James Sukenik '92 August 11, 2022 3:07 PM updated: August 11, 2022 3:24 PM
James Arnold Sukenik
December 13, 1969 - August 1, 2022
James A. Sukenik, a faithful son, dedicated father, and true friend, passed away on Monday, August 1, 2022. James is survived by his parents Jack and Gigi Sukenik, his son, Brandon Sukenik age 21 and daughter, Sydney Sukenik age 16, along with their children's mother, Brenda Sukenik.
James was born to Jack and Gigi Sukenik in Misawa, Japan on December 13, 1969. An alumnus of Greenville High School Class of 1988, James attended his favorite college at Texas A&M University. James excelled at A&M in the Corps of Cadets where he graduated as Commander of Gator 2 Squadron, an ROTC Distinguished Graduate and was commissioned an Officer in the U.S. Air Force in 1992.
Upon graduation James attended Air Force pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, where he earned his wings in 1994 and was assigned as a F-15C Eagle Fighter Pilot. In 1995, he reported to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, where he was the 12th Fighter Squadron's Chief of Combat Plans and Mobility. Recognized for his superior flight skills, James moved in 1998 to Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi where he was the Check Flight Commander for the 50th Flying Training Squadron, a critical position certifying all the newest US Air Force pilot training graduates.
In 2001, James returned to an overseas combat fighter squadron at the 493rd Fighter Squadron, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, where he served as an F-15C Mission Commander and Instructor Pilot supporting NATO Operations throughout Europe. In 2004, James was recruited to the 422nd Test and Evaluations Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, where he led leading-edge F-15C software development and integration of the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System and AIM-9X heat-seeking missile. Later, Colonel Sukenik became the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron's Air Dominance Division Commander and oversaw the F-15C and F-22 Raptor operational test and force development.
In 2007 he served a overseas remote tour as Chief, Exercise Plans, Seventh Air Force, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea where he was responsible for crafting theater-level exercises supporting the defense of the Korean Peninsula. Following this critical tour in Korea, James was drafted to his next assignment when he returned to Kadena AB in 2008 to join the 67th Fighter Squadron and serve as the Director of Operations for Pacific Air Force's premier F-15C squadron. While at the 67th Fighter Squadron, Colonel Sukenik shaped an award-winning strategy to hone the squadron's combat effectiveness ultimately winning the Wing Top Gun competition for the first time in several years. Additionally, James built a squadron foundation of competence, discipline and precision, which led the 67th Fighter Squadron to win the US Air Force Raytheon Trophy, the award to the Top Fighter Squadron in the Air Force, two of the next three years.
In 2010, based on his career of excellence, he was selected for command and served as the Commander of the 53rd Test Support Squadron and then later the Deputy Group Commander for the Weapons Evaluation Group at Tyndall AFB in Florida, until he retired from the Air Force on May 22, 2014. James left the Air Force as a Command Pilot with 3,367 fighter flight hours including 88 combat hours over Iraq. During his long and distinguished career, James received many awards and decorations including five Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal and numerous other campaign and deployment accolades.
After retiring from the Air Force, James returned to his beloved Texas, settling in Prosper and continuing his passion of flying with Southwest Airlines.
A private military internment service will be on Friday, August 19, 2022 at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery followed by a 'Celebration of his Life' in the Frisco area remembering his impact on this nation, his university, and his many friends. Time and location of the reception is forthcoming.