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H&HS - Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Colonel James C. Paxton III, USMC, Instructor, Aerospace Engineering

LtCol James C. Paxton attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, LtCol Paxton was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and reported to The Basic School in July of 1999.  After completion of The Basic School, he attended primary flight school in Pensacola, FL and then intermediate and advanced flight school in Meridian, MS.  He was designated a naval aviator in July of 2002.  He reported to the Fleet Replacement Squadron, Marine Fighter Attack (Training) VMFAT-101 in Miramar, CA to learn to fly the F/A-18 in August of 2002 and completed training in October of 2003.

In October 2003, LtCol Paxton reported to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 212 aboard MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.  During his time with VMFA-212 he conducted joint and multi-national operations and training on mainland Japan, Australia, Korea, Thailand, and Okinawa.  He assisted with relief efforts in Medan, Indonesia in early 2005 after devastation caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.  He attended TOPGUN in Fallon, NV in 2007 and was designated a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor.

In June 2008, LtCol Paxton attended Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) in Quantico, VA where he had the opportunity to serve as president of his class.  Upon graduation from EWS in 2009, LtCol Paxton moved to MCAS Cherry Point where he transitioned to learn to fly the KC-130J at the Aviation Training Unit and was subsequently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 252.

In January 2011, LtCol Paxton was assigned duties as the Air Tasking Order Development Officer in Charge of Regional Command Southwest, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).  He completed Command and Staff non-resident seminar in June 2012.

After serving as Assistant Aviation Maintenance Officer and Aviation Maintenance Officer of VMGR-252, LtCol Paxton deployed with 4 KC-130Js and 88 Marines to Regional Command Southwest in support of OEF where he had the opportunity to serve as Detachment Commander from January to July 2013.

Returning from deployment in 2013, LtCol Paxton was selected by the Commandant’s Professional Intermediate-Level Education Board (CPIB) to attend the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio to earn a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering.  In April 2014 LtCol Paxton reported to the United States Naval Academy where he serves as an Instructor of Aerospace Engineering.

In June 2018, LtCol Paxton was assigned duties as the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron (H&HS) in Yuma, Arizona.

LtCol Paxton is married to the former Lonnie Hamilton of Harmony, PA.  They have six children, Kieran, Taegan, Bron, Cael, Laevyn, and Gard.