Colonel Lea T. Kirkwood is the Vice Commander of the 72d Air Base Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, OK. She is responsible for a $311 million operating budget and more than 3,000 personnel providing base operating and direct operational support to the Air Force Sustainment Center, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 552d Air Control Wing, Navy Strategic Communications Wing One, 507th Air Refueling Wing and 45 other associate units. She supervises two groups, two directorates and various wing staff agencies that manage more than $15 billion in resources located across 5,400 acres comprising Tinker Air Force Base.
Colonel Kirkwood was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and received her Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from Miami University, Oxford, OH, in 1992. She received her Master of International Business Administration from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. in 2004 and Master of Arts in Security Studies from Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA in 2006. She has attended professional military education at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, and Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA. She is also accredited in the Acquisition Professional Development Program, Program Management Level II. Colonel Kirkwood has held a variety of leadership and management positions in acquisitions, international relations, base support and executive services. As an acquisition program manager, she has managed space, command and control, mission planning, and automatic test system programs for United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization operations, as well as foreign military sales. She has also led international relations at the Pentagon, in Hungary, and in the United Kingdom. Colonel Kirkwood commanded the 422d Air Base Squadron, Royal Air Force Croughton, UK, and served as Deputy Commander, 78th Mission Support Group, Robins Air Force Base, GA, and Deputy Commander, 451st Expeditionary Mission Support Group, Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. Her decorations include the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Achievement Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, and the National Defense Silver Medal from the Ministry of Defense, France.