Lt Col James Hesson
CMPP Visiting Military Analyst
Lieutenant Colonel James “Pharaoh” Hesson is a U.S. Air Force officer who serves as a visiting military analyst with FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power. Previously, he served as the senior executive officer to the deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, Headquarters United States Air Force. Prior to this role, James was a Blue Horizons fellow, where he developed two innovation efforts to field emerging logistics capabilities for contested environments. James has focused on fighter and mobility aviation, innovation, rapid prototyping, adversary threats, nuclear deterrence operations, and geopolitical analysis.
James most recently flew the F-15E, with prior assignments in the T-38C and C-17A. He served as the 494th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations and director of staff; the 87th Flying Training Squadron chief of standardization and evaluation; the 47th Operations Group executive officer; and the 16th Airlift Squadron executive officer and C-17A aircraft commander. He has accrued more than 2,900 flight hours, including 650 instructor hours and over 650 combat hours in Operations Enduring Freedom, Inherent Resolve, and New Dawn.