – Sept 2014, Chief, ISR & RPA Policy, Executive Action Group, HQ USAF, Pentagon
10. Sept 2014 – May 2016, Director of Operations, 12th Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale AFB, CA
11. May 2016 – May 2018, Commander, 12th Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale AFB, CA
12. May 2018 – Jul 2020, Assistant Chief of Staff, ISR Operations, NATO AGS Force, SHAPE, Belgium
13. Jul 2020 – Jun 2021, Student, Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL
14. Jun 2021 – Sep 2022, Chief, South Asia Branch, SAF/IA, HQ USAF, Pentagon
15. Sep 2022 – Present, Chief, Air Force Foreign Liaison Office, SAF/IA, HQ USAF, Pentagon

Rating: Command Pilot
Flight Hours: More than 2700 hours, including 844 combat hours
Federal Aviation Administration: Commercial Pilot, Single and Multi-Engine Land, Instrument Rating
Aircraft Flown: T-37, T-1, C-17A, RQ-4A/B Global Hawk, EQ-4B Net Hawk

Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Meritorious Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters
AF Outstanding Unit Award with one silver oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with gold border

Squadron Officer School Top Third Graduate
German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge
NATO Eagle Award

Second Lieutenant: 1 Jun 2001
First Lieutenant: 1 Jun 2003
Captain: 1 Jun 2005
Major: 1 Feb 2011
Lieutenant Colonel: 1 May 2016
Colonel: 1 Oct 2022