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Jim Ayers



Research Staff Member and Assistant Director
Institute for Defense Analyses

Jim Ayers has 39 years of experience in the national defense arena and is currently an Assistant Director in the Joint Advanced Warfighting Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses where he leads research on topics including global logistics integration, concept development and posture planning. He has been with the Institute for Defense Analyses since his 2009 retirement from the United States Air Force. In his 26-year Air Force career, he flew the C-32 (Boeing 757), KC-10, and C-141. He commanded the 1st Airlift Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland where his unit’s mission was providing air transportation to the nation’s senior leadership. His varied military staff assignments included weapons system acquisition, doctrine development, and a combatant command liaison officer to the National Capital Region.


2004: Master of Science in Strategic Studies, Air War College

1996: Master of Science in Air Mobility, Air Force Institute of Technology

1994: Master of Arts in Business, Webster University

1983: Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, University of North Carolina


1983-1988: Acquisitions Program Manager, U.S. Air Force

1989-1996: Air Lift and Air Refueling Instructor Pilot, U.S. Air Force

1997-1999: Executive Officer and Branch Chief; Air Force Doctrine Center, U.S. Air Force

1999-2003: Commander; 1st Airlift Squadron, U.S. Air Force

2004-2006: Defense Analyst; IDA, U.S. Air Force

2006-2009: Director; U.S. Joint Forces Command Washington Operations, U.S. Air Force

2009-present: Research Staff Member and Assistant Director, Institute for Defense Analyses