Col. David G. Hanson is the commander of the 821st Air Base Group, Thule Air Base, Greenland. As the installation commander, he is responsible for the administration and security of the United States’ northernmost and the Department of the Air Force’s largest overseas military installation comprised of the Thule Defense Area. As the senior U.S. Department of Defense representative in Greenland, he guides international relations ensuring compliance with all agreements between the U.S., Danish and Greenlandic governments. Additionally, he directs operations of the world’s northernmost deep-water seaport, the Arctic’s largest airfield and provides full-spectrum base support for more than 600 year-round residents. The base enables force projection, space superiority, and scientific research while working with various allies and supporting local communities.
Col. Hanson has commanded multiple times at the squadron and detachment levels and was most recently the Chief of Assessor and Authority Training Division, Directorate of Joint Training and Exercises, North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command (NORAD & USNORTHCOM).
Col. Hanson received his commission in 1994 as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at Iowa State University. He has held various assignments in nuclear operations, satellite command and control, and higher education as well as staff assignments at NORAD & USNORTHCOM and Air Force Space Command. Col. Hanson was a competitor and assistant coach with the United States Armed Forces Military Pentathlon Team, competing in Europe against other NATO nations. The team competes in military-related events including rifle and pistol marksmanship, land and water obstacle courses, advanced land navigation and combat first aid.