Edward H. "Ned" Linch III

Lt. Colonel, USAF


Lt. Col. Ed Linch has had a distinguished career as an active-duty Air Force pilot and has recently taken part in many military operations.

He earned his commission as a Distinguished Graduate of Auburn University's AFROTC program in 1985 and entered the Air Force in January 1986, at Mather AFB, CA, as an Undergraduate Navigator Training (UNT) student.

Upon graduating with distinction, UNT, Tac Nav, and Lead-In Fighter Training (LIFT), Col Linch was assigned to Mt. Home AFB, ID for F-111 flight training and then to RAF Upper Heyford, UK (F-111).

He was then selected to attend Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) at Sheppard AFB, TX in 1989. After graduating with distinction, he began training in the F-16 at MacDill AFB, FL. Again graduating with distinction, he then flew the F-16 operationally for over 12 years accumulating more than 2000 hours.

His tours include Kunsan AB, Korea, Pope AFB, NC, Luke AFB, AZ, and Dannelly Field ANGB, AL. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he was one of the first F-16 pilots to fly combat air patrols for homeland defense and high value airborne assets during Operation NOBLE EAGLE.

Lt Col. Linch has served in several major combat operations including OPERATIONS IRAQI FREEDOM, OPERATION VIGILANT WARRIOR, and OPERATIONS NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN WATCH, accumulating more than 150 combat hours.

Lt Col. Linch holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management with high honors from Auburn University and a Masters degree in Aeronautical Science, with distinction, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is currently on active duty, on leave from Delta Air Lines, and a Senior Pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours in F-16 and F-111 fighter aircraft.

Awards & Decorations

  • Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism

  • Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters

  • Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster

  • Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters

  • Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster

  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and four oak leaf clusters

  • Combat Readiness Medal with four oak leaf clusters
  • National Defense Service Medal

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

  • Southwest Asia Service Medal with Star

  • Korean Defense Service Medal

  • Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device

  • 2003 Aviators’ Post Valor award winner (American Legion)

  • Lockheed Semper Viper award

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