Retirement Biography for Lt Col Karl Kuschner
Lt. Col. Karl Kuschner was born in Washington D.C. on 17 February 1961. After moving to Florida in 1970, he graduated from Eau Gallie
High School in Melbourne, where he was the commander of the Junior ROTC, commander of the AFJROTC drill team, and Deputy Commander of
the local Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron.
Then “Cadet” Kuschner attended the USAF Academy, graduating in 1983 with a Bachelor’s degree with majors in Physics and Mathematics.
He briefly worked at the F.J. Seiler Research laboratory, building one of the first ever ring laser gyroscopes which are now widely
used in modern aircraft.
As a 2nd Lt., he attended undergraduate pilot training at Williams AFB in Phoenix, AZ, after which he was assigned to fly the
McDonald-Douglas F-4E Phantom II. After attending F-4 training at George AFB, CA, he was assigned to his first operational base at
Spangdahlem AB, Germany. There he flew the F-4E in the air-to-ground and Wild Weasel “hunter-killer” role with the 23rd Tactical
During that tour, then Capt. Kuschner met his wife, Bjork Jonasdottir. They were married shortly after being reassigned back to George
AFB in 1987, where Capt. Kuschner attended the Wild Weasel upgrade course and served as a weapons and tactics officer in the 563rd,
and later the 561st, Tactical Fighter Squadrons. Following the closure of the 563rd in 1989, he received orders to return to
Spangdahlem as an F-4G pilot. After a brief stop in the 480th TFS, he returned back to the 23rd TFS where he flew as a flight lead and
Weasel mission commander during the Gulf War and Operation Provide Comfort. After returning from the war, the 23rd Fighter Squadron’s
F-4s were deactivated, and he served a short stint in the 81st FS, also as Assistant Chief of Weapons.
In 1992, Capt. Kuschner was assigned to the 12th Air Operations Group at Bergstrom AFB in Austin, TX. There he acted as Chief, Group
Training, integrating what would later become the Contingency Theater Automated Planning System, used by all air operations centers
for the next decade. Near the end of that tour, he attended the University of Texas in Austin, where he received his Master’s degree
In 1994, he attended F-4G refresher training at Boise, ID, then returned to the cockpit as Chief of Weapons and Tactics, 561st FS,
Nellis AFB, NV, where he led his squadron through deployments to Northern and Southern Watch as well as other contingencies in the
Following his promotion, Major Kuschner attended the Naval War College in Newport, RI, graduating as #2 in his class with a Master’s
in Security Studies. His thesis, “Legal and Practical Implications of Information Warfare,” won the 1996 Armed Forces Communications
and Electronics Association’s “VADM Cebrowski Award.”
Major Kuschner’s next assignment was as PACOM Team Chief, at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center in Dahlgren, VA. There he developed a
method for bringing JWAC products directly to the Joint Force Commander via internet technology, a process that was used extensively
during the Balkans conflicts.
In 1998, Major Kuschner attended F-15C upgrade training at Tyndall AFB, after which he and his family moved to Kadena AB, Japan. While
assigned as Chief, Wing Plans, he flew with both the 12th FS and 44th FS in the air superiority mission. He commanded the 44th
Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (deployed) from June to September 2001.
Returning from PACAF, Lt.Col. Kuschner came to his final assignment as F/A-22 Operations Requirements Branch Chief, Headquarters Air
Combat Command. During the last 2 years, he assisted in the completion of the Raptor’s development program, as well as the creation of
the F/A-22 modernization program. During a contingency deployment, he served as the commander of all USAF personnel in Bosnia, as well
as acting as the Chief, Air Operations for the NATO headquarters of Operation Joint Forge.
Lt.Col Kuschner is a Master Pilot with 2000 hours in T-37, T-38, F-4E, F-4G, F-16C, E-3A, and F-15C aircraft. He has over 200 combat
hours. His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air
Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Air
Force Achievement Medal, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia
Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, NATO Medal, and the
Kuwait Liberation Medal.
He is married to Bjork Jonasdottir, of Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, and has two children, Erin, 8, and Erik, 7.
Dates of Rank:
2Lt 1 June 1983
1Lt 1 June 1985
Captain 1 June 1987
Major 1 March 1995
Lt Col 1 October 1999