Colonel Dana A. Hessheimer is the commander of the 163d Reconnaissance Wing, California Air National Guard, March Air Reserve Base, Calif. The 163d Reconnaissance Wing is comprised of more than 800 personnel and provides support to more than 200 additional members at geographically separated locations. The wing is the California Air National Guard's exclusive MQ-1 Predator operations unit providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support, as well as tactical combat support, to commanders and war fighters around the world.
Colonel Hessheimer was born 18 September 1964, in Crete, Nebraska. After graduation from Geneva High School (Geneva, Nebraska) in 1982, he attended the Missouri Institute of Technology in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1984 he transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1988.
Colonel Hessheimer began his military career in 1988, receiving his commission from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Reserve Officer Training Corps before attending undergraduate pilot training at Reese AFB, TX. After graduating from pilot training he was assigned to the 55 WG at Offutt AFB, NE and flew the RC-135. His first deployment was flying combat missions in support of Operation DESERT STORM.
After separating from the Active Duty in 1994, Colonel Hessheimer joined the Nebraska Air National Guard and flew the KC-135. He was a Traditional guardsman for two years then was hired on full-time as an Active Guard Reservist. In 2000, he joined the California Air National Guard as the Chief of Safety. He continued flying the KC-135 until the unit converted to the Predator mission, which he is currently a qualified pilot. He also was the Liaison Officer in Istres, France three times during his time in both Nebraska and California.