AIRCDRE Ralph W. REEFMAN
Air Commodore Ralph Reefman was born in Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 29, 1960. Shortly after his birth, his Dutch parents returned to the Netherlands. In 1980, he joined the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF). In 1982, he graduated from pilot training in Canada and received his wings.
On his return to the Netherlands, he flew his first operational tours from Airbase Twenthe, flying the NF-5. In 1985, he moved with his newlywed wife, Lianne, to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, to become an instructor pilot on the T-38. After this 3-½ year assignment, they returned to the Netherlands where Air Commodore Reefman continued flying the NF-5 from Airbases Gilze-Rijen and Eindhoven.
In 1991, he started his pilot conversion on the F-16 at Airbase Leeuwarden and graduated from the Dutch Weapons Instructor Course. In the following years, he held various positions as supervisor Fighter Weapons Instructors Course, flight commander and operations officer. In 1993, he participated in Operation Deny Flight over the Balkans.
During 1998 and 1999, he attended the Advanced Staff and Command Course at Bracknell, United Kingdom. On his return, he became Section Chief for Operations and Logistics in the Fighter Operations Branch, RNLAF HQ.
He assumed command of 311 Squadron stationed at Airbase Volkel from 2000-2003. In 2002, he was the first European Participating Air Force’s F-16/KDC-10 detachment commander for Operation Enduring Freedom, stationed at Manas, Kyrgyz Republic.
On his return from deployment, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel, the commanding officer of Airbase Twenthe and the wing. In 2003, he was assigned the task to close this air base.
In late 2006, he attended the Senior Course at the NATO Defense College in Rome. After this course, he became the Chief Fighter Operations Branch RNLAF. After a 1-year tour, he was promoted to his present rank of Air Commodore on March 2008 when he became the deputy director for operations for the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces.
In August 2012, he was appointed as the Netherlands Defense Attaché at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C.
As of March 2016 he is working at NATO Allied Command Transformation, Norfolk, Virginia. Late July 2016 he will assume the position of Assistant Chief of Staff responsible for Defense Planning. During his first months at ACT he will be a Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff ACT.
Over the years, he has accumulated 4,000 flying hours on various aircraft, mainly fast jets. Air Commodore Ralph Reefman is married to his wife Lianne. They have a daughter (1988) and a son (1990).