Colin “Wilbur” Wright grew up around the world in an Army family, settling in Fayetteville, North Carolina in time to attend high school. He entered the Air Force after graduating from North Carolina State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and reported to Mather Air Force Base, California for navigator training. Graduating at the top of his class as an Electronic Warfare Officer, he was assigned to fly the F-4G Wild Weasel in the suppression of enemy air defenses role, and enjoyed assignments in the Philippines, Germany and Las Vegas, Nevada as well as multiple deployments to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Selected to transition to the F-15E Strike Eagle, Captain Wright returned to North Carolina at Seymour Johnson AFB he served as a Flight Commander, Executive Officer to the Wing Commander and officer‑in‑charge of Dare County Bomb and Electronic Combat Range. His first staff assignment followed, assigned to Headquarters Air Combat Command in Virginia as Chief of the Electronic Warfare Requirements Integration Branch. He was then selected to attend the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he graduated as a certified Joint Planner with a concentration in Space Operations. After graduation he returned to fly the F‑15E Strike Eagle at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.
Lieutenant Colonel Wright served in a wide variety of roles in Alaska, first leading the wing’s Plans, Programs and Inspections office through force protection improvements and preparations for a major inspection. Next, as the Director of operations for the 3rd Operations Support Squadron, he synchronized the efforts of the 181-person team supporting daily flight operations to include air traffic control, flight scheduling, weather and snow removal at an arctic air base with a diverse mix of fighter, airlift and command and control aircraft. Then as Commander of the 90th Fighter Squadron “Dicemen” he led 89 people and 21 Strike Eagle aircraft through two major deployments, an extensive aircraft avionics upgrade, and the addition of GPS-guided weapons capability. After overseeing the squadron’s transition to the F-22 Raptor he returned to staff duties at U.S. Joint Forces Command’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.
Colonel Wright first served as Deputy Director of the Commander’s Action Group for the ‘dual-hatted’ General commanding both Joint Forces Command and NATO’s Allied Command Transformation. He was then selected to lead the Planning & Integration Division in the fledgling Joint Irregular Warfare Center and wrote the first assessment of our military’s ability to conduct irregular warfare, which drove changes to numerous military organizations and ultimately supported operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Colonel Wright concluded his Air Force career as the Director of Integration, Resources and Readiness at Headquarters Air Force Operations in the Pentagon where he refocused the Air Force’s budget process to address a decade of declining readiness rates, building a list of 72 key investments that moved $2 billion to programs delivering the highest ‘return on investment’ and readiness.
Wilbur retired from the Air Force and joined Check-6 in October 2012. During his 25 year military career he flew 3,000 hours primarily in the F-4G and F-15E, which includes over 300 combat hours, and received multiple awards of the Air Medal and Aerial Achievement Medal. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with wife his Kathy and remains active with Habitat for Humanity and helping local universities attract high-quality students from the active military ranks.