Colonel John T. Caranta III is the Commander of the 673d Mission Support Group, 673d Air Base Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The group provides support for the 43,500 active duty, reserve, National Guard, retirees, civilians and family members. The group is comprised of more than 2,200 personnel encompassing four squadrons: communications, contracting, force support, and security forces that provide expeditionary combat support for Alaskan Command; Alaskan NORAD Region; 11th Air Force; U.S. Army Alaska; 3rd Wing; 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division; 2nd Engineer Brigade; 176th Wing, 477th Fighter Group and other tenant units for the largest military installation in 11th Air Force. The group also maintains combat and contingency readiness forces and supports two forward operating locations for Headquarters Alaskan Command and Headquarters Northern Command.
Colonel Caranta received his commission in 1996 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of New Mexico. Colonel Caranta is a Cyberspace Operations officer with over 14 years of direct network operations and defense cyberspace operations experience in airborne, air operations center, and logistics command and control systems. He has experience at the squadron, group, Numbered Air Force, Major Command, Field Operating Agency, Combat Support Agency, and Combatant Command levels in both operations and executive administration. Colonel Caranta has commanded at the squadron level. He is a fully-qualified joint specialty officer having served at a Combined/Joint Task Force, Combat Support Agency, and a Combatant Command. Additionally, he has completed a special-duty tour as an AFROTC instructor.
1996 Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
1998 Basic Communications Officer Training, Keesler AFB MS.
2001 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB AL.
2005 Master of Arts degree in curriculum and instruction, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.
2006 Air Command and Staff College, by correspondence.
2007 Advanced Communications Officer Training, Keesler AFB MS.
2009 Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA.
2010 Information Operations Capabilities, Application, and Planning Course, 1st Information Operations Command (Land), Ft Belvoir VA.
2011 Cyberspace 300, Wright-Patterson AFB OH.
2012 Air War College, by correspondence.
2016 Air Force Forces Senior Staff Course, Hurlburt Field FL.
1. May – Oct 96, ADD Officer, AFROTC Det 510, Albuquerque NM
2. Oct 96 – Jun 98, Squadron Section Commander, 524th Fighter Squadron, Cannon AFB NM
3. Jun 98 – Jun 99, Executive Officer, 27th Operations Group, Cannon AFB NM
4. Jun 99 – May 01, AWACS Software Test Director, 552d Computer Systems Squadron, Tinker AFB OK
5. May 01 – Jun 02, Chief, AWACS Joint Testing, 552d Computer Systems Squadron, Tinker AFB OK
6. Jun 02 – Jun 05, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies, AFROTC Det 505, Las Cruces NM
7. Jun 05 – Nov 07, Director of Operations, 611th Air Communications Flight, Elmendorf AFB AK
8. Nov 07 – Jun 08, Flight Commander, Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Operations, 611th Air Communications Squadron, Elmendorf AFB AK
9. Jun 08 – May 10, Chief, Global Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Systems (C4S) Coordination Center, US Transportation Command, Scott AFB IL
10. May 10 – Jun 11, Executive Officer to Director of C4S, US Transportation Command, Scott AFB IL
11. Jun 11 – Jun 13, Commander, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Field Support Squadron, Quantico Marine Ground Installation VA
12. Jun 13 – Jun 15, Deputy Commander, 65th Mission Support Group, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal
13. Jun 15 – Jun 16, Chief, Cyber Contingency Plans and Engagements, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam HI
14. Jun 16 – Sep 17, Deputy Chief, Cyber Operations Division, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam HI
15. Sep 17 – Jun 18, Commander, Joint Spectrum Center, Annapolis MD
16. Jun 18 – Present, Commander, 673d Mission Support Group, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK
SUMMARY OF JOINT ASSIGNMENTS
1. Oct 07 – Apr 08, CJTF-82 CJ6 Executive Officer for Budget, Bagram AB Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as a major
2. Jun 08 – Jun 11, Chief, Global C4S Coordination Center and Executive Officer to Director of C4S, US Transportation Command, Scott AFB IL as a major/lieutenant colonel
3. Sep 17 – Jun 18, Commander, Joint Spectrum Center, Annapolis MD as a colonel
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with 1 OLC
Meritorious Service Medal with 3 OLC
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with 2 OLC
Air Force Achievement Medal with 1 OLC
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with 1 OLC
Jan – Mar 98 Squadron Section Commander, 524th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Prince Sultan AB, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
May – Jul 00 Chief, C4S, 964th Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Squadron, Incirlik AB, Republic of Turkey
Oct 07 – Apr 08, CJTF-82 CJ6 Executive Officer for Budget, Bagram AB, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
2000 552d Air Control Wing Communications and Information Professional of the Year
2003 Air Force ROTC Southwest Region Education Officer of the Year
2007 Distinguished Graduate, Air Operations Center Initial Qualification Training, Communications Course
2009 US Transportation Command C4S Directorate Field Grade Officer of the Year
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant May 26, 1996
First Lieutenant May 29, 1998
Captain May 29, 2000
Major April 1, 2006
Lieutenant Colonel May 1, 2011
Colonel August 1, 2017
(Current as of June 2018)