Col. Robert S. Smith is the Commander, of the 505th Combat Training Group (CTG), Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.  As Commander, Col. Smith is responsible for the development, experimentation, integration, and training of command-and-control (C2) weapon systems for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) operations. The 505th CTG includes more than 430 personnel and is a subordinate unit of the 505th Command and Control Wing located at Hurlburt Field, Fla. 

Col. Smith initially enlisted in the U.S. Force and served four years as a C-141B Loadmaster. He re-entered the U.S. Air Force as a Distinguished Graduate from the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps program at the University of Central Florida in 2002. After completing air battle manager training, he was assigned to Robins AFB, Ga., flying on the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS). Prior to his current position, the colonel was the Chief, C2 and Integrated Air and Missile Defense Division (IAMD), Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. 

Col. Smith is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies and the National Intelligence University. Col. Smith has accumulated more than 3,900 flying hours, including more than 1,700 combat hours supporting Operations ALLIED FORCE, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, ODYSSEY DAWN, UNIFIED PROTECTOR, INHERENT RESOLVE, and FREEDOM’S SENTINEL.


2002  Bachelor of Science, Political Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando

2002  Air and Space Basic Course, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2008  Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2010  Master of International Relations, American Military University

2011  U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, Va., by correspondence

2012  Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence

2014  Master of Science and Technology Intelligence, National Intelligence University, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

2015  Master of Philosophy, Military Strategy, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

2019  Design Thinking Executive Course, Stanford University d.School, Palo Alto, Calif.

2019  High Potentials Leadership Program, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass.

2019  Leading Change and Organizational Renewal, Stanford University School of Business, Palo Alto, Calif.

2020  Certificate in Facilitation, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

2021  Disruptive Innovation, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass.


1. June 2002 – January 2006, Operations Manager, 6th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

2. January 2006 – November 2006, Student, Air Battle Manager Course, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

3. November 2006 – May 2007, Student, Air Weapons Officer Course, Robins AFB, Ga.

4. May 2007 – April 2009, Assistant Chief of Analysis and Assistant Flight Commander, 16th Airborne Command and Control Squadron (ACCS), Robins AFB, Ga.

5. April 2009 – April 2010, Wing Executive Officer, 116th Air Control Wing, Robins AFB, Ga.

6. April 2010 – November 2011, Flight Commander, 16th ACCS, Robins AFB, Ga.

7. November 2011 – August 2013, Chief, Air Force Tactical Terminals and Chief, Advanced Communication Systems Branch, Air Force C2 Integration Center, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.

8. August 2013 – July 2014, Student, National Intelligence University, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.

9. July 2014 – June 2015, Student, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, Air University, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

10. June 2015 – December 2015, Student, Mission Crew Commander Course, Robins AFB, Ga.

11. January 2016 – March 2016, Assistant Director of Operations, 16th ACCS, Robins AFB, Ga.

12. April 2016 – September 2016, Director of Operations, 7th Expeditionary ACCS, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar

13. October 2016 – June 2017, Director of Operations, 12th ACCS, Robins AFB, Ga.

14. June 2017 – June 2019, Commander, 16th ACCS, Robins AFB, Ga.

15. July 2019 – June 2020, Project Everest Fellow, Air Force Fellows Program, Washington, D.C.

16. June 2020 – June 2022, Deputy Chief, Futures and Concepts Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.

17. June 2022 – June 2023, Chief, C2 and IAMD Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.

18. June 2023  – present, Commander, 505th Combat Training Group, Nellis AFB, Nev.


Rating:  senior air battle manager
Flight hours:  more than 3,900, including more than 1,700 combat hours
Aircraft flown:  E-8C, C-141B


Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Air Medal with silver oak leaf cluster

Air Force Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters

Air Force Achievement Medal

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with “V” device

Afghanistan Campaign Medal  

Iraq Campaign Medal

Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal  

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Air and Space Campaign Medal

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Medal


Second Lieutenant May 29, 2002

First Lieutenant May 29, 2004

Captain May 29, 2006

Major July 1, 2012

Lieutenant Colonel Dec. 1, 2016

Colonel Sept. 1, 2022

(Current as of June 2023)